Lead Musicians for Bundanoon DanceFest 2017


In Order of Appearance


Bob McInnes

Bob is without a doubt, one of our dance music living treasures. Since the 1960s he has been exploring music for dance in many different bands The Wild Colonial Boys, Reel Tradition, and of course, the long-running wonderful String Fiddle Tradition.



Ray Mulligan

Ray is one of the forces behind Bush Traditions. He led Canberra based band Mulligan's Flat for many years and currently plays with FolkLines. He has, over the last ten years, created a clearing house of collected tunes through teaching workshops at the National Folk Festival and an online collection of dance tunes.  


Dave Johnson

Dave works to disseminate collected music through workshops and publications. He plays fiddle and concertina with his family band Paddys River, and with Folklines, Southern Cross and the Heritage Ensemble. Dave served his apprenticeship with the Bush Music Club and his compilation of dance tunes Bush Dance is well known all round the country. His musical passion is playing the best of our heritage of collected tunes on both fiddle and anglo-concertina.  

Rita Sosich

Rita plays guitar, anglo concertina and violin. She appreciates and plays a range of folk genres particularly collected Australian tunes which was well satisfied during her time with No Such Thing (Illawarra).  An enjoyment of  medieval and English tunes and silly outfits makes perfect her current gig with the Surly Griffin Morris Side (Canberra). Rita enjoys playing for dancers but privately resists the lure of ‘going to the dark side’ for a twirl.



Helen Strutt

Helen, on accordion, with her two daughters Jennifer & Catherine, and Chris Duncan and Bob McInnes, form the Coalbrook Band, providing wonderful dance music. As a member of Salmiakki Pelimannit band she has been playing music from various Scandinavian countries since 1986.



Ralph Pride

Ralph is one of the quiet achievers of the Bush Music Club. With a band pedigree that includes The Reedy River Bushmen, The BMC Concert Party, Pinchgut, The Heritage Ensemble, and FolkLines, he brings a wealth of experience to the task of lead musician. He is also providing the PA for the main hall and all its events.


Sarah Bull

Sarah's made her debut last year at the DanceFest and wowed us with her saxophone magic. This year she's supporting Colin Towns again with his workshops.



Beck Richmond

Beck Richmond is a brilliant young musician, playing both fiddle and concertina. She is a valued tutor and mentor for the Saplings. No doubt her big sister Cathy will challenge her to play in high heels in keeping with the theme of the workshop.  

Mariamma Mitchell

Mariamma is a classically-trained musician who loves to explore the wide world of music, including jazz, klezmer and, of course, bush music. She plays  with the BMC concert party and the Heritage Ensemble, and recently backed the Bush Orchestra at the National Folk Festival.



Ian Hayden

Ian is a keen Irish style box & banjo player living on the NSW Central Coast. Besides Irish dance music he currently plays a range of instruments in bush bands, a jazz group, a swing big band, and a baroque ensemble.  

Nina Kharakoz

Nina, who originates from St-Petersburg, Russia, is often found at folk festivals hiding behind a quite large piano accordion from which come the unmistakable sounds of Russian dance music.

This weekend she combines her passion for her country's music with her love of its dance and will have you on the way to Moscow or Siberia (depending on how well you dance). Get your scarves, skirts, and grab your hats to join in with some real Village dances from the shores of White sea, Siberia and Pskov region, collected by Nina’s friends and folk teachers.


Denise Hibbs

Denise played fiddle regularly with the wonderful Harry Gardner in Melbourne. She has been an ardent supporter of Bush Traditions events - the Bundanoon DanceFest, the Goulburn Gathering and whatever is going at the National Folk Festival in Canberra.


Madeleine Johnson

Trained from a very early age in classical piano and ballet, Madeleine works as a piano teacher and accompanist in Canberra. She came to the world of folk music through Scottish country dancing and can often be found flouncing around the dance floor. More recently she has joined various assorted dance bands and ensembles playing piano, piano accordion or hidden behind her beautiful golden Celtic harp.


Phil Horneman

Phil Horneman has enjoyed nearly forty years as a music teacher in schools teaching classes to all ages from Kinder to Year 12. In recent years he has concentrated on instrumental teaching - piano, cello, trumpet, trombone, base & percussion. Phil is an experienced accompanist and has directed bands and choirs in schools and community groups.


Tony Stuart

Tony is a fine fiddler who recently survived the move from Bathurst to Goulburn, where his expertise on a range of instruments makes him very much at home with the locals. He was a mainstay of Sydney-based band Currawong and has been a regular player in the BMC Heritage Ensemble.