Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

I’m thinking of doing the Midwest Fleadh next year. I’m 27 years old, so I’d be in the Over 18 age group.

However, I found a list of last year’s competitors and was very surprised to see that there were LOTS of kids competing in the 15-18 age group, and only 5-6 people competing in the Over 18 age group. I also did a little poking around the discussion forum here, and read a comment from someone which said that the Over-18 age group was LESS competitive compared to the 15-18 age group.

Is this true? It just doesn’t seem to make sense. Wouldn’t the Over-18 age group be the MOST competitive because it leads directly to the All Ireland competitions (as in, you need to get 1st place in the Over-18 age group in order to go compete in the All Irelands)?

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

The 15-18 group generally has the highest standard of performance and competition in a fleadh. In younger age groups musicians have 3 years to win. Those musicians aren’t in such a rush once they turn 18 as they now have the rest of their lives to win it. This also causes musicians under 18 to practice their fleadh tunes intensely, making them better at performing those tunes perfectly. Because that intense competition is no longer there a musician over 18, while being a better player overall, isn’t as inclined to spend as much time practicing the same few tunes to a crazy level of detail.

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

A very succinct answer.

Posted .

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

1st and 2nd place also qualify automatically to the All-Ireland from the Provincial Fleadh unless you have a particularly tough adjudicator. 🙂

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

Michael

This year an adjudicator can also qualify a third place if he or she thinks they meet the standard. I believe that the rules have been tightened for next year, in that only 1st and 2nd go through.

Marie

Enjoy the competition next year.

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

Marie, you’re correct, as of 2017 we go back to the old rule that only 1st and 2nd place qualify. The adjudicator does have the option not to award a 1st or 2nd if the performers seem not ready for the level of the All-Ireland. Dan

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

This thread is interesting, and got me looking up what this Fleadh business is all about.

I’ve been playing Irish flute, pipes, and whistle for nearly 40 years now and I’ve never encountered a Fleadh.

Then I found out why: I’m in Southern California, and as far as I can tell we have nothing like that here. Our 18.5 million people (many times the size of Ireland’s) don’t seem to be represented, unless I’ve missed something.

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

A local young man, Joey Abarta, did place second in the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann on uilleann pipes a year or so ago. I wonder what region in the USA he competed in? I’ll have to ask him.

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

In North America, I believe there are only 2 regions: The Atlantic and The Midwest. The Atlantic covers New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore etc. The Midwest is everything else: Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati — plus California, Alaska and Saskatchewan!

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

Marie

Sorry, yes I knew that and I hope you enjoy it too if you’re competing. 🙂

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

Davy, sorry misunderstood whether that was your name or not. Is it?

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

Hi Michael

Yes that is my name.

Richard

Joe Abarta was at Tullamore, we were both in the Senior Bodhran competition.

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

Interesting, Cancrán, I see now that there are indeed 7 CCE regions in North America. But to my knowledge there are only 2 fleadh cheoil that lead to the All-Irelands: the Mid Atlantic, and the Midwest fleadheanna. Wikipedia seems to bear this out.

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

In North America, there are seven CCÉ regions but two CCÉ provinces-For the provincial fleadhanna.

Re: Fleadh Over-18 age group — how competitive is it?

The year Joey finished second in the All-Irelands, he qualified by winning at the Midwest, which was hosted in Detroit that year. I know because I ‘competed’ against him (to use the term lightly) that day. 🙂

There were a few other folks from California that made the trip up to Detroit for the fleadh that year as well.

As to the OP’s question - I think in general, competition at the fleadh is a much bigger deal in the youth age groups than for the adults. One reason is that most of the highly skilled adult players grew up playing the music from a young age. If they were even inclined to compete to begin with, they likely had their share of it and proved whatever they wanted to prove by the time they turned 18, and are no longer inclined to compete.

And just to clarify a possible misunderstanding—I believe ALL age groups can qualify to compete in the All-Irelands, not just the 18+.