About VicFolk

Vic Folk is led by students and alumni of Victoria University, but participation is open to anyone who’s interested. We’re grateful for the support of Te Kōkī, The New Zealand School of Music, who have recognised us as an associated club.

Here’s VicFolk playing for a ceilidh at Te Papa for International Dance Day, 29 April 2018.

Off the dancefloor, here’s a promo some of the group put together for the Tunefest in 2017, playing live at Alistair’s Music on Cuba St:


We welcome musicians at all levels, and offer a platform for organising events.

We have fortnightly practices during term time where you can learn the music, and a range of workshops during the year.

Although we do host concerts, our music making is usually more informal: sessions and ceilidhs are at the heart of it. In a session, musicians sit around a table and generally pick up the music by ear. There aren’t any set lists or arrangements, and the emphasis is on listening to those around you. A ceilidh (pronounced kaylee) is more of a party: the word means ‘get-together’ in Gaelic. As with sessions, the emphasis is not on performing but on sharing the experience of live music, and it’s the easiest and most fun dancing you’ll find anywhere. Come along and see for yourself!

Here’s the band on RadioActive’s Liveplay show, with some tunes and a bit of chat about Tunefest 2017:


And here’s an excerpt from one of our fortnightly practices, with a masterful demonstration of flute with guitar accompaniment from Rennie Pearson and Andrew James:


Club committee 2018-19

President: Jonathan Berkahn, James McNamara (stepped down August 2018)

Secretary: Kris Nielsen

Treasurer: Emily Griffiths

General committee members: Okkar Aung, Carmen Chan, Francesca Moore, Cynthia Wratt, Annemieke Hendriks

Trustees: Andrew James, Ruth James

Past Committees


Past events

In 2018:

— O-Week ceilidh at Tuatara Third Eye, 5 March

— St Michael’s Fair session, 17 March

— St Patrick’s Day Céilí at Aro Valley Community Centre, 17 March

— International Dance Day at Te Papa, April

— VUWSA Arts Week Ceilidh, 19 May

— Acoustic Routes Showcase, 26 July

— Ceilidh at Thistle Hall, 4 August

In 2017:

— St Patrick’s Day Ceilidh, Aro Valley Community Centre on 17 March

— Irish button accordion masterclass with Dáire Mulhern, June

— End of Trimester Ceilidh, Aro Valley Community Centre on 9 June

— Vic Folk Tunefest, a weekend festival from 29 September to 1 October in the central city

We were also invited to perform at several events, including:

— Aro Valley open day

— Wellington Folk Festival

Workshops in Trimester 1, 2018:

3 May: Irish fiddle for beginners 6-7pm with James McNamara, regular practice 7-8pm

10 May: How to call ceilidh dances, 6-8pm — callers, musicians and dancers welcomed for a ‘practice ceilidh’.

17 May: Tin Whistle for beginners with Jonathan Berkahn 6-7pm, regular practice 7-8pm

24 May: Backing Celtic tunes on guitar with Andrew James 6-7pm, regular practice 7-8pm