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Blog - Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann

John “Jack” Conroy, R.I.P.

Jack  Conroy R.I.P.

Jack Conroy, traditional Irish musician

A long term  member of our Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann community and Comhaltas Hall of Fame inductee (2004), Jack Conroy,  talented musician,  gifted teacher and  active member and supporter of our organization,  died in Milton on  November 9th, 2019. Playing since the ’50’s, he has left a footprint in the Irish community locally and abroad.   We celebrate him.  We mourn him.  And we offer our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Gail, his family, and friends.

Active Comhaltas Participant

The Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch has lost a friend and a true champion of traditional Irish music.  Jack played regularly at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, participated in many Gaelic Roots events at Boston College and helped with our Music School in an administrative role until ill health prevented him from doing so.

Jack was an accomplished accordion player as well. Here we share a video of himself on box with Brendan Tonra on fiddle, and Helen Kisiel on keyboard playing two jigs, “Farewell to Kennedy” and “Willie’s Fiddle.” They explain that “Farewell to Kennedy” was written after the assassination of JFK and “Willie’s Fiddle” was a tune about Brendan’s father’s fiddle, which kept breaking and had to be fixed.

Hall of Fame Inductee in 2004

Jack Conroy  was honored for his contribution to Irish traditional music as a melodeon player.  Our former webmaster and active Comhaltas participant , Larry Tormey, wrote this article about him on his induction into our Comhaltas Hall of Fame.

Tributes From The Community

Jack Conroy was a versatile musician and a friend, mentor and teacher to many in the Greater Boston area. We will miss him.

Some have described Jack as “a treasure,” “a great teacher,” “inspiring,” “one of my favorite players,” “a wonderful player on the Irish-American D/C# box.” A fellow musician commented, “His father played the G melodeon and ran a well-known watering hole.  Jack learned his music from a number of musicians including Jerry O’Brien (who also taught Joe Derrane) and Jack Diamond.”  It is very likely that the accordion in this video is a Walters bought new in 1949, with help from Jack’s father and Jack Diamond.

There will be many tributes by those who mourn his passing. Kieran Jordan, on learnng of Jack’s death, shared the following sentiments on Facebook.

“Thinking of our friend Jack Conroy. These were sweet times and I cherish the memories. Céilís at Boston College, with Jack Conroy on the far left, Helen R Kisiel, Brendan Tonra, Michael Tubridy, Jimmy Noonan, Daniel Accardi, Seamus Connolly, and Shane Cornyn. I know that Sean Smith and Beth Sweeney were there too!”

“Jack was one of the first musicians I met when I came to Boston College as a student, and he always encouraged my old-style step dancing. Our conversations over the years were mostly about music, or his other passions — trips to Ireland, and cooking. In my darkest days with Lyme, Jack said he would pray for me, to have more courage. ‘With a positive attitude,’ he said, ‘we can adapt to anything’.  He was dealing with ALS when he said that. I think of this often. Thank you Jack, and may you rest in peace.”

Obituary and Funeral Arrangements

Jack’s wake will be held at Murphy  Furneral Home in Dorchester on Thursday, November 14thth from 4-7 P.M.  His funeral Mass will be at St. Margaret’s Church of St Teresa of Calcutta in Dorchester on Friday, November 15th, at 10 A.M.  Burial will be at the Cedar Grove Cemetery in Dorchester. His obituary follows:
http://jmurphyfh.tributes.com/obituary/read/John-F.-Jack-Conroy-107757861

Prepared by Maureen Conway, Secretary, and Eileen McClelland, Webmaster, November 13, 2019.

NOVEMBER 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter

Here is your November 2019 edition of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann newsletter.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter [PDF] (printable)  

Some Highlights from our Current Newsletter

We hope you’ll join us as we continue to experience and  share  our Irish culture in music and dance activities.  Look for more details in our newsletter and on our calendar.

