This Stage is devoted to young performers at the Festival. Neil Murray (1943-1988) was a Rhodes Scholar, poet, writer, historian, volunteer and bon vivant who passionately promoted Newfoundland's culture. He was Editor of the FFAW's Union Forum and a regular contributor to the Newfoundland Herald, host of the popular Jigg's Dinner radio show on OZ-FM and served on numerous arts boards, including the Newfoundland& Labrador Arts Council and the SJFAC. As a great encourager of and friend to musicians, Neil would be particularly pleased to have his name associated with this stage.
||Leslie Amminson and William Corbett
||Keith and Rosemary Lawton
||Sarah Harris, Mari and Peter Lannon
(in order of appearance)
Justin Murray (1:00 pm)
is a 17 year-old performer from Carbonear who started playing guitar at age 6 and picked up other instruments along the way, such as the bass guitar and the mandolin. He is the singer and guitarist for rock group Revolution
, and also steps in from time-to-time to perform with the traditional group Pros & Cons
. He has been part of the Conception Bay North music scene for nearly five years and his influences range from Woody Guthrie to the Fables to Bob Dylan. This is Justin’s first time performing at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival.
Jenna Maloney (1:30 pm)
9 year-old Jenna
has been performing since she was 18 months old and enjoys various genres of music, including Newfoundland, Irish, pop, rock, opera and musical theatre. Jenna played Cosette in Our Divas Do Christmas on Broadway
in 2009, performed on the Neil Murray Stage in 2010 and 2011 and has participated in the Young Folk at the Hall
workshops and concerts, as well as Shamrock City’s Open Mic for Young Musicians
and the Kiwanis Music Festival. Jenna has appeared on Rogers Television’s Out of the Fog
, CBC Radio’s On the Go
and Irish Country Music Radio.com. She is currently taking piano, voice, violin, and guitar lessons, and enjoys playing the mandolin and accordion.
Peter Green (2:00 pm)
Peter Green is an 18 year-old musician from Victoria, NL and has been singing and playing guitar since he was 7. Peter has performed in bands and as a solo performer at numerous events, including Young Folk at the Hall and several folk festivals, and in addition to singing, also plays bass, drums, mandolin and banjo. He enjoys playing all genres of music and is currently in two bands: the rock band Revolution and Newfoundland/traditional band Pros & Cons. Peter has just completed his first year of Recording Arts studies in Stephenville and is gearing up to return for his final year of the program.
Brianna Gosse (2:30 pm)
St. John’s native Brianna Gosse is a 17 year-old senior at Holy Heart High School. She is an avid singer/songwriter and is heavily involved in various genres of music, including folk, jazz, pop, musical theatre and classical. Songwriting is her passion and this year she won a provincial Arts & Letters award for one of her compositions. Brianna has traveled in and around Newfoundland performing her music, and two years ago traveled to New York with the internationally acclaimed Holy Heart Chamber Choir to perform at Carnegie Hall. Later this year she will travel to Ottawa with the award-winning Holy Heart Jazz Band as a featured singer for Canada’s National Music Fest.
Rosemary and Keith Lawton (3:00 pm)
Rosemary and Keith Lawton
have performed at the Folk Festival for the past 4 years as a duo, and with various groups since 2006. Keith has played guitar for 8 years and also plays a variety of instruments, such as mandolin and trumpet. Keith has taken guitar lessons with Jean Hewson and is currently studying with Brad Jefford. Rosemary has played violin for 10 years and also plays guitar, bodhran, tin whistle and mandolin. She is currently studying voice with Ronalda Hutton and violin with Nancy Dahn. Both Rosemary and Keith have made numerous appearances with the STEP Fiddlers and have performed at the Vinland Music Camp
and Young Folk at the Hall
Kat McLevey (4:00 pm)
is a 16 year-old student at St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s and has been writing songs for about two years. Kat’s love of music started when she became part of the music program in Kindergarten at her school, and around grade four, singing and playing instruments became second nature for her. When Kat was 10 she began piano lessons and started playing trumpet in the school band. Since then, Kat has taken violin lessons and taught herself guitar, mandolin and ukulele. She also plays French horn and electric bass in school bands. Kat currently plays with local indie band City on the Coast
where she indulges her passion for songwriting.
