Boxwood New Zealand


28 February - 5 March, 2019
Waipu, New Zealand

Join us in beautiful & historic Waipu, New Zealand for five days of musical discovery and fun with John Carty (Irish fiddle, banjo, and flute), Chris Norman (flutes, small pipes), and Rennie Pearson (flutes, whistle & chef). Boxwood New Zealand is a magical experience with very limited enrollment and small class sizes, so please register early. Our venue for classes, CraigDhu, is located a few miles from Waipu on a majestic headland overlooking Bream Bay; huge thanks to the Craig Family.

We'll be coordinating rides from the Auckland Airport, and there are lots of lodging optons in the village of Waipu. Students attend classes daily (Friday-Tuesday.) and are encouraged to spend time with each teacher during the course of the week with the aim of discovering connections between oral traditions, expanding musical vocabulary, learning new techniques, broadening their sense of the instrument, and enabling them to find their own musical voice. The evenings will be filled with social gatherings that include excellent meals, concerts, informal gatherings and sessions of music-making with students and teachers alike. The week in Waipu will emphasize the fiddle, flutes, whistles & pipes. The course will suit those with basic playing experience, will cater to a wide range of ability and is designed to challenge as well as inspire.


2019 Performers and Guest Artists:

A schedule will be available as the event draws closer; classes and activities will include:

  • Irish fiddle - (all bowed strings welcome including viola, cello, etc)
  • Flute - simple system and modern flutes; Scottish, Irish, Quebecois & Cape Breton tunes
  • Baroque & renaissance flute - a daily session exploring repertoire & style for art and poular music of the 16th - 18th centuries
  • Whistle - in D
  • Scottish small pipes - ancient and unusual tunes are explored
  • Songs, ballads, and group singing - from the Celtic and North American traditions
  • Improv in Trad - with Chris
  • Sessions
  • Yoga & Stretching
  • Seaside walks
  • Local craft beer & wine tastings - (BYO-pot-luck)


Boxwood New Zealand Schedule: 28 February - 5 March, 2019

Thursday 28 February
Arrive at the house in Waipu late afternoon and gather for an evening meal of home-made local specialties, fresh seafood and more. A session will follow.

Friday 1 March
Daily classes with John Carty, Chris Norman, Rennie Pearson

Saturday 2 March
Daily classes with John Carty, Chris Norman, Rennie Pearson

7:30pm Evening Concert at the Waipu Coronation Hall

Sunday 3 March
Daily classes with John Carty, Chris Norman, Rennie Pearson

Monday 4 March
Daily classes with John Carty, Chris Norman, Rennie Pearson

Tuesday 5 March
Morning classes with John Carty, Chris Norman, Rennie Pearson

Depart mid-afternoon

Pricing Structure:

Prices for the 2019 week in Waipu are in New Zealand dollars (NZD)

Full Tuition: $585 - Includes classes, 5 great suppers, and Saturday concert

Work Study: $375 - Includes classes, 5 great suppers, and Saturday concert

Day Rate: $125/Day - Includes classes and a great supper in the evening


How to Register:

Registration is an easy 2-step process:

Step 1: Complete the registration form via the button below. Be sure to scroll all the way down and click 'SUBMIT'.


Step 2: Pay . A direct transfer is best, and bank details will be shown in your confirmation email. Credit card payments & PayPal add 3%.

That's it! We'll be in touch with further details as the week approaches. If you're planning to come, please fill the form out ASAP so we can plan early. Registration is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis upon receipt of both a registration form and payment.


Lodging options

Our venue is located near Lang's Beach, about 10km from the town of Waipu. We have reserved a lovely house adjacent to Lang's Beach for participants that's also within walking distance of our venue. Lodging is available here on a 1st come - 1st serve basis. The cost will be between $50-$60 NZD per night/per person. (5-nights lodging $250-$300 NZD) depending on the final occupancy. Contact us ASAP to book in here. If you prefer to do your own thing, you may also like to have a look at AirBnB or HomeAway searches for Langs Beach and Waipu Cove . Waipu Wanderers Backpackers in Waipu is an excellent lodging option, and they will often provide a discount to Boxwood attendees. Steve & Elaine can also direct you to other options in the area. Feel free to contact us directly for other lodging suggestions.


