Singers join dons to reflect on songs

A major weekend conference on traditional songs and singers will take place in June at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick (pictured above).

Jointly organised by two major interest groups – the British-based Traditional Song Forum and the Traditional Song as Cultural Heritage Research Cluster – under the all-encompassing title, As I Roved Out: Traditional Songs, Singers and Collections of Britain, Ireland and Beyond, the conference aims to celebrate shared song traditions and highlight those that make each culture unique. 

The singing traditions of Britain and Ireland are richly intertwined. Songs, singers and collectors have travelled throughout the islands and beyond, uncovering a tapestry of tradition all the more rich and complex for their cultural interconnections.

The conference will open on the evening of Friday June 3, with a reception followed by dinner and a singing session. The business end of the conference begins on Saturday June 4 with a full day of papers – each followed by a question-and-answer session. The day will conclude with an after-dinner concert. Sunday June 5 will see another day of papers with a singing session in the evening. For those staying in Limerick on Monday, June 6, there will be a free singing tour in the morning, with the possibility of a lunchtime singing session afterwards.

Throughout the event, staff of the Irish Traditional Music Archive will also be on hand to present a pop-up exhibit.

For would-be participants who cannot attend the event in person, the main conference sessions will be available as live streams at a reduced cost. Recordings of the formal proceedings of the conference will be available after the event for all registered participants.

The conference fees are:

  • In-Person: Full Conference plus Lunch and Tea €59
  • In-Person: Concession Admission (for students and over 65s): €52
  • Online Only: €17
  • Add-Ons:  Conference Dinners: €23 each for Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings

Registration is possible online at


The Traditional Song Forum (TSF) is offering bursaries for students and others under the age of thirty to attend the conference. There will be two bursaries of £130 for attendance in person at Limerick University, and another two bursaries of £15 each for online attendance. Applications for these bursaries should be made to Martin Graebe, Secretary of the TSF at, with details of the applicant’s study interests and specific reasons for his/her attendance at the event.

Accommodation Information

Bed-and-breakfast accommodation will be available on the University of Limerick campus for those who wish to avoid the commute. Details of the facilities are available from – at a rate of €59 a night for a single room. Double rooms are also available.

The Traditional Song Forum is a national organisation based in the UK that brings together those interested in the research, collecting and performance of traditional song.

The Traditional Song as Cultural Heritage Research Cluster is a group of song scholars/ performers at the Irish World Academy, focused on performance, preservation and transmission of traditional song in Ireland.

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