1st Belfast Traditional Music Summer School will take place 31st July - 4th August 2017

The 1st Belfast Traditional Music Summer School will take place 31st July - 4th August 2017 and will feature classes, workshops, concerts, sessions, recitals with some of Ireland's finest traditional musicians such as John McSherry, Laoise Kelly, Cillian King, Siobhan Peoples, David Angus, Harry Bradley, John Joe Kelly and many many more.

Annually, hundreds of traditional musicians from NI, travel to the Republic of Ireland to attend traditional music summer schools and workshop weekends such as 'The Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare', 'The South Sligo Summer School in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo' etc... Demand is high and these summer schools attract thousands of participants and audiences from across the country and internationally. At present, no similar summer schools exist in NI and the proposed project aims to address the gap in traditional music provision.

The Pipe Band Musicians in Northern Ireland, which is representative of the Ulster-Scots Community, annually travel to Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, and further afield to compete in competitions and attend music festivals. However, Pipe Band musicians have never been involved directly in Traditional Irish Music Summer Schools and to this end the involvement of Highland Bagpipers and Snare Drummers will be a ground breaking initiative.


In September 2014 – Ray Morgan, Chairperson of the Glengormley School of Traditional Irish Music, had the vision of establishing an annual five-day event in the form of a Traditional Music Summer School, in Belfast. Ray approached traditional musician Dónal O'Connor and after they had developed an initial concept they contacted a number of music organisations within Belfast and discussed the feasibility of implementing their ideas. Following a number of exploratory meetings, the organisations came together and formally constituted the Belfast Summer School of Traditional Music, in June 2015.

Representative of the indigenous cultural traditions, masterclass tuition will cover a broad range of traditional musical instruments– Harp, Uilleann Pipes, Bagpipes, Fiddle, Tin Whistle, Flute, Fife, Drums, Tenor Banjo, Button Accordion, Bodhrán, Guitar and Concertina.

All levels of tuition will be offered from beginners to advanced grades.

Duration: 3 hours (10.00am – 1.00pm)

Location: University of Ulster, York St. Campus

2. Lectures
Afternoon Lectures will enable participants to expand their knowledge and understanding of traditional music at both cultural and intellectual levels. Lectures will be delivered by traditional music scholars, authors and researchers.

Duration: Variable – 1 – 2 hours (2.00pm - 4.00pm)

Location: University of Ulster, York St. Campus / City Centre Venues / Cultural Arts Centres

3. Talks & Workshops
Talks and Workshops on the regional styles and seminal events in traditional music will be given by the most respected exponents of traditional music during the week. These will inspire and motivate participate to raise their ambitions.

Duration: Variable – 1 – 2 hours (2.00pm - 4.00pm)

Location: University of Ulster, York St. Campus / City Centre Venues / Cultural Arts Centres

4. Performances, Demonstrations, Recitals, Sessions and Showcase Concert
Open to participants and the public, Daytime and Evening Performances and Sessions will be presented in various venues within the City.
Evening Recitals will showcase the spectrum of traditional instruments available throughout the week and will demonstrate the high level of musicianship that can be achieved.

Duration: Variable – 2 – 3 hours (between 2.00pm & 11.00pm)

Location: University of Ulster, York St. Campus / Skainos Centre / Culturlann MacAdam O'Fiach / Duncairn Cultural Arts Centre, An Droichead

5. Inclusion of Dance
The Trustees of the Summer School are very interested in supporting the Traditions of Dance, as well as Music. In our first year, this will take the form of Demonstrations and Pop-Up Workshops in Set Dancing, Solo/Sean nós Dancing and Highland Dancing as well as a Céili, which will be supported by BelfastTrad and other like-minded groups. In future years, we plan on including Traditional Dance as an integrate element of our programme.

Duration: Variable – 1 – 2 hours

Location: University of Ulster, York St. Campus / Participating Venues / Outdoor Locations

Visit : www.belfasttraditionalmusic.com

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