Denice Brown - Gaelic Singing

Denice Brown is a founding member of Cór Gaeilge Texais, a singing group formed in 1997 to explore and present the traditional music of the Gaelic-speaking peoples.  The group performs a wide range of songs from marches to lullabies and drinking tunes to hymns. Denice focuses her interest toward the sean nós (old style) singing of Ireland with its emphasis on the language and the use of ornamentation to provide emphasis. Along with some language introduction, she will teach a selection of airs, and short songs as well as favorites from the Cór Gaeilge Texais repertoire in the traditional unaccompanied style. She has been studying Irish since 1994 and leads a study group in South Dallas. 


Pat Broaders - Singing Informance
Born in Dublin of parents from Wexford, Pat began playing traditional Irish music at the age of 12. He attended the Chatham Street School of Music where he began on the whistle and later moved to the uilleann pipes under the tutelage of the world renowned uilleann piper, Leon Rowsome. He also studied pipes with Tommy Reck and was influenced by pipers Liam OFlynn, Willie Clancy, and Matt Kiernan.  In 1998, Pat began playing the bouzouki and studied briefly with Donal Lunny. While in Ireland, Pat began singing and was a member of the group, An Beal Bocht, which toured Europe with the Chieftains. Pat also played and sang with the Irish rock bands, In Tua Nua and Cry Before Dawn, and with the International Blues Band. In addition, he has played with The Wilf Brothers, with whom he appeared on the RTE television program, "Night Hawks."

In 1990, Pat moved to Massachusetts, where he performed with various groups in the Boston area. He relocated to Chicago in 1991 and has been actively involved in the Irish music community ever since. He teaches uilleann pipes, performs regularly in the group Moore & Broaders, and is a part of the touring company of the Trinity Irish Dance Company. When he is not performing, Pat operates Pipedream Studio, where the majority of Aengus' first recording took place. He has performed on numerous national commercials and jingles in the U.S. and Ireland.

Since moving to Chicago, Pat has performed and recorded with a variety of musicians and groups, including Dennis Cahill, Liz Carroll, Sean Cleland, Kat Eggleston, Martin Hayes, Larry Nugent, Paddy O' Brien, Robbie O’Connell, John Williams, and The Drovers.  He is best known as the bouzouki player/singer of Bohola with piano accordionist Jimmy Keane. 

In Jimmy's words: “Pat is a real veteran of the Irish music scene both here and abroad, playing, recording, and performing with many artists and bands over the years. Pat has this acute sense of music and rhythm that enables him to “lock in” his dordan (bass bouzouki) playing to whatever I might do musically and rhythmically. The synergy that results spurs on Bohola and draws in the audience. And his singing is brilliant – if I could sing, I’d love to sing like Pat.”


Betsy Cummings - Song Exchange

Betsy has been performing traditional music in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since 1989. For ten years she was lead singer and piano accordionist with the well-known Fort Worth Celtic group, Lost Tribe. Betsy is currently a vocalist and accordionist with Beyond the Pale and is often a guest musician with the Trinity River Whalers. Betsy is currently the President of the Southwest Celtic Music Association and the Entertainment Coordinator for the North Texas Irish Festival. Betsy has a knack for researching and selecting song material that fits her vocal style and in her workshops, she emphasizes “finding your voice” as a key component for all aspiring singers. 


Michael William Harrison - Song Exchange
Michael William Harrison is now in his sixth year as a folksinger of American, Irish and Scottish folksongs.  Michael cut his music teeth in Detroit some time back as a singing drummer working with well known singer/songwriter Michael Smith (“The Dutchman”).  The mid-seventy’s demise of many of the folk music rooms left him in search of a new direction and in 1977 he headed for Texas.  In 1998, after several years in and out of country-rock bands Michael decided to follow his heart and return to folk music – as a solo performer.  Michael can be found performing at pubs, festivals, coffeehouses and house concerts from Dallas/Ft. Worth across Texas and the U.S.   A few years back Michael (along with Jed Marum) co-produced  “Into The West: Celts In Texas,” - a musical look at the trail connecting Celtic folksongs to Texas; and, he was also chosen to perform on a special Kerrville Folk Festival radio documentary series presented by Austin’s NPR affiliate KUT.   Michael performs songs that frequently come with stories and tales dealing with the history of the song, or – history itself.  


