Biography

With their spine tingling harmonies, charming storytelling and playful humour, Co-cheòl have that rare ability to evoke the gamut of emotions from laughter to tears. They take you on a journey to the lands of the Celts and beyond, traversing both a cappella and accompanied songs with captivating body percussion and sublime musicianship.

Forming in October 2013, Co-cheòl have become a strong presence on the Folk and A Cappella scenes, touring Australia wide and winning the hearts of audiences wherever they go. In 2014, they were honoured to be crowned State Champions at the Australian A cappella State Championships, later placing 2nd in the National Championships. At the 2015 National Folk Festival, they were awarded the Peter Daly Memorial Award for Best Up-Coming Celtic Act. Co-cheòl released their self titled EP in September 2014. Their debut album Stay a While was released in mid 2016 critical acclaim.

Co-cheòl are Claire Patti, Ginger Hansen, Merrily Hansen and Stephanie Firth.

 

Claire Patti

A singer and multi-instrumentalist, Claire Patti is a performer, conductor, educator, composer, and producer. With her hauntingly beautiful voice and unique style of harp accompaniment, Claire sings and plays the harp and French horn with various ensembles including Scottish folk music ensemble Taliska, classical ensemble Polyphonic Voicesand of course, Co-cheòl. She has featured as a solo performer and with Taliska and Co-cheòl at folk festivals throughout Australia, and was awarded the “Female Vocalist of the Year” at the 2014 Australian Celtic Music Awards. Claire was a long time member of internationally acclaimed ensemble The Australian Voices. She has also performed with artists such as the Rolling Stones and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Claire featured as a solo artist at the 2012 Australian Harp Festival and the 2014 World Harp Congress in Sydney.

 

Ginger Hansen

Ginger is a passionate musician who has developed a deep love of making and experiencing music with others due to always having someone to sing with in the form of her sister – Merrily. This began in Berwick Youth Choir and continued in Melbourne’s Exaudi Youth Choir, Gondwana Chorale and, most recently, Co-cheòl. Her appreciation of and performance in a variety of genres including jazz, wind band and orchestral works, folk, chamber and classical music has given her a desire to cross boundaries. Co-cheòl fulfills this in various ways – the opportunity to include her accordion in an ensemble, play with a rather eclectic group of instruments and the perfect place to stretch her vocal limits. She sees Co-cheòl as an opportunity to get back in touch with all the precious things in life, both joyful and sad, and hopes the music can act as that for the audience as well.

 

Merrily Hansen

Merrily is a musician who loves to communicate with others through her music. After falling in love with the sound of a Shakuhachi being played at age 11, she began learning the flute and has recently completed her Bachelor of Music Performance, majoring in flute. Singing is, however, her favorite mode of expression. Merrily has sung with her twin sister Ginger from a young age and has continued to sing with choirs such as Berwick Youth Choir, Exaudi Youth Choir, Gondwana Chorale and most recently Melbourne Singers of Gospel and Co-cheòl. She has been able to travel Europe and New Zealand with Gondwana, and has participated in festivals around Australia with all of her groups. These experiences have enabled her to share her love of many diverse types of music and singing with audiences and like-minded musos and she would love to continue to show more people the joy to be found in music.

 

Stephanie Firth

Stephanie, Co-cheol’s Lady-Bass, began singing before she can remember. To this day her family still discovers tape recordings of her four-year-old diva self with her brothers forced to sing backup around her parent’s house in Wee Waa, NSW. She went on to find altos are not usually lead singers through various school choirs and musical theatre productions. Reality check in tow, she moved to Melbourne for University and joined Trinity College choir, where she finally began to appreciate the true joy of being an alto, and the pleasure of giving texture and depth through harmonisation in the exquisite works sung with this choir. She went on to sing with other choirs including Polyphonic Voices, where she continues to sing.

Stephanie is extremely excited to sing with Co-cheol, and has thoroughly enjoyed all the lovely people, diverse music, beautiful harmonization, and confusing body percussion she has met so far with them.  She is loving the chance to unfurl her lower range singing bass, and to wear bright primary colours on stage.

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