12th Annual O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat - Dates and registration details announced.

The O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat have issued a press release announcing that in less than three weeks on May 2nd at 9 a.m., they will begin their online registration for their 12th annual O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat that will be held October 16-18.  They will be back once again at scenic Hoblitzelle Camp and Conference Center in Midlothian, Texas. There are a few changes, so please review this article carefully.  They provide the following information.

Our Instructors

An exceptional lineup of instructors will teach including some of the best musicians/instructors in the tradition, including, in alphabetical order:  Isaac Alderson— Whistle (Int & Adv); Siobhan Butler — Sean-Nós Dancing (All Levels); John Carty— Fiddle (Intermediate); Anna Colliton — Bodhran (Int & Adv); Ashley Davis — Singing (All Levels); Sean Earnest — Bouzouki (All Levels); Niamh Fahy — Fiddle (Fundamentals); Dylan Foley — Fiddle (Intermediate); Sean Gavin — Flute (Int & Adv); Dan Gurney — Button Accordion (All Levels); Michelle Hedden — Bodhran (All Levels); David Howley — DADGAD Guitar (All Levels); Martin Howley — Mandolin (All Levels); Alan Kelly — Piano Accordion (All Levels); John Liestman — Mandolin/Tenor Banjo (Fundamentals); Dan Lowery — Flute/Whistle (Fundamentals);Karen McGarrett — Harp (Fundamentals); Brian McNamara — Uilleann Pipes (All Levels); Caitlín Nic Gabhann — Anglo Concertina (All Levels); Ciarán Ó Maonaigh— Fiddle (Intermediate); Sue Richards — Harp (Int & Adv); Enda Scahill — Tenor Banjo (Int. & Adv.); and Fergal Scahill — Fiddle (Advanced).

Dancing Classes and More Ceilis Added to Retreat

Much of Irish music is dance music, so it should come as no surprise that we have added dancing classes to this year's retreat offerings.  We are excited that Siobhan Butler, one of the world's top teachers of Sean-Nós Dancing will help us develop this new program.  You can see some of Siobhan's amazing dance skills at https://youtu.be/JbGrwWOjjSQ and at https://youtu.be/DTfe1_yDHKc.  Also, we will be hosting this year a Kick-Off Ceili on Thursday night, our traditional Lone Star Ceili on Saturday night and a Farewell Ceili on Sunday afternoon.  Get your dancing feet ready!

New Advanced Fiddle Class

When we have as many students playing an instrument as we do with fiddle, we are able to offer classes for all levels – beginner (fundamentals), intermediate and advanced.  This year we will introduce an “advanced fiddle” class taught by Fergal Scahill.  Enrollment will be decided after reviewing submitted video recorded auditions from applying students.  They must play a jig and a reel twice through each.  For all of the requirements for this class, go to http://oflahertyretreat.org/classes/index.html#advfiddle.

Variety of Enrichment Classes, Informances, Workshops

In addition to our regular classes, we will offer a wide variety of other learning opportunities.  Our enrichment classes will cover everything from the history of Irish music to music arrangement, writing songs, preparing for competition, or selling your music online.  Workshops will be offered on learning by ear, harmonica, sound production, home recording, piano accompaniment, Gaelic singing and more.  Our “informances” will return but will be limited this year to a handful.  Lots of choices to consider.

New Instructor-Led Sessions

Beginning this year, we will have a number of afternoon sessions that will be led by pairs of our instructors including Anna Colliton and Alan Kelly, Martin and David Howley, and Michelle Hedden and Dan Lowery.  Of course, our after-concert sessions will still be organized for playing tunes and singing.

Student Performances Each Morning

Each morning during breakfast at the dining hall, student ensembles who sign up in advance will be able to perform up to five minutes live on stage.  The number of musicians will be limited to five student players and only Irish music will be played.  More details will be announced as the retreat grows closer.  For lunch and dinner times, we have invited a number of area bands to perform.

New Retreat Hotel

To our dismay, we learned last month that most of the hotels in Waxahachie are already booked because of a major racing event that is being held the same weekend as the retreat.  So, we have moved our retreat hotel to the Fairfield Inn & Suites located at 1480 U.S. Highway 287 North in Mansfield, Texas about 20 minutes from the retreat.  That's about the same distance to last year's Hampton Inn.  Anyway, we have negotiated a limited number of rooms at $89.00 per night ($20.00 off their $109.00 online rate).  Call them at (817) 473-2700 and mention that you are part of the O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat group, or visit http://cwp.marriott.com/dalfm/oflahertymusic to book online.

Contact Info:
Ken Fleming, Director  (469) 215-1840  director@oflahertyretreat.org
Rick Roberts, Asst. Director & Registrar  enroll@oflahertyretreat.org
Hoblitzelle Camp & Conference Center Address: 8060 Singleton Rd., Midlothian, TX 76065

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