Linda King - Song Exchange

Linda has been a professional musician since the age of 10 working in a variety of musical styles including classical, pop and gospel and composes in a variety of genres.  She is the founding member and driving force behind the celtic band Amberhawke which has been performing in the Metroplex  for 15 years at venues ranging from pubs and Rennaissance Faires to Celtic festivals. Since 1991 Linda has been the mainstay of the bands’ vocals and continues to do most of the arrangements for the band.  Linda made her recording debut in 1992 with “Tak a Dram” and since then has added  has a variety of CDs to her name including several with Amberhawke, a solo CD and a Christmas recording.  Her latest recording with Michael Harrison, “For Kids of All Ages,” has received favorable reviews from a variety of sources and has received airplay and sold in the US, Canada, the Caribbean and the British Isles.


Christy McLeod - Song Exchange

Christy McLeod has loved folk music and singing since childhood and has been performing with the Celtic band, Beyond The Pale, for the past 10 years. She has studied Irish folk songs in extensive workshops with traditional Irish singers such as Karan Casey and Noirin ni Rian at  University of Limerick Blas Summer School in Ireland and with Aoife Clancy and Cathie Ryan at Boston College Gaelic Roots Summer School. In addition to singing and performing on guitar and percussion, Christy also handles the business side of Beyond The Pale with promoting and booking. 


Tommy O'Sullivan - Singing Informance

Tommy is a versatile guitarist.  His is often described as a percussive flatpicking guitarist but he also has a highly-developed fingerpicking style which is the fabric of his high strung playing and song accompaniment.  For tunes, he usually accompanies in DADGAD.  For songs, he regularly uses dropped-D or standard tuning.

Tommy O Sullivan was born in London in 1961 to John L O Sullivan of Lispole, Co. Kerry and Mary Lynch of Garfinny, Dingle, Co. Kerry. He began playing guitar at the age of ten and shortly afterwards moved with his family back to Lispole, five miles east of Dingle. His already keen interest in music was fuelled by the great sessions that he heard locally and in particular in Cahir's Bar, Corofin, where he heard the likes of Mary Bergin, Tony Linnane, Noel Hill, and Paddy Keenan.

One early influence on Tommy was Dublin guitarist Eoin Pender who started him on fingerpicking techniques. Other major influences at that time were Dick Gaughan, Paul Brady, John Martyn, Nick Jones and Donal Lunny. Tommy returned to London when he was 2l and there he played with, and absorbed, much from renowned London/Irish musicians such as Raymond Roland, Liam Farrell, Bobby and Sean Casey and the McCarthy family. He was also often found singing in english folk clubs and arts centres, both solo and amongst the likes of Barry Dransfield and Martin Simpson. After a time in Copenhagen playing with Ash Plant where he replaced Seamus Cahill, Tommy returned once again to Lispole.

Shortly afterwards, he made a solo recording entitled Legacy to considerable critical acclaim. In 1995, along with Matt Cranitch and Donal Murphy (4 Men and a Dog) he formed Sliabh Notes who has played the North Texas Irsh Fetsival in recent years.

Tommy has also kept a busy international schedule with Paddy Keenan (The Bothy Band) since 1997. While mostly concentrated in the U.S., they also appear regularly in Ireland and at European festivals.

For many, his vocal contributions to Sliabh Notes three albums so far ‘Sliabh Notes’, ‘Gleanntan’ and ‘Along Blackwater’s Banks’ and his duet with Paddy Keenan ‘The Long Grazing Acre’ were highlights as much as the musical content. Tommy’s personal view of himself is "a singer who plays as opposed to a player that sings." To that extent, he has recorded a new solo album entitled "Song Ablaze" focusing on his singing.


Melinda Standefer - Voice Lab & Vocal Performance

Melinda Standefer obtained her undergraduate degree in music from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX where she studied voice with Thomas Hayward. Upon graduation from SMU, she moved to Boston, MA with acceptance to The Boston Conservatory studying vocal performance and opera with Elisabeth Phinney. After her Boston Conservatory training, Melinda moved to New York City and studied with Richard Cross of the The Juilliard School and Yale. Melinda's love of Irish music began by attending NTIF back in the 80's and grew while she was living in Boston due to the abundance of Irish music in the area. She currently resides in Dallas with her husband Glenn.

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