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Pete St John - Irish Songwriter (Fields of Athenry) ' Thanks for sending me the Maria Forde recording That is a really good track. Nice voice as well. Please give her my best regards'.

Anna Rose's Media Column 23 Feb 2007 Tamworth Country Music Festival

Another of my festival highlights was a triple treat and it happened at Tamworth Services Club on Wednesday, January 24. When Maria Forde (as support) stepped on stage after being introduced by Eric, and started singing and talking to the audience, I was absolutely enchanted. She was the perfect entrée to the main course. Her Irish wit and wisdom was a sheer delight – and I just loved the story she told about her grandmother, who when giving Maria her engagement ring, said: “To be sure, me darlin’ … it’s not as if you’ll be getting one of your own now!”. That led into the title track, Rough Diamond, from one of Maria’s collection of albums. Another highly recommended disc.




"Tamworth festival 2007at the end of January, two concerts at a new venue for us, the Tamworth Services Club. … the concerts were very well received, probably no doubt in part because we had a class opening act, one Ms Maria Forde, well known to you Aussie readers. A very accomplished singer and songwriter."           Eric Bogle



Tullamore Irish Festival 2007

Those who attended the concerts by Maria Forde in the Presbyterian Church, said it was the highlight of the Festival, all three concerts we well attended with people turned away from some performances, as the church was filled to capacity. This beautiful church with outstanding acoustics, just simply enhances Maria’s talents.

The Ecumenical Service on Sunday last year attracted 80 people, this year numbers swelled to 240. This again was a very moving experience, with local people participating along with Maria Forde, Jim Brown and the Dancers.

Coordinator, Robert Edwards



Maria inducted as Legend of the Lake on July 22nd 2006

The Lake School of Celtic Music, Song
Dance at KoroitMaria singing2.jpghas previously inducted "Legends" Billy Moran, Fay and Morgan McAlinden and Dennis O'Keeffe in recognition and celebration of their work.

In his introduction, Felix stated that, in being inducted as a Legend of the Lake, "Maria is joining fairly elite company … she has been tutoring at the Lake School for five years and has been an absolute delight to have here - her students walk around on air after their classes."

Lillian Sile Ruth & Cathy.2JPG.JPGThe audience was entertained by Lillian, Sile, Ruth and Cathy before the speeches.

In an emotion filled voice, Marion O'Hagan paid tribute to Maria:

"I have known Maria for over 20 years and what a delight it has been to witness her develop into not only an outstanding
entertainer/Marion speech.JPGsongwriter/teacher but also a remarkable person with compassion, selflessness, kindness and respect for everyone she meets."

"At 15 Maria was singing at weddings, church and community functions. She acknowledges and is extremely appreciative of the support, encouragement and hands on training she received from Fr Kevin Dillon."

"By the late 80's Maria was singing at the Dan O'Connell or as we all know it the "Dan" along with Paddy Enright. Sean McLernonand
listening to Marion.jpg
Moran. The Normandy was also a thriving pub at the time and Maria had a residency there on Wednesday nights. Her career was taking off in leaps and bounds."

Maria experienced her first national  tour with Dingle Spike a traditional group from London with a Kerry background. I thought I would burst with pride when Maria was announced and walked on to the stage at Dallas Brooks…she sang as I had never heard her before. Her rendition of Amazing Grace was indeed amazing and one could have heard a pin drop. I sat there that night and knew that without a shadow of a doubt we would be going to hear a lot more of this remarkable 22 year old."

"In 1990 Maria left Australian shores and ventured on a tour of Ireland starting off in Dublin and later moving on to Connemara, and it was there that she realised she had the gift of song writing. Maria had been invited to a friends wedding and was sad that she would be unable to attend she decided to write a song as a wedding

audience listening.JPGImagine receiving "Will you dance with me" as a wedding gift. The song was first recorded in the kitchen of Kylemore Abbey. Not only has the song been very good for Maria, it has indeed been good for other singers who have recorded it. Not only in Australia but internationally it has become one of the most popular wedding songs. Many have recorded it but no-one sings it like Maria."

"I know Maria loves performing at festivals and holding workshops, she thrives on the knowledge that music makes a difference to people's lives. It is said that we are all given gifts and how we use them is our gift back to God. I am sure God is delighted with the way in which Maria is using her many gifts."

"As I said at the beginning she is selfless, compassionate, kind and respectful I add to that generous, considerate and inspirational. I love her sense of humour and her ability to mimic. It all adds up to the fact the she is a pleasure to be around."

"That Maria Forde is inducted as Legend of the Lake is recognition of her contribution to the Lake School and a tribute to her passion, dedication and commitment to the Art of Music and song. Like those before her, a worthy Legend of the Lake."

Maria Bruce Wendy & Marion.jpgMaria and Marion with hosts, Bruce and Wendy from Micky Bourke's Koroit Hotel, hold the picture of The 2006 Legend.




A highlight of the night was listening to Maria sing - by herself,

Maria & Dennis.jpgand with previous Legend, Dennis O'Keeffe




After the formal proceedings, the session went 'til late.

session afterwards.jpg

session afterwards2.jpg







On Thursday 10th August, Maria and Felix accepted a cheque on behalf of the Lake School from Ambassador Declan Kelly.


Accepting Lake school cheque.jpg




Bendigo Folk Club - May 2006 Concert

"Our main act on the night was Maria Forde. She performed to one of our largest Friday night audiences in the history of the Bendigo Folk Club. Maria's Performance was well received by all."

"Her concert at the Folk Club exemplified her performance abilities and her excellent vocal capabilities. Her repertoire contained her own remarkable songs equating closely folk/country genre. From her first song Maria rapidly built an excellent rapport with her audience. At the end two encores were demanded by the audience, a very rare event, even at the Bendigo Folk Club."

"A great night was had by all. Of those who had not seen Maria before, I think all would be new Maria Forde fans."

Simon Dillon, Bendigo Folk Club Committee




Monday, 8 May 2006 8:34 AM
Thank you for letting us know about Friday night we had a great time and felt as though we were welcomed into a family group. You were magnificent and we all felt blessed to be able to benefit from your gifts. Looking forward to going to the next night. Thank you from all of us.
Regards, Robert




Thursday, 27 April 2006 7:14 AM
I just listened, several times, to "Will You Dance With Me" and love it. No one I know is getting married, but I just came across your website and wanted to hear your song. It must make for many happy tears at weddings.

Springfield, IL. USA




Tim Cox ABC radio, Tasmania said about Maria Forde's album "Next":

"Fans of well-crafted, beautifully-sung songs will adore Maria Forde's 'Next'. It's a little bit country, a little bit Celtic and, hell, a little bit rock and roll but it's an entirely gorgeous trip through the Australian landscape, with travelling companions like (Tasmania's own) Phil Manning providing able assistance."