CelticFest Mississippi is delighted to offer small group student Masterclass Workshops with instruction from our performers, many of whom are All-Ireland competition champions, working professional musicians and teachers!

You will need to have an instrument in good working order. Dance & Singing Workshops will be All Levels.

Instructors are in the works for 2024 but take a look at the line up from 2023 below!


Calum is a multi-instrumentalist who has been performing on New England stages since the age of seven, when he started touring with the Bell Family Band.  He brings a mastery far beyond his years to the Irish fiddle and flute, and regularly tours with international Irish music and dance shows in the US and Europe. His innovative approach to the music combines syncopation and creative harmonies with a deep respect for the tradition.

Lexie Boatright HARP

Lexie is a multiple All-Ireland award-winning harpist and concertina player. She is the newly retired executive director of the Baltimore-Washington Academy of Irish Culture where she mentors the award-winning BWAIC student Ceili Band and Grúpa Cheoil. She regularly teaches across the Irish music summer school and festival circuit. 


Madeline Dierauf is from Western North Carolina, and began playing Irish music under the tutelage of Asheville’s Beanie O’Dell before quickly becoming immersed in Atlanta’s Irish music scene. Her music has taken her to many stages, from Wilkesboro’s Merlefest to IrishFest Atlanta and the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Her sensitive and thoughtful approach to the tunes and harmonies is a cornerstone of the band’s unique sound.


Seán comes from Co Limerick and was raised in a musical family that includes his brother Cathal and sisters, Catherine and Maureen. He has been playing fiddle since his early teens, with much of his early influences coming from musicians in his native Limerick and the neighboring Co. Clare. He spent time living and playing music in London where his music was heavily influenced by the Clare fiddle player, Brendan Mulkere. For the past several years he’s been based in Boston where he has been a key contributor in both performance and teaching. His collaboration with Sean McComiskey and Kieran Jordan in their CD entitled ‘Cover the Buckle: A Collection of Irish Set Dances for Listening and Dancing’ was widely acclaimed.

Kathleen Conneely IRISH TIN WHISTLE Key of D BEGINNER +

Born in Bedford, England, to Irish parents from Galway and Longford, Kathleen Conneely began playing Irish music at age twelve, along with her siblings, Bernadette, Michael & Pauline. She studied with Brendan Mulkere (Co. Clare), a well-regarded teacher in London. Her father Michael is a fiddle, accordion, and tin whistle player from Errislannan, Co. Galway, and their home was always filled with music from records and live sessions with visiting musicians. Kathleen has lived in London, Dublin, Chicago, Rhode Island & Boston, and she has taught for Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in Dublin and Boston, at the Boston College Irish Studies program, Gaelic Roots, Catskills Irish Arts Week, Swannanoa Gathering, and at various traditional music festivals throughout the U.S. In 2012, she released her first solo CD, ‘The Coming of Spring’, and has just released a new CD, ‘All Jokes Aside’, (2022) with fellow musicians and friends: Seán Clohessy and John Coyne.


Baton Rouge native Pete Dawson has been playing Irish flute and whistle since age 5. His parents instilled their enthusiasm for Irish music in Pete at this early age. Before long Pete was considered one of the finest musicians playing Irish music in Louisiana, and his dexterous breathy Flute style became his hallmark. Pete formed the band Drowsey Maggie while studying at Univ. of LA at Lafayette and was also a member of the UL Ragin Cajuns marching band. His band Avoca with Bouzouki player & Singer Tony Davoren explores the merging of Cajun music with that of Ireland and Appalachia. Celjun music has arrived!


Kevin is a multi-instrumentalist and 2019 All-Ireland Champion in Men’s Singing. Although he boasts a strong background in classical piano and a degree in Jazz studies, Kevin is rooted in Irish traditional music. In addition to playing the tin whistle, guitar, mandolin and banjo, Kevin has also honed his skills as a singer and interpreter of Irish traditional song, cultivating a significant repertoire of ballads.


Caelin began studying Irish Step Dancing at the age of six.  She has trained and competed under various schools including McTeggart School of Irish Dance in Dallas, Southern Academy in Nashville and Maple Academy in the Washington, DC metro area.  In 2010 Caelin qualified for and subsequently competed in the North American Irish Dance Championships and has competed at Nationals over 10 times since then.  Caelin began creating and teaching her own choreography in 1998 and has taught in various capacities since that time.  Caelin is currently studying for her Irish dance teachers license.  She directs and teaches at the newly formed, Solasta Academy of Irish Dance in Madison, Mississippi.  Solasta is Irish for brilliant, luminous, light that brings clarity. Caelin is also a licensed professional counselor and has a private practice in Madison.