The STEP Fiddlers (4:30 pm)
The STEP Fiddlers were founded in 1982 by Christina Smith to give young Newfoundlanders an opportunity to learn their province’s traditional music. The group currently has eighteen talented members, ranging in age from 9 to 17, drawn from the students of the Suzuki Talent Education Program (STEP) in St. John’s. The STEP Fiddlers have been featured performers at many concerts and events in the St. John’s area, for local and international audiences and have released two CD's: Galing for a Storm
and Fiddling in the Fog
. They attended the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in Derry, Northern Ireland this past June.
Fíona Shea (1:00 pm)
is a 16 year-old performer from New Hampshire who has played fiddle and sung since she was 8, and who recently began playing the bodhran. Fíona often performs with the five-piece folk band, The Cabbageheads
. Fíona performed at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival in 2011, and twice attended the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts music camp. Fíona’s music is deeply rooted in a Celtic style, with a mix of music from her native New England. She has played from Boston to Guatemala, and whether playing sea shanties or lumber camp songs, her music has a personality all its own. The passion and joy in Fíona’s playing comes straight from the heart, intertwining with and flowing through her music.
Tamsyn Russell (1:30 pm)
11 year-old Tamsyn Russell
plays accordion, guitar, piano and sings. She is a member of the group Russells in the Corner
with her sister Naomi, mom Tonya and dad Kelly. Her past performances include 4 seasons of A Time in Pigeon Inlet
in Bay Roberts, 5 years on the Neil Murray Stage, 5 years as a participant in Young Folk at the Hall
and variety of other events, including Summerfolk
in Owen Sound and Accordion Idol
on Bell Island.
Naomi Russell (2:00 pm)
14 year-old Naomi Russell
is a singer-songwriter and fiddler. She has recorded two CDs of original songs for The Scope’s RPM Challenge
(2010 & 2011) and plans to record another in 2012. Naomi is a member of the family group Russells in the Corner
with her sister Tamsyn, dad Kelly and mom Tonya. They have been performing at various festivals and events for the past five years.
Leslie Amminson and William Corbett (2:30 pm)
Leslie and William
are young veterans of the local folk scene, playing traditional music for several years at concerts, festivals and sessions. While Leslie’s main instrument is fiddle and William’s is guitar, they each play a variety of instruments and sing in choirs. Both Leslie and William participate in the Young Folk at the Hall workshop and concert series and have been featured at special young performer showcase events at the LSPU Hall and other venues. They have each performed many times on the Neil Murray stage and this marks their debut as a duo.
Matilda Goldie (3:00 pm)
is a 7 year-old performer who attends Bishop Feild School in St. John’s. She has been playing the violin since she was 4 and the fiddle since she was 6. Matilda takes fiddle lessons from Emilia Bartellas. A lot of people in her family have played the violin, including her 4 year-old brother, who is just starting out. Matilda busks from time to time downtown, and her favourite tune is The Dionne Reel,
but she also loves anything by Emile Benoit, including Emile’s Dream
because it is very funny. Matilda likes to play the fiddle for her nanny, whose favourite tune is The Mason’s Apron
Sarah Harris and Peter and Mari Lannon (3:30 pm)
Coming from diverse musical backgrounds and growing up in different cities, Peter Lannon, Sarah Harris and Mari Lannon have been influenced by music throughout their lives. The group has used this influence to bring a new sound to the stage since the winter of 2011, one which will inspire listeners of any age. Mari plays ukulele, piano and auxiliary percussion, showing great versatility through her lyrics and vocals. Sarah has been involved in the St. John’s music scene for most of her life. She is a classically trained violinist who plays and writes for a variety of instruments. Peter brings experienced guitar playing and lyrical genius to the stage with his inspired original songs. All three are members of local indie/alternative group City on the Coast, formed in September of 2011.
Unrefined Youth (4:00 pm)
(guitar, bass, fiddle and mandolin), Brianna Fagan
(guitar, bass, mandolin and percussion), Greg Healey
(guitar and percussion), Julian Farewell
(bass, voice and guitar) and Josh Kielley
(guitar) attend Gonzaga High School in St. John’s. They have been playing folk rock tunes together at coffee houses and jams since last year. Unrefined Youth features alumni of the Celtic Fiddlers
and New Heights
. This is their first year performing at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival.