january/february 2020 CCÉ Boston Newsletter

Here is your January/February 2020 edition of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann newsletter.

January February 2020 CCÉ Boston Newsletter [PDF] (printable)  

Some Highlights from our Current Newsletter

New Years…a time of new possibilities and beginnings. If you resolved to immerse yourself in dance and music, January will not disappoint. Look for more details in our newsletter and on our calendar.

Upcoming Seisiuns/Ceilis/Fundraisers 

  • January 12 will be our next Seisiún / Céilí  at the Canadian American Club in Watertown  from 3:00–7:00.  
  • January 19  is the Frank Hartigan Scholarship Fund Benefit at Hibernian Hall, Watertown. Join us at 3 and stay til 7. 
  • And over the weekend of January 24-26, we round out the month at the Cape Cod Irish Village with Northeast Céilí Band ~ Special Guest: Tara Lynch

Comhaltas/Branch News

  • It’s not too late to renew your membership! Michael Hickey is still accepting checks for new memberships or renewals.

CCÉ NA Convention San Francisco News  

  • If you’re looking to book a room or cancel an existing booking, please email Josephine Brennan  – jobrennan@comcast.net
  • Registrations for the convention are not only being accepted but encouraged in order to plan effectively. Save the price of a stamp and register online.

News from our 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

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.

Helen foley, R.I.P.

Helen Foley,    R.I.P.

Sad news from Worcester for the Irish Trad Community

Helen Foley, a backbone of the Worcester Irish Trad community, passed away on December 20nd.   She battled cancer bravely with true grace for many years.

Tribute from the Community

Charlie O’Neill shared the following sentiments by email in telling us of Helen’s death,

“She meant so much to the traditional music scene here – but that was a mere fraction of her life’s contributions as a wife, mother, neighbor, friend.  She talked with, touched, worked with, and interacted with thousands – but each of us received the same acceptance, interest, joy, love, and commitment of this extraordinary person.   The world is truly a lesser place today. Helen came to the Fiddler’s Green session just two weeks ago!  A fighter right until the end!”

Obituary and Funeral Arrangements

Helen T. (O’Sullivan) Foley, 76, passed away peacefully on December 20, 2019 at her home, surrounded by her loving family.

She was the beloved wife of 51 years of Paul V. Foley.

Born in County Offaly, Ireland, daughter of Patrick and Ellen (Cronin) O’Sullivan, Helen was, first and foremost, the love of her husband’s life, a nana, and the mother of six children, who adored her. In her spare time, between sips of tea and home-baked goodies with butter, she was a devoted friend to many, near and far. Helen lent her talents of camaraderie, dance and song to the Irish Club, the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Worcester St. Patrick’s Parade Committee. Not busy enough, she was also a very active member of Christ the King Parish (and previously of St. John’s Parish in Canton) and the lead voice of its choir for so many masses, funerals, and weddings that her voice will likely echo there for years to come. Because of their boundless devotion to family, friends and community, Paul and Helen were named co-Grand Marshals of the St. Patrick’s Parade in 2014. In her work (yes, she did that too), she worked for Aer Lingus in Boston, was a teacher’s aid in the Worcester Public Schools and was one of the very first and most beloved waitresses at O’Connor’s Restaurant.

She leaves behind her husband, Paul V. Foley; her children, Siobhan Foley of Reading; Ciaran Foley and his wife, Elizabeth of Brookline; Aileen Foley and her partner, Joanna Woodman of Watertown; Brendan Foley and his wife, Kristen of Pawtucket, RI; Neil Foley and his wife, Sharon of Mt. Vernon, NH; and Paul C. Foley of Worcester; also her brother, Timothy P. O’Sullivan of Rhode, County Offaly and sister, Kathleen Armstrong of Braintree; eight grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.

Helen’s family would like to thank Dr. Erica L. Mayer, Elahe Salehi, NP, and the staff at Dana Farber for the exceptional care provided to her during her illness and to the kind and compassionate staff of Hospice VNA in Worcester.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday, December 27th from 4:00pm until 7:00pm at the Callahan, Fay & Caswell Life Celebration Home, 61 Myrtle St., Worcester. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00am on Saturday, December 28th at Christ the King Church, 1052 Pleasant St., Worcester. Burial will follow in Saint Patrick’s Cemetery, Whitinsville. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be considered to the Worcester Hibernian Cultural Foundation, 19 Temple St., Worcester, MA 01604; The VNA Care, Fund Development Center, 199 Rosewood Dr., Suite 180, Danvers, MA 01923; or to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284.

http://callahanfay.tributes.com/obituary/show/Helen-T.-Foley-107929731

Prepared by Maureen Conway, Secretary,

December 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter

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

boston garden christmas

December 2019 CCÉ Boston Newsletter [PDF] (printable)  

Some Highlights from our Current Newsletter

Don’t hibernate!  Join with us as we celebrate Winter and Christmas in music and dance activities.  Look for more details in our newsletter and on our calendar.

Upcoming Seisiuns/Ceilis/Fundraisers 

  • Once again we celebrate  the legacy of Larry Reynolds on Sunday, December 8th, when we hold the fundraiser for the memorial scholarship in his name.   Join us at 3 p.m. and stay til  7 p.m.  Proceeds will benefit aspiring musicians.
  • Our own Regina Delaney and her NE Irish Harp Orchestra have scheduled holiday concerts on Dec 12th, Dec 14th and Dec 15th.  All details inside.
  • St. Stephen’s Day Céilí,  Thurs., Dec. 26th, 6-10 p.m
  • Frank Hartigan Memorial Scholarship Fund Benefit Hibernian Hall, 151 Watertown St., Watertown,  Sun, January 19th.
  • Cape Cod Irish Village Céilí Weekend   Jan. 24-26  with Northeast Céilí Band ~ Special Guest: Tara Lynch

Comhaltas/Branch News

  • It’s not too late to renew your  membership! Send your check to Michael Hickey.
  • Online registration is available for the convention in San Francisco but booking a room just became challenging but not impossible.  Please read details inside.

News from our 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

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

Even more links . .

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

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.

Reynolds, Hanafin, Cooley Branch – Boston, MA