Dúchas an Cheoil—The Scope Of Irish Music—at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy
I’ve just arrived back from this year’s Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy. It was lovely to meet up with some of you and play some tunes—always nice to put faces to names!
I really enjoyed myself this year. I hadn’t been in fifteen(!) years, so it was lovely to get back.
Reading through the discussions here, the general consensus is that town gets pretty crazy in the evening, and all the sessions are packed and fast. That’s true, but there was enough to enjoy in the daytime that I didn’t mind that too much. I came across some lovely sessions:
An E-flat fiddle session out the back of Friel’s with Claire Egan was really nice (the tunes were played at a really nice pace).
A sunny afternoon session in the back of Clery’s (the Blondes):
And there were some gems in the evening too, like when the Mooneys took over Hillery’s:
But mostly I spent my evenings at the recitals, which were uniformly excellent: fiddle the first night, flute and whistle the next, piping the night after that, and dancing the next night.
I have to say that some of my favourite sessions were the ones full of kids. Like this young flute player in the Players Club who was in her element:
Or this amazing piper who gave the most wonderful rendition of The Gold Ring while we were having dinner in The Yard:
And this group of youngsters in the Bellbridge were just amazing:
There weren’t any mandolin classes, and while I could’ve probably gone to the banjo classes, I decided to check out the week long series called Dúchas an Cheoil—the Scope of Irish Music, led by Paddy Glackin and Cathal Goan. I was very glad I did—it was excellent!
Over the course of the week, we covered the history of Irish singing, playing, and dancing. There was a real emphasis on listening, and there were some fantastic archival recordings played for us. Best of all, there were guests who joined us almost every day. So we had Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill singing, and the likes of Noel Hill, Cormac de Barra and Pádraic Mac Mathúna playing and chatting. It was really quite something!
They run this every year at Willie Clancy week and I highly recommend checking it out (especially if there aren’t any classes for your particular instrument). It’s thought-provoking and illuminating.
Has anyone else attended Dúchas an Cheoil? I’d love to hear what you thought of it.
And if you were at Willie Clancy week this year, I’d love to hear how you got on.