Upcoming Seisiuns/Ceilis/Fundraisers

  • Join us in Watertown on Sunday November 24th for our next Seisiún / Céilí  at the Canadian American Club  from 3:00 – 7:00. 
  • Coming Sunday December 8th, once again we are holding our annual Larry Reynolds Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser from 3-7 pm. Proceeds will benefit aspiring musicians.
  • Every Tuesday evening Comhaltas presents a fun set and ceili dance workshop in Watertown.

Comhaltas/Branch News

News from our Music School

  • Schools doors are open and off to a great start with Tom Crean at the helm.

CCÉ Branch Facebook Page

Facebook iconCheck for updates on our  Reynolds, Hanafin, Cooley Branch on Facebook page. Click the “Like” button so you don’t miss anything.

If you’re not already a member, you might also be interested in joining our long-standing CCÉ Boston Music School Facebook group.

Twitter iconWe’re also on Twitter! Follow us there @ccebostonorg.

Community Events

Check occasionally for more events at these locations:

  • The Canadian American Club – the site of our branch Irish set dancing workshops and our regular semi-monthly Irish Seisiun/ceilI
    • Annual Fundraiser Gala for the Canadian American at their own Club on Sun, Nov 3rd .   Doors open at 1:00p.m.

      Comhaltas will be featured from 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Even more links . .

Get our Newsletter delivered to your InBox as soon as it is available; sign up for membership here.

October 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter

fHere is your October 2019 edition of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann newsletter.

October 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter [PDF] (printable)  

Some Highlights from our Current Newsletter

The warmth of the summer has transitioned into the crispness of autumn.  Perfect weather for trad!      We hope you’ll join us as we continue to experience and  share  our Irish culture in music and dance activities.    Look for more details in our newsletter and on our calendar.

Upcoming Seisiuns/Ceilis/Fundraisers

  • Join us in Watertown on Sunday October 13th for our next Seisiún / Céilí  at the Canadian American Club  from 3:00 – 7:00. 
  • And again at a Ceili  Mor on Saturday October 19th from 6:30-9:30 when our RHC CCE  musicians  play under the Marquee Tent at the ICC in Canton . 

Comhaltas/Branch News

  • It’s membership time !
  • The Annual General Meeting(AGM) is being held on Oct 13th at 1:30 at the Canadian American Club. 
  • Northeast Regional Meeting on Sat Oct 26th.
  • Online registration is available for the convention in San Francisco.

News from our Music School

  • Schools doors are open and off to a great start.

CCÉ Branch Facebook Page

Facebook iconCheck for updates on our  Reynolds, Hanafin, Cooley Branch on Facebook page. Click the “Like” button so you don’t miss anything.

If you’re not already a member, you might also be interested in joining our long-standing CCÉ Boston Music School Facebook group.

Twitter iconWe’re also on Twitter! Follow us there @ccebostonorg.

Community Events

Check occasionally for more events at these locations

  • The Canadian American Club – the site of our branch Irish set dancing workshops and our regular semi-monthly Irish Seisiun/ceilI
    • Annual Fundraiser Gala for the Canadian American at their own Club on Sun, Nov 3rd .   Doors open at 1:00.
  • The Irish Cultural Centre in Canton – Be sure to visit www.irishculture.org ~ the Irish Cultural Center website to check out all the happenings and events.
    • One  event occurring in October and mentioned in our newsletter is:   The Beer Fest

Even more links . .

Get our Newsletter delivered to your InBox as soon as it is available; sign up for membership here.

September 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter

Here is your September 2019 edition of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann newsletter.

September 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter [PDF] (printable)  

Some Highlights from our Current Newsletter

Fall has arrived and many of our activities are ready to resume.  We hope you’ll join us as we continue to experience and  share  our Irish culture in music and dance activities.    Look for more details in our newsletter and on our calendar.

