Traditional Irish Music
The festival is a week-long summer school in traditional music and set dance held annually at Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. The first and biggest of such events, it commemorates the town's best-known uilleann piper, Willie Clancy, and has been running since just after his death in 1973. The idea was initiated by Clancy himself, and implemented within six months by teacher Muiris Ó Rócháin in collaboration with CCE's timire ceoil Séamus Mac Mathúna and local musicians Martin Talty, Paddy Joe McMahon and Junior Crehan.
The school is focused around the teaching of instruments and set dancing in formal classes, but stresses the value of the oral/aural tradition. In its fleadh-style volume of music-making in bars it has become something of a Mecca in the music, its retinue of up to a hundred and fifty teachers, and hundreds of improving and competent musicians, dancers and singers drawing in thousands of listeners.
The school addresses the cultural and intellectual side of traditional music by the inclusion of daily workshops on singing and the tradition, afternoon lectures and evening recitals. The 'Breandán Breathnach memorial lecture', given by various authorities in traditional music, opens the school, a music tribute at Clancy's grave, launch of albums and publications in traditional music follow.
Scores of impromptu sessions accompany these organised activities, nightly set dance and céilis complement a routine of morning classes given by top players on uilleann pipes, flute, tin whistle, concertina, fiddle, button accordion and set dancing. [Classes in harp, banjo and harmonica have been added in recent years.]
Visit www.scoilsamhraidhwillieclancy.com for full details
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