Seán will be teaching two Masterclasses this year. He is one of the most creatively versatile and captivating artists of his generation. He is a U.S National Scottish Fiddle Champion as well as an award-winning Irish Fiddler, Singer, and Harpist in the folk and Gaelic traditions of Scotland and Ireland. Seán holds a degree from University of South Carolina in Classical Violin Performance.  He is a musical ambassador for Scottish music and culture, especially the Gàidhlig language.

Puirt à beul is a type of rhythmic singing in Scottish Gaelic traditionally used when there weren’t musicians to play for dancers. This class is open to everyone!


Jake is a two-time All-Ireland fiddle champion, bodhrán player, and dancer from Queens, NYC. Over the years, he has performed with bands such as Runa and Green Fields of America. He has performed and toured at venues across the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Karl Kersey MANDOLIN

Karl has played and taught professionally for over 35 years across many genres, including rock, blues, bluegrass, and country. He is a proponent of the mandolin in Celtic music. Karl has studied with Rose Flanagan, Brian McNeill, John Doyle, and Liz Carroll. He teaches at several Irish Music Camps and leads sessions in Nashville, TN. He attended Musician’s Institute (GIT) in Los Angeles, and is a graduate of IBMA’s “Leadership Bluegrass Academy.”


Agi Kovacs is a Hungarian native, who began her dance career at the Hungarian National Ballet Institute where she was trained in classical ballet, Hungarian folk and historical dance styles. About 17 years ago she started up her professional percussive dance career here in the US, as a principal dancer with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble. Agi has been performing and touring the states and abroad over the years and she makes a point to only perform to live music. One of her passions is to collaborate with different genre artists. Agi thinks it’s important to keep these traditions alive by making it accessible to all. She loves to teach and explore the connections between genres and her own connection to the music. Her versatile knowledge of percussive dance includes, Old style Irish ( Sean Nos), Scottish, English, Tap, Clogging and Flatfooting (just to name a few).


Catherine is an Irish Traditional singer and fiddler from Tappan, NY. Catherine often sings unaccompanied through the sean nós style of singing utilizing ornamentation and emotion to tell a story through songs that are centuries old.  Catherine has won competitions, taught, and sung on stages up and down the East coast, including the Maryland Irish Festival, the Blarney Star Music series in New York City, and the Baltimore Irish Trad Fest.

Richard Osban. TENOR BANJO

Richard is a multi-instrumentalist based in Baltimore, Maryland.  He cut his teeth on Irish music while living in Europe and toured internationally with several Irish and Scottish music projects before returning to the US.  He has performed on festival stages and been an instructor at many teaching festivals both in Europe and the US. He’s the Assistant Director of the Baltimore Irish Trad Fest, an intensive weekend of workshops in April which is a must do for Irish music students and was just named the Executive Director of the Baltimore Irish Music School.


Known for his driving yet sensitive and dynamic accompaniment style, Ryan is an award-winning pianist and accordion player hailing from NYC. He has performed extensively across the Feis circuit and is a highly sought after accompanist in the NY area. Ryan is the current reigning Senior All-Ireland Accompaniment Champion.

Cara Wildman BODHRÁN 

Cara Wildman is a well-respected percussionist, pianist, dancer, and bodhrán player from Dorchester, TX. Cara’s talents have led her to perform in a variety of musical ensembles and genres around the world including in Puerto Rico, Argentina, Mexico, Ireland, Canada and across the United States. She has performed with Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps, Celtic Thunder, The Irish Memory Orchestra, Joanie Madden (Cherish the Ladies), Oisín Mac Diarmada (Irish Christmas in America), Máiréad Nesbitt (Celtic Woman) and Donal Lunny. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from Texas Christian University, and a second Master’s in Irish Traditional Music Performance from the University of Limerick in Ireland. Cara has studied with bodhrán greats Jim Higgins, Eamon Murray, Martin O’Neill, Cormac Byrne, Colm Murphy, Colm Phelan, and Junior Davey, among others.

Cara’s playing has garnered international accolades including winning the 2016, 2018, and 2019 Senior Bodhrán Champion for the Limerick and Midwest Fleadhanna, and placing 1st at the 2021 All-Ireland Fleadh Fest—the first American ever to win this category.