Upcoming Seisiuns/Ceilis/Fundraisers

  • Mark your calendar for September 22nd,  first Seisiún / Céilí  of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley 2019-2020 season.  Slow session at 1:30 a.m.
  • Brush up your steps when  the Tuesday evening workshops resume at the Canadian American Post in Watertown on September  24th.

News from our Music School

  •  A new scholarship has been established in the name of Frank Hartigan.   Check the newsletter for additional information on the scholarship as well as the names of the  winning students from the CCE Boston Music School.
  • Schools doors open on September 14th for the Boston Music School.

CCÉ Branch Facebook Page

Facebook iconCheck for updates on our  Reynolds, Hanafin, Cooley Branch on Facebook page. Click the “Like” button so you don’t miss anything.

If you’re not already a member, you might also be interested in joining our long-standing CCÉ Boston Music School Facebook group.

Twitter iconWe’re also on Twitter! Follow us there @ccebostonorg.

Community Events

Marshfield Irish Day/Fairgrounds. Full details inside.

Check occasionally for more events at these locations

  • The Irish Cultural Centre in Canton – Be sure to visit www.irishculture.org ~ the Irish Cultural Center website to check out all the happenings and events.
    • Some of the events occurring in September and mentioned in our newsletter are:
      • Virtual History Tour of Ireland/County Cavan
      • Irish History Class 1968-1998
      • Celtic Angels Ireland

Even more links . .

Get our Newsletter delivered to your InBox as soon as it is available; sign up for membership here.

August 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter

Here is your August 2019 edition of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann newsletter.

Cape Cod

August  2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter [PDF] (printable

Some Highlights from our Current Newsletter

We hope you’ll join us in sharing the enjoyment and appreciation of our Irish culture, music, and dance activities.    Look for more details in our newsletter and on our calendar.

Upcoming Seisiuns/Ceilis/Fundraisers

 Even during the summer, there are opportunities to dance or just enjoy some great music

  • Come on down to  Glastonbury, Ct on Sunday, July 28th  for the 4th Annual Mid-Summer Ceili at the Irish American Home Society.
  • Join us at An Irish Trad & Folk Music Weekend at the Irish Cultural Center, Canton August 9th, 10th and 11th.  Dance to the tunes of Comhaltas musicians from 11:30am-2:30pm, on  Sunday, August 11th under the marquee tent at the ICC.
  • Mark your calendar for September 22nd,  first Sesiun/Ceili of the RHC 2019-2020 season.

News from our Music School

  • Look inside for local area winners of the 2019 CCE Mid-Atlantic Fleadh  
  • Registration for Sep 2019 opens July 30th with a start date of Sept 14th.

CCÉ Branch Facebook Page

Facebook iconCheck for updates on our  Reynolds, Hanafin, Cooley Branch on Facebook page. Click the “Like” button so you don’t miss anything.

If you’re not already a member, you might also be interested in joining our long-standing CCÉ Boston Music School Facebook group.

Twitter iconWe’re also on Twitter! Follow us there @ccebostonorg.

Community Events

Check occasionally for more events at these locations

Even more links . .

Get our Newsletter delivered to your InBox as soon as it is available; sign up for membership here.

Ceili Mor Under the Tent

Ceili Mor Sunday August 11

As tradition has it in Ireland, set dancing was performed in homes and at crossroads.  While local musicians often played, traveling musicians  were always welcomed.  As a nod to tradition, The Irish Cultural Center of New England in Canton, MA is bringing set dancing and music to their marquee tent on Sunday,  August 11 from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.   Boston Comhaltas musicians will travel from their usual haunt in Watertown, MA to provide the music for the Ceili Mor. All dancers are welcome at this summer event.  Keep the tradition alive.

Click on the image for a printable copy of this flier.

Application AVAILABLE for Larry Reynolds Memorial Scholarship

Founder of Boston CCE and Music School 

Larry Reynolds - prior branch Chairman
Larry Reynolds Sr

Larry Reynolds (1932 – 2012) emigrated from County Galway, Ireland bringing a passion for his homeland’s music and traditions. Dedicating the rest of his life to sharing that passion with others, he became a mainstay of Boston’s Irish scene, helping found the Boston branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and it’s music school. He encouraged young people to participate in Irish music, song and dance as well as promoting those arts in the New England area.

