Gerry McCann festival on the way

Conan Whiteley and Sean Muldroon at a previous festival  DP16

Conan Whiteley and Sean Muldroon at a previous festival

THE HIGHLIGHT of the 12th annual Gerry Mc Cann traditional Irish music weekend which takes place in Irvinestown on Friday 21, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 March will be the Michael Coleman fiddle workshop from 2pm-4pm in Mahon’s Hotel on the Sunday.

It will be hosted by Dr Daithi Kearney and fiddle players and interested listerners are invited along to play on and listen to this historic instrument.

Performances will be accompanied on piano by Philip Clarke. Michael Coleman who was born in Sligo and emigrated to America in 1914 is hailed as one of the greatest exponents of the distinctive Sligo style of fiddle playing.

He was one of the first musicians to record Irish traditional music and his records of the 1920s and 30s  have had immense influence on Irish traditional musicians to the present day. The fiddle was bought from a shop on 42nd street 3rd Avenue New York around 1933.

He used this fiddle to record the famous Tarbolton, Longford Collector, Sailor’s Bonnet reel set. He gave it to one of his pupils Hughie Gillespie who brought it home to Donegal.

It is now in the possession of Dr Daithi Kearney Director of BA Hons Applied Music Programme in the Dundalk Institute of Technology in Dundalk.

The workshops held in the Bawnacre on Saturday 22 from 10am to 4 pm which are open to everyone are an opportunity for musicians to meet with, listen to and learn from the masters.

Tutors are: Fiddle: Aine Nugent, Brenda Mc Cann, Banjo: Daithi Kearney, Whistle/ Flute: Paul Mc Glinchey, Button Accordion: Annette Owens, Singing: Brendan Nugent, Bodhran: Sean O Neill, Concertina: Niamh Gaeoghan.

Other events include a junior session with local story teller Paddy Montague from 7pm-9pm on Friday 21 in Molly’s Bar.

All young musicians welcome. Irvinestown CCE music class will provide the music for the Saturday evening Mass at 7pm for deceased members of Comhaltas.

The senior session in Mahon’s Hotel 9.30 pm Saturday 22  should not be missed with talented musicians; Darren Breslin, Annette Owens, Brenda Mc Cann, Daithi Kearney and Philip Clarke. All musicians welcome.


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