John CARTY - Irish fiddle, banjo, flute

John Carty is one of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians having been awarded the Irish Television station, TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year in 2003. Born in London, fiddle and banjo player Carty has established himself among the elite in Irish traditional music and as a staunch supporter of its preservation. He developed his love for fiddle, banjo, and flute, all of which he has mastered,through his multi-instrumentalist father who was a member of the Glenside Ceili Band in London in the 1960’s. John performs regularly with Chieftain’s flautist Matt Molloy exploring the North Connaught tradition they both love. In 2008 they released Pathway to the Well a CD of their music accompanied by Arty McGlynn. A new release by the pair is due out in late 2016. In 2011 John released The Crimson Path, collaboration with Sligo poet Ann Joyce, which is a CD of original poetry and music for which John composed all the music. This was quickly followed by the release of At Complete Ease, a duet fiddle album with Brian Rooney from Kiltclogher, Co Leitrim. This CD has already been described as one of the all times greats of duet playing. John is also a member of super group, Patrick Street which includes legendary musicians Andy Irvine and Kevin Burke. He has also appeared as a special guest with the Chieftains and De Danaan. Apart from performing and recording John has also been instrumental in getting many other musicians to record and has produced many albums such as Brian Rooney’s acclaimed albums ‘The Godfather’ and ‘From Leitrim to London’. John has recently put together a new eight piece band, The John Carty Festival band which was launched in summer 2012 and has since played at festivals in Ireland and the UK.


Chris NORMAN - director, traditional & early flutes, small pipes, song

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia into a music loving family, Chris’ influential work as performer, composer, recording artist, teacher and flutemaker has earned him worldwide recognition. His flute playing has appeared on more than 40 recordings and can be heard featured on numerous Hollywood soundtracks. Chris is founder and director of the Boxwood Festivals and Workshops taking place for the past 20 years in Canada, New Zealand, and the US, inspiring thousands of musicians of all ages. As a flute maker, he brings to bear a discernment forged over a 30-year career to make world-class flutes for traditional, baroque and renaissance music. The Senate of Dalhousie University voted to award Chris a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa in 2015 in recognition of his artistic achievements and contributions to the community.

“. . .Norman stands out for his spirited eclecticism . . . His rootsy heritage shines through in every nuanced embellishment, trill, triple tonguing, and silky slide. It’s clear that Norman is having a ball, with the chops to make it sound effortless.” -- Billboard Magazine

“ . . .a flute player of spectacular & imaginative virtuosity” -- The New Yorker Magazine

“A flute superstar . . .the musicianship just came wailing out” --Toronto Globe & Mail

Rennie PEARSON - flutes, whistle, chef

Rennie is a multi-instrumentalist based in Golden Bay, NZ specializing in flutes, whistles, vocals and DADGAD tuned guitar.The journey started for Rennie before he was even born, with his mother playing him the music of flute virtuoso Chris Norman whilst still in her womb. By 15 he was immersed in the New Zealand traditional Irish music culture, attending weekly sessions and learning off stalwarts of Irish flute playing tradition in New Zealand; Pat Higgins and Brendyn Montgomery. With a firm footing in Irish music, Rennie has delved into the traditions of Scottish and Canadian music, sparking a great thirst for knowledge with has led him to pursue music from all over the world including the ancient classical music from India. Ren works with fiddler/piper Oscar West in the duo Polytropos and has collaborated with a wide range of musicians in performance and recording.



Registration for Boxwood 2019 is limited and is filled on a first come first serve basis upon full payment of tuition. Places cannot be held with a deposit. No Refunds will be made after January 15, 2019. Refund requests made on or before January 15, 2019 will receive a refund within 30 days of receipt of the full amount paid minus a $50 administrative charge. There are no refunds for work study participants. Cancellations prior to this time will be subject to the abovementioned $50 administrative charge.


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