Honoring the Legacy of Larry Reynolds 

To honor Larry’s contributions and remember his special place in the New England Irish community, the Reynolds family enabled the Reynolds-Hanafin- Cooley CCÉ Branch to create the LARRY REYNOLDS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP.   The Scholarship is presented each year to a young individual selected from the applications sent to the Board of Directors of the Boston CCÉ Music School. The award is funded through donations to RHC CCÉ in memory of Larry Reynolds. The amount of the award is dependent on funds available and to the extent to which the Scholarship compliments the RHC CCÉ branch’s commitment to enriching Irish culture in New England. Some examples of scholarship use are, but not limited to, support for participation in events such as Scoil Éigse or All Ireland Fleadh in Ireland or the Catskill Irish Arts Tír na nÓg’s Children & Youth Program camp.

Scholarship Eligibility

An applicant for the Larry Reynolds Memorial Award should be a person under 21 years of age who participates in and contributes to the Irish Music/Dance/Song/Culture and Community of New England and is a member of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley branch of CCÉ. Previous winners may not apply again for 5 years.

In addition to the requirement of intermediate to advanced ability of the applicant, the following preferred qualifications are applicable:

  1. Those who demonstrate an earnest dedication to advance traditional Irish culture.
  2. Those who demonstrate the capacity to benefit from participation in advanced traditionalcultural experience.
  3. Those who would offer to the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley branch some of the benefits of traditional cultural knowledge.
Scholarship Application

For complete details and application click Larry Reynolds Memorial Scholarship Application.

scholarship application

Application deadline for 2019 is July 12, 2019.

Mail completed application and documentation to: 

Larry Reynolds Memorial Scholarship
c/o 84 Old Sudbury Rd
Wayland, MA 01778

Announcement of this years scholarship recipient will be by July 20th 2019.   All applicants will be notified.

June/july 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter

Here is your June/July 2019 edition of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann newsletter.

USS Constitution

June/July 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter [PDF] (printable version) 

Some Highlights from our Current Newsletter

We hope you’ll join us in sharing the enjoyment and appreciation of our Irish culture, music, and dance activities in the Greater Boston area. Look for more details in our newsletter and on our calendar.

Upcoming Seisiuns/Ceilis/Fundraisers

Looking for opportunities to dance or just enjoy some great music?

  • Join fellow dancers on Sunday, June 16th at the Milton Club for a Summer Ceili.  Music by Joey Abarta & Friends.
  • Travel south to Glastonbury, Ct for the 4th Annual Mid-Summer Ceili at the Irish American Home Society.
  • Go to the Irish Cultural Center, Canton on Friday, June 14th  7:30 p.m. to meet with Christopher Klein, author of When the Irish Invaded Canada.
  • Return to Canton on Friday, July 12th at 8 p.m. for an evening with fiddler, Mairead Nesbitt
  • Mark your calendar for September 22nd,  first Sesiun/Ceili of the RHC 2019-2020 season.

Support the Students from our Music School

  • Look for students from the RHC CCE Music School being featured at the  Milton Music Festival on Sunday June 23rd.

CCÉ Branch Facebook Page

Facebook iconCheck for updates on our  Reynolds, Hanafin, Cooley Branch on Facebook page. Click the “Like” button so you don’t miss anything.

If you’re not already a member, you might also be interested in joining our long-standing CCÉ Boston Music School Facebook group.

Twitter iconWe’re also on Twitter! Follow us there @ccebostonorg.

Community Events

Check occasionally for more events at these locations

Even more links . .

Get our Newsletter delivered to your InBox as soon as it is available; sign up for membership here.

MAY 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter

Here is your May 2019 edition of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann newsletter.

