A lively group of set dancers and visiting musicians kicked off our September seisiun at the Canadian-American Hall in Watertown and everyone expressed their delight in seeing Phyllis Reynolds who stopped in to visit. Our next seisiun is Sunday, October 5th.
Letting you know, we are not having a seisiun on Sunday November 2nd as the Can-Am Club is holding their annual fundraiser. I encourage you to come along on that day to support them. Visit www.canadianamericanclub.com as details develop.
Our Music School enrollment is very strong – especially youth involvement. There is a Trad Youth Exchange Program planned in November. We will match 15 young musicians in the Boston area to 15 musicians from Tulog Ceili Band in County Clare to learn tunes, play together, and pass along the tradition.
The Tulog group, led by renowned concertina player Mary MacNamara, will travel to Boston to visit and perform Nov. 5-10. We then plan to send 15 youths selected from our Realta Geala ensemble & beyond to Ireland in Feb. 2015.
The fundraising goal is $16,000 to help defray costs for our families. This is a worthy undertaking and we need your help! Kindly send Trad Youth Exchange donations to Michael Hickey, 100 Woodpecker Rd., Stoughton, MA 02072. Make check payable to CCE Boston Music School. We are a 501c3 Nonprofit Organization.
I trust all who attended the Scoil Éigse and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Sligo enjoyed the experience and captured lots of great memories in Ireland. Congratulations to Pat Hutchinson who won first place in the O18 Uilleann Pipes/Slow Airs.
Pat is a uilleann pipes teacher at our Music School.
The Music School fall semester gets underway on Sat., Sept. 13th. A huge welcome to Caroline O’Shea who’ll teach flute/whistle. She has also accepted the position of School Administrator. We’re delighted to have Tina Lech returning to teach fiddle and Kathleen Conneely joining us to teach tin whistle classes at all levels. For more info on new/old class offerings, faculty/registration/tuition, etc., visit the Music School website.
I am pleased to announce, after much deliberation, Audrey Bulger was selected to be the recipient of the 2014 Larry Reynolds Memorial Scholarship.
Plans for the Scholarship Fundraiser are still in the making.
Looking forward to our kick-off Seisiún on Sunday, September 28th at the Canadian-American Hall in Watertown. Hope to see many of you there . . . encourage others to join us.
I extend my best wishes to the competitors heading to the Scoil Eigese and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Sligo . . . enjoy the experience and savor the memories.
Here at home, I remind everyone to be sure and visit www.irishculture.org ~ the Irish Cultural Center website to check out all the happenings and events.
Also, visit www.irishmassachusetts.com to catch a full round-up of summer and fall concerts and events . . . the official site of (BITA) Boston Irish Tourism Association.
Enclosed with this month’s newsletter is a notice detailing a gala weekend of irish music, heritage & culture presented by The Pillar House Bar & Restaurant in Ballinasloe, Ireland. The weekend was arranged to pay tribute to our former beloved chairman, Larry Reynolds. [See more about the weekend here.]
Thanks to all who promoted, participated and/or came along to support this event. The lovely evening concert by “Open the Door for Three” was brilliant and a great round of sean nos dancers topped off the event. Special thanks to dedicated parents and skillful teachers who prepared competitors for both the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in New Jersey and the Féili Cheoil in Melrose. Well done all !
The monthly Seisiún will resume in September. On Sun., June 1st there will be a céili fundraiser at the Canadian-American Hall for the branch members who qualified at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in New Jersey and who are heading to the Fleadh in Sligo in August to compete. Proceeds from this event will help offset their travel costs. Looking forward to seeing many of you there.
Hats off to Co-chairs Tom Vesey, Paul Keating, and Frankie McCormack and the Mid-Atlantic Region team of volunteers for a fantastic weekend in Parsippany, NJ ~ one to remember. The NA Convention, the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh, and the Hall of Fame induction were an immense undertaking. It was terrific to see such a great contingent from the branch there to support the event. Everywhere I looked I could see them partaking in music sessions, set dancing, singing and reuniting with friends from Ireland, Canada and the USA.
Lisa Coyne, Executive Director of the music school, and I congratulate all the Fleadh competitors, especially the first-timers…you were so brave…we are very proud of you! A big THANK YOU to all the parents, teachers, coaches and especially Sean Clohessy, our volunteer coach, for working with our Réaltai Geala ~ “Bright Stars” ensemble! Look for final placement results in the next newsletter.
The second annual Féile Cheoil will be held Sat., May 17th in Melrose (see flyer). The fundraiser is to support the Trad Youth Exchange Program. Fifteen of our young musicians will be meeting with fifteen youngsters from the Tulog Céili Band in Tulla, County Clare. The Tulog group will be coming to Boston in November 2014 and our group travels in February 2015. Proceeds will help defray travel costs. Come out for a few tunes during the day, either to participate or compete. “Open The Door For Three” finale concert in the evening ~ not to be missed!
I’m looking forward to a weekend of Irish music and dance April 24th-27th in Parsippany, New Jersey! For the first time ever, the 2014 CCÉ Convention will wrap around a Provincial Fleadhanna! Several of us are heading to New Jersey to also enjoy Concerts and Ceilithe; Instrument, Singing, Set Dance, Ceili and Sean Nos workshops. The weekend’s theme is a celebration of the “bloom of youth,” the future of the Comhaltas movement! The branch wishes Tom Vesey and his team continued success.
To those not attending the convention, I encourage you to support the 5th Annual Irish Hearts for Orphans Benefit Dance on Sunday, April 27th at the Boston Quincy Marriott. See details in the flyer enclosed in the newsletter.
Kudos to our webmaster, Eileen McClelland, for the skillful redesign of our website and for getting emails off in between newsletters when needed. Dan Mahoney is doing a wonderful job emailing the monthly newsletter and other news too. Also, I want to acknowledge the Seisiún attendees who faithfully bring raffles and refreshments. Barbara Boyd has to often work miracles when break items are light. Keep in mind when Watertown bound.
I am grateful also for a key component to our success, the musicians, who I depend on each month to play for the sets. The dancers who skillfully maneuver thru the sets add to the craic too. Hats off to Lisa Coyne and the dedicated teachers and eager students at the Music School. To our board of officers and to all who support the branch I extend my sincere appreciation.
Members will be remembered in a special Marianist Novena of Masses at Easter and at daily Mass throughout the year. May you find happiness in the meaning of Easter and feel the joy and peace in the wonders of Spring.
The Irish community has lost a number of dear friends this past month. To the families of Brendan Tonra, Sean Potts, and Finbarr Dwyer, we offer our sincere sympathies. They will be remembered through our memories and their music always.
Once again, I and other Comhaltas musicians and the Harney Academy of Dance will be performing with the Reagale Players in the Production “A Little Bit of Ireland” to be held at Waltham High School, 617 Lexington St., Saturday, March 15th at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 16th at 2 p.m. Hope to see many of you at this popular event.
With a new year underway, I want to express my sincere gratitude for your friendship and continuing support of Comhaltas. Together we’ve continued in the tradition our beloved former chairman, Larry Reynolds (RIP), so proudly fostered.
With the help of God, and good people like you, we will continue to do so for many years to come.
The Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch Officers extend their best wishes to you for a peaceful, healthy, and happy New Year.