Ballyshannon & Glencolmcille, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland

Announcing the best times and places to learn Irish traditional fiddle playing in the Donegal style:-

Glencolmcille, County Donegal

The Cairdeas na bhFidleiri Donegal Fiddlers Summer School - August 4th - August 8th, 1997. Details from Caoimhin Mac Aoidh, An Crann Darach, Tullyhorkey, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, Ireland. The activities of Cairdeas are sponsored primarily by The Arts Council, The Donegal Arts Committee and with other help from the Ballyshannon Town Commissioners.

Ballyshannon, County Donegal

The Magh Ena Residential Donegal Fiddle School, is located at An Crann Darach, Tullyhorkey, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, Ireland and has been founded with assistance from the European Union's Leader II Programme via the Donegal Local Development Company.

This is a weekly residential fiddle school which concentrates on teaching the various styles of Donegal fiddle playing with many of the great names of Donegal as well as providing private recitals with seminal players. Field trips to other players are also included. Located at the school is the largest private archive of audio recordings, photographs as well as printed collections which can be directly accessed by the students.

Classes are restricted to 12 pupils only and run from Monday to Saturday inclusive costing IR£120 ($200) per week. Accommodation costs are £90 ($150) for six nights Bed & Breakfast with meals extra. The first week begins June 2nd, 1997 and the last begins Sept. 2nd, 1997. Some specialised weekends out of peak season will also be available. Group discounts for five persons or more are also available. Brass and tin fiddles made to the famous Doherty family design are also made on-site and for sale. Brochures with full details can be obtained from Caoimhin Mac Aoidh.

Those interested in the summer schools may also be interested in The Frankie Kennedy Traditional Music Winter School.

Stop Press!.......New CD launch at the 1996 Glencolmcille School....... Stop Press!

The Fiddle Music of Donegal, Volume 1, CD Order# CNF001 $25.00 P&P included.

The rich body of fiddle music from Donegal has not circulated much outside that county. Eight of the finest fiddlers with strong Donegal roots present 24 tracks of traditional tunes specially recorded for this album. Artists include Paul O'Shaughnessy, Martin McGinley, Francie Mooney, Mick Brown, Danny McCarry, Michael McMenamin, Jimmy Campbell and Peter Tracey.

Donegal Fiddle Tutors

Newest publications from Cairdeas na bhFidleiri.

Volume 2 containing 64 Donegal tunes transcribed for the first time from the bow of the legendary masters. Price $8 inc P&P.

Just released - Volume 3 - containing 133 transcriptions. Price $12 inc P&P.

Donegal Fiddle Lessons Tapes

One hour audio tapes of active teaching including printed transcriptions of tunes. Tapes available at Beginner, Developing and Advanced levels. Beginner's tape includes Highlands, Mazurkas, Polkas and Jigs from the Donegal tradition. The basic structure of each tune is taught by Caoimhin Mac Aoidh and then followed by a demonstration of how to incorporate the techniques employed by the masters of the style. Tapes are $15 each (incl. postage & packing) and available from An Crann Darach, Tullyhorkey, Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Rep. of Ireland.

For further information contact:

See the Donegal On-line Fiddle Tutor, by Caoimhín Mac Aoidh.

For more information on Donegal fiddling visit this page.

Thanks to CEOLAS for a loan of the background.

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Caoimhin Mac Aoidh has been involved with traditional Donegal fiddle music for over twenty years. As a player, he is fortunate to have learned from and associated with many of the giants of the tradition such as John Doherty, Con Cassidy, Francie Dearg O'Beirn, Proinsias O Maonaigh, and Tommy Peoples amongst numerous others. This exposure has led him to an understanding and appreciation of the wide repertory of Donegal tunes along with their associated techniques and the local variations in playing styles in the county. He is also a member of the all fiddle band Conaillaigh.

Caoimhin is the founder of the renowned fiddle development organisation, Cairdeas na bhFidleiri, an organisation responsible for the now famous Annual Gathering of fiddlers in Glenties each autumn as well as the widely acclaimed Donegal Fiddlers' Summer School in Glencolmcille each August where he also teaches Donegal style fiddle. He is also the Director of the Magh Ena Residential Donegal Fiddle School.

A recognised authority on Donegal fiddle music, he has written several popular and scholarly articles on the subject as well as three volumes of The Donegal Fiddle Tutor.

His most recent publication, Between the Jigs and the Reels - The Donegal Fiddle Tradition is a comprehensive 320 page book on all facets of Donegal fiddle music. It was described by Nuala O'Connor in the Irish Times as a "monumental work" and is available from Drumlin Publications, Manorhamilton, County Leitrim.

In an eight-page forward to the book, fiddler Tommy Peoples pays tribute to Donegal's musicians, the author, and the music itself: "...The music expresses joy, terrible loss, hope, love and defiance. It has stayed with us when we had our own people crushed by oppression, our language killed by force and intimidation... Irish music was a joy to spoke to me of the people who bore all this hardship and came through singing."

Persons or organisations interested in lectures, concerts, workshops, lessons or sessions with Caoimhin Mac Aoidh can contact him at the addresses above. How to contact Caoimhin MacAoidh (KEY-VEEN MAC-EE)

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