From across the Pond, Comhaltas is providing news and highlighting innovative efforts being implemented by branches in Europe and North America. It’s defintely worth a read for all the resources available on Facebook, You tube, websites and other sources.
The ongoing worldwide Pandemic has shut down the entire official 2020 CCE Fleadhanna schedule including our North American qualifying Fleadhs in the Midatlantic and Midwest regions for this year. In the vacuum, the Murphy Roche Branch CCE who were to host the Midwest Fleadh decided to organize a different type of event called the 2020 Chicago eComórtas Ceoil where solo registrants can get feedback on a submitted audio file by adjudicators selected by Murphy Roche.
Audio files must be submitted by May 9 and results will be via an online Zoom Party on May 17. While Comhaltas Fleadhann Ceoil rules for solo submissions will be followed and there are discounts for CCE members who apply, it is an open “competition” for anyone and results will not have any official Comhaltas standing. The intention of the organizing branch is to have a bit of fun and challenge music students and keep spirits up.
Springtime Boston 2020 is like no other in recent history. The trees on Boston streets continue to bloom and the birds sing but there is no traffic (and no need for ‘blinkahs’ ) as we humans “cocoon” at home in response to Covid-19 … away from the ceilis, the live music, the tunes and the songs…all that gives us life and joy. In response to and in the spirit of resiliency, we celebrate technology which connects us.
On behalf of the RHC Board, Tara Lynch, Frank Kennedy, Michael Hickey, Barbara Davis, John Kearney, Tom Crean and myself, we extend to all of you our wish for a happy hope filled Easter.
Slainte mhor agus a h-uile beannachd duibh Good health and every good blessing to you!
(A Gaelic Prayer)
Some Virtual Opportunities Around Boston
The Irish Hearts Benefit Dance, always a favorite in Boston, transforms the lives of vulnerable children in Latin America and the Caribbean . This year’s event is going online and will be broadcast on the radio on Sunday, April 19th, on WROL radio 950AM or 100.3FM from 1 to 2 PM. See announcement in this letter from Irish Hearts Hour. Read more info here, too
Irish History Courses
Why not check off some items on your bucket list and take a course in Irish History with Sean Murphy?
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.
As tradition has it in Ireland, St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, is the day the Wren Boys hunt a fake wren (king of the birds in Celtic mythology) and place it on top of a decorated pole. The wren boys or strawboys dress up in masks, straw suits, and colorful clothing and form music bands and parade through towns and villages – and we will gather and dance in Watertown to keep the tradition alive!
is hosting the annual St. Stephen’s Day Ceili
Wednesday, December 26th, 7 PM – 10:30 PM
202 Arlington Street, Watertown
Donation $15 at the door.
Refreshments and live music provided.
Sally is and has been the set dancing instructor for the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann for over 35 years . What drives her is the urge to Keep the Tradition Alive.
There will be tea, coffee and a cash bar, goodies to feast on, and great Irish traditional music live for your listening and dancing pleasure.
Come join in the fun. It’s always a popular event !
What a special and joyous evening this will be: a celebration with some of the younger members of our musical community as we toast their achievements at the recent Mid-Atlantic Fleadh. A fleadh, (pronounced fl-aaa) is one of the competitive festivals held all around the world under the auspices of Comhaltas Ceolteórí Éireann.
The evening will see performances fro
m several young musicians who competed at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in New Jersey, including several who were selected to go forward to represent Boston and New England at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland. This international festival is the world’s largest festival dedicated to celebrating Traditional Irish Arts and we are tremendously proud of all our young musicians who will make the trip to represent our region.
Video: Réalta Geala at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Sligo 2015
Support Our Young Performers
It will be an opportunity for our community to support all our young performers, and provide them with a chance to perform for the home crowd before heading off to Ireland.
We are excited to unveil our Trad Youth Exchange Program that we have been putting together over the last several years!
Tulla Youth Arrive in Boston
We are bringing over 15 young All-Ireland Champion U12 Ceili Band musicians from Tulla, County Clare. This group of young musicians aged 9-14, with their teachers and parents, will meet, perform with, and develop friendships with 14 young musicians from the greater Boston area at music workshops, concerts, and other cultural events. We would like to invite you to come hear them play at two concert/fundraiser events.
Fundraiser Events November 7th & 9th
Our two main events are the Trad Youth Concert at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Melrose on Friday, November 7th, and the Mary MacNamara & Friends CD Release Party at the Burren in Somerville on Sunday, November 9th.
ALL PROCEEDS FROM THESE CONCERTS go to support the Trad Youth Exchange Program! – specifically the costs of hosting the Tulog group and travel costs for our youngsters to visit them in Ireland in February 2015. The TULOG group will also be selling copies of their fabulous new CD called “Unfolding.” You can hear clips of this on Saturday, November 1st when Lisa Coyne speaks with Brian O’Donovan on A Celtic Sojourn at 4pm!
Buy Tickets Online!
Tickets to these two events are being sold on EventBrite ~ see links below – Tickets are also available at the door.
Mary MacNamara CD Release Party at The Burren, Sunday, Nov 9, 3PM Mary MacNamara CD Release Party at The Burren, Sunday, Nov 9, 3PM
Sunday, November 9th, at the Burren, 3-6pm – Renound concertina player Mary MacNamara‘s CD release party at The Burren [25 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144] hosted by Brian O’Donovan. Mary will be joined by the Tulog Band, Realta Geala, and special guests. Tunes afterward until 7pm. (Tickets are $20) – Limited seating. Don’t be left out!
Concert Window – Listen and Donate!
If you can’t make the concert (and you should try to!!) and choose to watch it online instead, you may watch via Concert Window — All proceeds will go to benefit the Trad Youth Exchange. Here are the links: