Performers Visiting Artists

Balmoral Highland Dancing Society Inc.

Balmoral Highland Dancing Society Inc.Hosting the Victorian Scottish Union Highland Dancing Competition annually at the Beechworth Celtic Festival, The Balmoral Highland Dancing Society Inc. is based in Wangaratta and runs classes at Beechworth, Benalla, Mooroopna, Wangaratta and Yarrawonga.  Dancers from 4 years old to adult are taught by fully qualified Highland & National Dance Teachers in the art of Highland, Irish and Scottish Dance.

The Beechworth Celtic Festival Competition is an open VSU Competition and will see the final round and presentation of the annual Balmoral Award being held. There are also a number of Championships sponsored by Beechworth businesses and families.  Competitors also dance for the Forrest Family Grand Aggregate and the Mikal Stanimorivitch Memorial Trophy donated by Narelle Forrest. Mikal was a much loved and very talented highland dancer with the Balmoral Highland Dancing Society Inc. and we honour his memory at the presentation of this award each year.

This year’s competition will commence at 10.30am in the rotunda at the Town Hall Gardens. Should the weather be unfavourable the competition will be held in the Town Hall (Information Centre Hall). Dancers are expected to come from as far afield as Geelong and Melbourne, and the judge will travel to Beechworth from Horsham.


Eddie Lewis

Hailing from Melbourne Eddie is renowned for his smooth, rich and powerful vocals. Telling the story of Scotland through song Eddie will captivate his audience taking them on a roller coaster ride of tears and laughter as only Eddie can. He performed at Telstra dome for the rugby union international Wallabies V Scotland, to performing in front of the Commonwealth heads of government including members of the Royal family at the Melbourne commonwealth games and at festivals around the country Eddie is sure to please. A CD is available



Platform 975

Platform 9¾ is an unique trio in Australia because they bring Welsh traditional and contemporary music into the Celtic Folk Music scene. They are based in the Bellarine and feature wonderful vocal harmonies and unique keyboard arrangements.

Platform 9¾ released their debut CD, ‘Celtic But Mainly Welsh’ in December 2014 and were thrilled that the song ‘Bonny Portmore’ gained an award for Best Traditional Celtic Song of the Year 2015 at The Australian Celtic Music Festival in Glen Innes (NSW). The following year, Sarah received the award for Best Celtic Female Singer 2016.




FolkTrain combine Australian and Celtic tradition with original songs. The band has performed to appreciative audiences at folk clubs and folk festivals in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania, including the Beechworth Celtic Festival, the Kilmore Celtic Festival, the Tamar Valley Folk Festival and the Maldon Folk Festival. The folkTrain duo comprises Saskia Adams (vocals, fiddle and guitar) and Chris Stack (vocals, guitar, octave mandolin, harmonica and kick drum).




FolkTrain combine Australian and Celtic tradition with original songs. The band has performed to appreciative audiences at folk clubs and folk festivals in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania, including the Beechworth Celtic Festival, the Kilmore Celtic Festival, the Tamar Valley Folk Festival and the Maldon Folk Festival. The folkTrain duo comprises Saskia Adams (vocals, fiddle and guitar) and Chris Stack (vocals, guitar, octave mandolin, harmonica and kick drum).



Hannah & Sadie

Hannah & Sadie is a duo made up of two young, talented singer-songwriters, Hannah Schmidli and Sadie, Girl on the Hill.  The girls perform a mixture of original songs and celtic tunes with their guitars, ukuleles and fiddle and are known for their beautiful harmonies.

Both girls have performed at numerous festivals around Victoria including the National Celtic Festival in 2016 and the Maldon Folk Festival in 2014 and 2015. Sadie is an award-winning songwriter (Maldon Minstrel Award 2014) and both girls have released their debut solo albums.  Hannah & Sadie will be accompanied by Sadie's little brother Charlie on the bodhran.  Sadie aged 12 and Hannah aged 15 are both experienced performers who show a musical maturity beyond their years.



ClaymoreForget everything you’ve ever thought you knew about Celtic rock bands, because Melbourne-based outfit, Claymore, defies all expectations. This enigmatic band of multi-instrumentalists not only manages to combine traditional elements of Celtic music, but they take that passion and soul and rock it right into the 21st century. Few bands can pull off the sensitive task of integrating the traditional realm into the modern day, but that’s something of a specialty for Claymore. Not only that, but they manage to write beautiful original Celtic compositions, and even lend their style to some power rock classics, all with a distinctive Irish and Scottish twist.




Saoirse.jpg Saoirse (freedom) are a vibrant vocal and dance group from Melbourne. They delight their audiences with beautiful renditions of traditional Irish ballads and original works, & will join hands to offer some spirited jigs and reels to get your feet tapping.  Fabulous spell binding harmonies, as well as some original material, will enchant all who hear them.

