Skerries Traditional Music Weekend

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Following on previous year’s hugely successful event, a week-end of traditional music, & set-dancing workshops, concerts and recitals is again being organised for 16th-18th May 2008.

Many visitors were attracted to Skerries over the week-ends and again last year in 2007 and it is now a permanent annual fixture on the event calendar.

Traditional music and set-dancing is thriving in Skerries and the special weekend in May will give this another massive boost.

The May Week-end will see some of Ireland’s foremost traditional practitioners pass on their skills during the day and provide unique evening entertainment through ‘seisiúns’.

Unfortunately, we have had to bid farewell to
two stalwarts of our festival, Paul Phillips
(bodhrán) and Joe Ryan (fiddle), who passed away in September and in March. We fondly remember their contributions to Irish Traditional Music.
Ar dhéis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha.

The annual Skerries Traditional Music Weekend is now a recognised cultural event which has gone from strength to strength. In 2008, it will run for the 7th time and will be further developed with the introduction of Fingal tunes from the archives taught by tutors from the Fingal area.

The workshops have been extended to include the harp. Once again, many of Ireland’s leading exponents of traditional music and dance will both teach and perform in local Skerries venues. A high level of active participation is again anticipated – young and old, beginners and advanced - in a wide range of traditional activities.

The 2008 Skerries Traditional Music weekend will take place Fri May 16th to Sun May 18th. There will be an opening concert again on Friday night featuring local musicians, some of the tutors, Banba NicGearailt on uilleann pipes and internationally renowned group Téada. There will be sessions in 4 venues.

Saturday workshops are Harp, Fiddle, Whistle, Flute, Uilleann Pipes, Accordion, Bodhran, Concertina, Guitar and Dancing ; this years tutors are Mary Bergin, Máire O’Keeffe, Liz Doherty, Charlie Lennon, Ben Lennon, Jacinta McEvoy, Colm Gannon, Garry O’Briain, Tommy Martin, Néillidh Mulligan, Leo Rickard, Breda Keville, Cormac Cannon, Andrea Gallagher, Jacqui Martin, Tristan Rosenstock, Jesse Smith, Jim Grant, Siobhán Breathnach, Michael Rooney & June McCormack; the dancing tutors are Marie Garrity for two hand dances and Mick Mulkerrins & Mairéad Casey for sean nós and set dancing. Saturday evening sees a recital and a choice of sessions as well as novelty fancy-dress set dancing.

Sunday will be the customary mid-day recital in The Mills, followed by Focus on Fingal in the afternoon and the annual Set Dancing Céili on Sunday evening.

The Skerries Traditional Music Weekend is now a recognised cultural event which has gone from strength to strength. Some changes are made each year to further develop the content and appeal. 2009 sees our 8th annual festival and we will continue with some focus on Fingal tunes from the archives, as introduced last year. Workshops will include banjo / mandolin for the first time and singing is back again.

Once again, many of Ireland’s leading exponents of traditional music and dance will both teach and perform in local Skerries venues.
Some of the musicians in town: Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Paul O’Shaughnessy, Mick O’Brien, Emmett Gill, Seán McKeon, John O’Brien, Garry O’Briain, Mary Bergin, Seán Ryan, John Wynne, John Kelly Jnr., Jesse Smith, John & Jacinta McEvoy, Micheál O’Raghallaigh, Máire O’Keeffe, Colm Gannon, Marcus Maloney, Jane Morrin, Paudie O’Connor & Aoife Ní Chaoimh, Dermy & Tara Diamond and singer Niamh Parsons.

We are very grateful for continued sponsorship and support from Fingal County Council’s Community Cultural & Sports Department, The Arts Council and local businesses.