These are the teachers for Craiceann 2017

Our tutorial team for 2017 includeds Siobhán O’Donnell, Aimee Farrell-Courtney, Martin O’Neill, Cormac Byrne, Jim Higgins, Colm Phelan, Robbie Walsh and Rolf Wagels


Siobhán O’Donnell
Siobhán being from Sligo was infuenced heavily by the energetic and bouncing rhythm found in Sligo music, reflecting this on her mastery and knowledge of tunes in her playing. Siobhán’s love for singing in English and Irish and lilting has been passed on in her family for generations, hailing from a well known traditional singing background. Siobhán has won multiple All-Ireland titles in bodhrán, singing and lilting. Siobhán is a member of the highly acclaimed “The Border Collies”, along with her father Colm. In 2010, Siobhan emigrated to Australia when she was commissioned by the Irish National Association in Sydney to promote Irish music, song and culture in the region. She set up a music school for adults and children and performed at folk festivals across the country. Siobhan remarks on how she has now ‘happily’, returned home to Ireland and lives in Dublin. She just released her first solo CD “Beautiful Affair”
Discography (not complete):
Beautiful Affair – Siobhán O’Donell
Unleashed – The Border Collies
Live in Corofin – Cruinniú

Aimee Farrell Courtney
Aimee Farrell Courtney made her debut performance in Dublin’s National Concert Hall at the age of eight. She has won Gael Linn’s Siamsa competition in 2005 and 2006 and the World Bodhran Championship in 2010. Since then she has gone on to collaborate with musicians such as Donal Lunny, Liam O’Flynn, and Alyth McCormack and perform in venues such as The O2 Arena (Dublin) and The Hermitage Theatre (Russia).
Aimée’s love of music is evident in her teaching, which has led her to conduct workshops across Ireland, Europe and the USA. During 2012 she developed a music education programme for primary school level based on practical musicianship in the classroom.
Aimée holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, specialising in Irish Traditional Music. Graduating with First Class Honours, Aimée was also awarded the Leo Rowsome Gold Medal for outstanding traditional performance and the Michael McNamara Gold Medal for outstanding overall performance.


Martin O’Neill
Probably best known as a Bodhrán player, Martin has won All-Scotland, All-Britain and All-Ireland titles on Bodhrán and is widely recognised as one of today’s leading exponents of the instrument. He graduated in 2002 with an honours degree in Music from Strathclyde University, and since then, has gone on to become one of the most in demand Bodhrán players in the country. He just was “Instrumentalist of the year” at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2010 and he also toured with Stevie Wonder as a bodhrán player! He just released a new CD featuring his bodhrán playing and also a signature line drum series with Christian Hedwitschak. Link to his website.
Discography (not complete):
Julie Fowlis
Julie Fowlis
An Cailín RuaKathleen Boyle
An Darna Umhail Dochas

Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne
A percussionist since the age of four, Cormac developed a love for the bodhran and traditional music while studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. In 2002 he formed folk band Uiscedwr with fiddle player Anna Esslemont. The following year they won the BBC Young Folk Award. Cormac has also worked with several other bands including the Seth Lakeman band, Danish based Baltic Crossing, Jez Lowe, Andrew Dinan and the RTE Concert Orchestra.
Fish, Cat, DoorUiscedwr
Freedom FieldsSeth Lakeman
Baltic CrossingKristian Bugge

Colm Phelan
“Colm Phelan is one of Ireland’s leading young percussionists, and an exceptional Bodhrán player, providing new dimensions to the voice instrument” – Niall Keegan, Course Director, BA Irish Music and Dance.
Colm is a winner of numerous All Ireland titles down through the years with his proudest achievements being the first ever World Bodhrán Champion, in Miltown, Co Kerry in 2006, and in the same year winning the All Ireland in Letterkenny for the second year in succession. Colm has studied Irish Music and Dance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. He was the first Bodhran player to graduate from the BA who has spent his entire four years studying the Bodhran as his main instrument. He is touring wold-wide with his band Goitse and has released a solo CD (The Full Circle) in 2012.
Full Circle – Colm Phelan
All In a Day’s Play – Conor Moriarty
Tall Tales and MisadventuresGoitse

Robbie Walsh
Robbie is a bodhrán player hailing from Dublin. He won the all Ireland bodhran title in 2008 and he then went on to become a full time musician. The art of the drum was passed on by his uncle by the same name, who was part of the teacher team in the first years of Craiceann! He played with various different bands such as Loose, Ciorras, Coras, The Hunters, Keeva, Full Set, Blasta and The Jeremiahs. He also worked closely with dance shows and companys such as Celtic Ceilí, Celtic Legends and Damhsa.
Robbie is an experienced teacher who is able to identify the needs and strenghs of his students and adapt to the varying aspects of how individuals learn. He runs the Bodhran Buzz, a series of workshops that take place all over Ireland. He now plays in two bands, Perfect Friction and Four Winds, with which he tours all over the world.
Robbie’s signature Bodhráns and Sticks are available from and
Discography (not complete):
The First Turn – Daoiri Farrell
Fair PlayPerfect Friction
Timing is everythingSiobhan Smith
A visit to IrelandBrendan Hayes
Live – Loose

Jim Higgins
His bodhran playing is full of baselines and very supportive for the tunes. No wonder he is in high demand as a live and studio artist. He is featured on the recent Altan and Lunasa recordings and many other studio albums, incl. Cora and Jim’s wife Breda Smyth, Kevin Crawford, Alan Kelly and Josephine Marsh. He also toured with the famous dance show “Riverdance”. He works as an arranger and producer and produced albums for the Sawdoctors and Reeltime.
Discography (not complete):
Local GroundAltan
Red WoodLunasa
Down the lineCiaran Tourish
In Good CompanyKevin Crawford
Out of the BlueAlan Kelly
Cora and Breda SmythCora and Breda Smyth

Rolf Wagels
Rolf hails from Hanover, Germany. He teaches bodhran in Germany and is a member of the highly praised trad irish bands Cara and Steampacket. He has played all over Europe incl. Ireland and with Cara he also toured in the US over the last seven years, headlining festivals like the Milwaukee Irish Fest and Kansas City Irish fest. Cara was voted „Top Group 2010“ und „Best New Irish Artist 2009“ in the prestigious Irish Music Awards. His teaching skills were shaped lecturing at the University of Hannover as his daytime job. With drum maker Christian Hedwitschak he developed his own drum line and he released a CD focusing on the bodhrán in 2011 (webpage).
Discography (not complete):
Bodhran Insight – Guido Plüschke & Rolf Wagels
Horizon – Cara
Long Distance Love
In Full SwingCara
Blue – Colman Connolly, Tobi Kurig, Franzi Urton
Homecoming Steampacket
SommertiefeOlaf Sickmann