Anthony O’Neill, Kerry McManus, Sile Coleman & Bernadette O’Neill
CD Available



Lazy Harry and the Leprechauns are a crazy fun filled mob of highly experienced musicians/entertainers who seem to pop up at Beechworth in springtime to perform at the famous Celtic Festival every year.

The membership is fluid...most times Harry and his guitar and Richard with his fiddle...other times there can be up to five members and the performing dog!!



Cathies Celtic Dance

Cathies Celtic Dance from Albury Wodonga is an enthusiastic group of dancers dedicated to keeping the tradition of Irish dancing alive. Starting in 2005 with a few students, Cathies Celtic Dance has grown to become a much sought after performance troupe regularly performing throughout Victoria and southern New South Wales.

The School brings together dancers of all ages, from new beginner to advanced seniors, to learn traditional and modern Irish dancing, and take advantage of opportunities to perform. The school specialises in creating a culture of creativity and teamwork, as well as developing dancing skills and fitness.

The dancers perform traditional Irish dancing, modern choreographies, and team dancing. The students have many opportunities to perform in various social and community events including St Patrick’s Day, weddings, corporate events and Celtic Festivals.

The school's goal is to pass on and preserve traditional Irish dancing through a positive and fun learning environment, training each individual dancer to their full potential. The school performs at several private functions for various Aged Care facilities around Albury Wodonga and district. These displays always go down well with the residents and allow our dancers the chance to give something back to the community. Irish dancing is a beautiful and disciplined art form, hundreds of years strong, with its tradition well-preserved and still being passed down from generation to generation all over the world.

A highlight of our displays are the group dance which can involve up to 50 dancers on the stage at once performing specially choreographed dances to the most current hits of the day, a true crowd favourite. Students range in age from 4 year


O’Shea-Ryan Irish Dancers

O'Shea-Ryan Irish DancersDancers from the O’Shea-Ryan Irish Dance Group enjoy their performances and the fact that they are able to give pleasure to all audiences, whilst at the same time presenting the Irish Dance Culture which has survived for hundreds of years and has been fostered and passed down to the present generation for their enjoyment.

These Dancers come from many regions of Victoria – Melbourne, Warragul, Hamilton, Warrnambool, Kilmore, Echuca, Bendigo, Mildura, Albury-Wodonga - and perform regularly at all types of events, from local charitable functions to larger corporate events, as well as visiting Nursing Homes and Aged Care facilities.

They are well-known at many Celtic Festivals for their lively and entertaining performances which are always very professionally presented by the experienced and talented dancers. The tiny tots are always a delight, and are the professionals of tomorrow.
Many of these performers are experienced International Dancers, having presented their Irish Culture throughout Europe and Asia at events to which their Teacher, Geraldine Ryan, is regularly invited to bring her Group. Geraldine is a well-known authority on Irish Dancing around the world, and is recognised as the senior, longest active Registered Teacher in the world.


Cora and the Crop Brothers.jpgCora and the Crop Brothers

Featuring Cora Brown - the star of “The Man they call The Banjo and Barry Versus Kelly” - are a line up singing Irish ballads and playing energetic Irish tunes.

The band takes its name from a mis-adventure in Savernake NSW when two members of the band got lost in a huge paddock of wheat during a “The Man They Call The Banjo” tour. The Crop Boys feature a similar line up to the Bushwahzee line up who played at BCF in 2013 & 2014.

Felix Meagher (Vocals & Fiddle) | Cora Browne (Vocals & Bodhran) | Lou Hesterman (Vocals & Guitar)
Greg Rough (Piano Accordian)


Cora and the Crop Brothers.jpgPaddy Fitzgerald

Internationally respected button accordionist from Clare who has been living in Australia since 1959. In 1963 he married Eileen Nash, and together living in Melbourne they raised nine children. Paddy has played in a number of bands including the Merry Moonshiners, The Bards and Gaelic Inheritance, as well as the famous Fitzgerald Family Band.

Paddy will be playing with Cora Brown and Felix Meagher as Cora and The Crop Boys throughout the weekend as well as featuring at the Meet and Greet Session at the Hotel Nicholas on Friday night.


Bhan Tre

Three women of undoubted musical and vocal prowess formed in 1997 to create the celebrated Celtic trio "Bhan Tre". Geraldine Davis (Vocals, Guitar, Bodhran), Sue Foley (Vocals & Bodhran) and Wendy Rowlands (Vocals & Accordian) have become a regular at all the major festivals in Victoria and interstate and on a number of occasions have taken their particular style of Celtic music to Ireland and England.

The girls have released three successful albums "Bhan Tre", "Ballinagh" and "Bhanshee on your Heel".  All albums are a testament to the trio's songwriting skills and their ability to create sublime three part harmonies as well as raising the roof with rollicking tunes and well known traditional songs.  Bhan Tre have also become a sought after guest artist for visiting International Artists such as Finbar Furey and Lunasa as well as appearances on variety television and radio programs.

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