Boston Public Library

May 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter [PDF] (printable version) 

Some Highlights from our Current Newsletter

We hope you’ll join us in sharing the enjoyment and appreciation of our Irish culture, music, and dance activities in the Greater Boston area. Look for more details in our newsletter and on our calendar.

Upcoming Seisiuns/Ceilis/Fundraisers

Looking for opportunities to dance or just enjoy some great music?

  • Join us at the Seisiún/Ceílí on the 2nd and 4th  Sunday of the month, May 12th and  May 26th at the Canadian American Club in Watertown.
  • Try not to miss the May26th.  It’s  the final Seisiún/Ceílí before the summer break.  And Alice Looney and her family will celebrate her 90  wonderful years with a cake.
  • Travel north to Greenland, NH for the Crossroads Ceili, June1st.,   3-7 p.m.
  • Add the Catskills Irish Arts Week  July 14th –  20th East Durham, NH to your summer plans.
  • Make Drogheda, Co Louth, Ireland 2019 your destination for  Scoil Eigse ~ August 11-16   or  Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann ~ August 11-18

Support the Students from our Music School

  • Enjoy a weekend of Irish music and dance June 6th-9th 2019 at the  North American Fleadh & Convention in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Membership Ongoing

It’s not too late to renew or become a  new member.  Print an Application here.

Set dancing/Ceili

  • Need a few lessons with a bit of  fun?  Find it Tuesday evenings at the Canadian- American Club with Sally Harney. Check our calendar for any cancellations due to the  weather.

CCÉ Branch Facebook Page

Facebook iconCheck for updates on our  Reynolds, Hanafin, Cooley Branch on Facebook page. Click the “Like” button so you don’t miss anything.

If you’re not already a member, you might also be interested in joining our long-standing CCÉ Boston Music School Facebook group.

Twitter iconWe’re also on Twitter! Follow us there @ccebostonorg.

Community Events

Check occasionally for more events at these locations

Even more links . .

Get our Newsletter delivered to your InBox as soon as it is available; sign up for membership here.

April 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter

Here is your April  2019 edition of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann newsletter.

Boston Spring

April 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter [PDF] (printable version) 

Some Highlights from our Current Newsletter

We hope you’ll join us in sharing the enjoyment and appreciation of our Irish culture, music, and dance activities in the Greater Boston area. Look for more details in our newsletter and on our calendar.

Upcoming Seisiuns/Ceilis/Fundraisers

Looking for opportunities to dance or just enjoy some great music?

  • Join us at the Seisiún / Ceílí on the 2nd and 4th  Sunday of the month, April 14th and  April 28th at the Canadian American Club in Watertown.
  • Come to the Boston Marriott in Quincy for the Irish Hearts for Orphans Benefit Dance on Sunday,  April 7th.
  • Harney Academy will host their Annual Ceílí  on Friday, April 5th.

Planning  Ahead

  • Enjoy a weekend of Irish music and dance June 6th-9th 2019 at the  North American Fleadh & Convention in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Membership Ongoing

It’s not too late to renew or become a  new member.  Print an Application here.

Set dancing/Ceili

  • Need a few lessons with a bit of  fun?  Find it Tuesday evenings at the Canadian- American Club with Sally Harney. Check our calendar for any cancellations due to the  weather.
  • Harney Academy will host their Annual Ceílí  on Friday, April 5th

CCÉ Branch Facebook Page

Facebook iconCheck for updates on our  Reynolds, Hanafin, Cooley Branch on Facebook page. Click the “Like” button so you don’t miss anything.

If you’re not already a member, you might also be interested in joining our long-standing CCÉ Boston Music School Facebook group.

Twitter iconWe’re also on Twitter! Follow us there @ccebostonorg.

Community Events

Check occasionally for more events at these locations

Even more links . .

Get our Newsletter delivered to your InBox as soon as it is available; sign up for membership here.

Reynolds, Hanafin, Cooley Branch – Boston, MA