Young Irish Musician’s Weekend

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Young Irish Musician’s Weekend, St Paul - June 2007

Hi -

We are getting seriously into our planning for the first ever Young Irish Musician’s Weekend to be held in St Paul, Minnesota June 22-24, 2007.

The design of this event is to create a student-centered course for young musicians (under 21) and their families with master-led instrument workshops, panel discussions, student-led interviews, master and student performances, ceili and sessions. A parallel program for families is also available including discussions on Irish history, language, literature, a song class for the very youngest members, and info on studying in Ireland and traveling to Ireland as a family. We hope to attract students from across the Midwest region including Chicago, St Louis, Milwaukee and Cincinnati … and perhaps beyond?

Our guest master-musicians include James Kelly, Paddy O’Brien, Daithi Sproule, Fintan Vallely, and the Doon Ceili Band.

This will be a very family oriented weekend focusing on the next generation of musicians. Class participation will be limited to students under the age of 21. Public all-ages events will be held on the Friday and Saturday. We are doing the best we can to make this an affordable weekend too, including the lodging we’ve arranged at local college dorms for $25 a night.

We have lots of ideas planned, but people on this board often have many good ideas themselves - so my question to you all:

Beyond classes in the instrument you are working on, what kinds of things would you find interesting as part of a student-oriented weekend? We were thinking about an instrument swap where students could try other instruments. Discussion of styles, discussion of history of the music …. Of course there will be sessions …. any crazy ideas from some of you younger musicians on this board?

Thanks! Kate Dowling

Re: Young Irish Musician’s Weekend, St Paul - June 2007

Awww man, that sounds really cool! (A little far from me, but an awesome idea!) Ceilis are always good, even and especially for non dancers, it’s fun to laugh at ourselves…discussions of course and classes…and sessions…you’ve covered the basics haha…food always breaks ice…if I come up with any actual ideas I’ll post them…good luck, what you do have sounds great!

Re: Young Irish Musician’s Weekend, St Paul - June 2007

Sounds pretty interesting, though it’s a bit far, and it might conflict with a local festival…still, I’ll try to help.

An instrument swap type thing should be very carefully run, but can be quite fun. In my orchestra, we’ve switched around a little—though that was easier, because they’re all still strings.

Perhaps a small subset of the sessions/ceili could be a short bit on how to play in a group—listening to others, leading, etc.

Re: Young Irish Musician’s Weekend, St Paul - June 2007

Awwww…and I thought I was still young!


The 1st Annual Young Irish Musician’s Weekend , will be held in Minneapolis and Saint Paul June 22-24, 2007. The weekend is ideal for students under 21 at intermediate and advanced levels of playing. Space is limited to the first 100 applicants.

Students will meet other people their age from around the globe who are just as passionate about their art and culture as they are. Participants will engage with our internationally recognized master musicians, including James Kelly, Tommy Martin, Paddy O’Brien, Daithi Sproule, Fintan Vallely and the Doon Ceili Band, exploring not only music but Irish heritage as well. The weekend features classes, student performances and (of course!) loads of sessions. This exciting event is sure to inspire our next generation of musicians in a fun, safe, non-competitive environment.

Aside from our featured musicians (listed above) we have additional regionally and internationally recognized artists on staff including Laura MacKenzie, Cormac O’Shea, Sean Egan, Brian Miller, Jode Dowling, Charlie Heymann, Todd Menton, Fintan Moore, Patrick O’Donnell and more.

We are also presenting three evening public events including a ceili, a concert and a student & master recital, so that those who’d like to hear and see these maters musician’s have an opportunity to do so.

We’ve tried hard to ensure that this fun weekend is also affordable for families. An early-registration discount applies - the basic fee is $185 before April 1, 2007 and $225 thereafter. The College of St Catherine in St. Paul has partnered with us to use their dorm rooms which are very affordable – between $35 and $40 per night per room. Parents are also encouraged to attend classes including introduction to Irish language, history, literature, tin whistle and Irish dance. These parallel programs cost only $25 per person.

Registration, schedules, accommodation, transportation, press and artist information is available on our website

Check it out! Thanks! - Kate Dowling

Register before April 1 for discount!

The Center for Irish Music ( ) has an exciting event coming up in June: The Young Irish Musicians Weekend, June 22-24, 2007 in St. Paul, MN.

The focus is instrument workshops / lessons with master artists for students under the age of 21. The intermediate level is great for students who already know how to play an instrument (2 or 3+ years), but perhaps have not yet tried much Irish music. More advanced classes are available for those who already play Irish music. We will have a beginner level class available for people who’ve been at their instrument for only one or two years and would like to try out some Irish music.

Aside from those workshops, we are also offering a lot of programming for students’ parents and the general public including 6 different classes, concerts, sessions, a ceili and much more. (I’ve started calling it a crash course in Irish culture as we have a literature overview class, a history overview, a language class, a ceili dance class, a tin whistle class and a "traveling to Ireland as a family" info seminar) There is a ceili on Friday, June 22, a concert on Saturday, June 23 and culminates in a master-student recital on Sunday, June 24. Most events are happening at McNally-Smith College and the St. Paul Conservatory of Music - in downtown St Paul.

We’re bringing in James Kelly, Fintan Vallely and Tommy Martin to join our local super stars Paddy O’Brien and Daithi Sproule for a unique, family-friendly, non-competitive event. Many members of the local Irish music community are involved in the weekend as well. Lots of info is available on our website at

For students under 21, we have an early registration deadline of April 1 for the rate of $185 for the weekend - after which the cost increases. (Student registration includes: workshops with master artists on Saturday and Sunday, Ceili on Friday, Concert on Saturday, Recital on Sunday, Friday night pizza party, morning and afternoon snacks on Saturday and Sunday.) People can register until we are full, but the sooner the better. And they get a discount if they register before April 1. The public programming has no registration limit at this time (and no discount - it’s only $25 a class) but we are only able to accomodate up to 100 young students this first year.

This is a great opportunity for many people as it doesn’t require an extended commitment, only a weekend - they can just come and give it a try - find out a lot about Irish culture. It works for kids and families and interested adults. All are welcome.

For registration or more information visit our website at or get in touch with directly with me at the numbers below.

With thanks,

Kate Dowling
Executive Director, The Center for Irish Music
PO Box 7034 St. Paul, MN 55107

Weekend just for young musicians USA

Hi -

I know I have info on the Young Irish Musicians Weekend in the events section, but I just wanted to make everyone aware that the early registration deadline for this event is APRIL 1 after which time the cost goes up. It’s going to be a really great, unique weekend.

I won’t post all the info here - check the EVENTS section of this site

or our own website at

Thanks, Kate

Due to strong demand, The Young Irish Musicians Weekend is now open for ALL AGES!

Come play and learn June 22-24 with
James Kelly (fiddle)
Tommy Martin (uilleann pipes / whistle)
Paddy O’Brien (accordion / repertoire)
Daithi Sproule (guitar / song)
Fintan Vallely (flute / whistle / song)

Inquiries: or 651-493-2022