Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy returns in full

The fiftieth Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy will return in full and in-person in July when traditional musicians, singers, students and fans will descend upon Miltown Malbay, Mullagh, Quilty and Spanish Point for the week-long summer school. After a two-year hiatus necessitated by the Covid pandemic when a somewhat reduced summer school moved online, this year’s event – decidcated to the memory of WIllie Clancy (pictured above) – has been keenly anticipated.

Along with the usual instrument and dance classes, the week will also feature the evening recitals – each devoted to individual instruments like fiddle, harp, banjo,  concertina, button accordion, harmonica, uilleann pipes, whistle and flute along with sean-nós and step dancing and an afternoon of traditional singing in Irish and English. The artists confirmed to perform at the recitals reads like a who’s who of Irish traditional music and song.

As well as the instrumental recitals, the week will also includes three concerts – the Éire ‘s Alba celebration of the links between Gaelic Scotland and Scoil Samhraidh; the International Concert/Ceolchoirm Idirnáisiúnta featuring music, song and dance from Scotland, Wales, Britanny and Québec; and finally the Muiris Ó Rócháin Memorial Concert/Ceolchoirm Chuimhneacháin Muiris Ó Rócháin.

The céilithe also make a welcome return on seven nights of the summer school with a number of top bands on the programme including, the Kilfenora, the Tulla, the Brian Ború, the Dal gCais, the Taylor’s Cross, the Four Courts and the Abbey Trio.

Among the highlights of the week is this year’s Breandán Breathnach Memorial Lecture by Nicholas Carolan, the first Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive, on the theme: When It All Started: The Traditional Music Landscape of 1973.

Another eagerly anticipated event is a tribute to the award-winning accordion master, Bobby Gardiner, which will be presented by traditional singer, musician and lecturer, Ciarán Ó Gealbháin.

Broadcaster and researcher, Harry Bradshaw, will consider the legacy of Bill Stapleton and the Irish Recording Company – some of which has been included on albums recently released by the ITMA.

Dr Paul Dooley and Ceri Owen Jones will reflect on the structures of Welsh medieval harp music and its parallels with Irish music traditions while Professor Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin from the University, Montréal will present New France to La Belle Province: Québec’s Traditional Soundscapes. Gearóid’s lecture will be followed by a screening of his film, The Lost Children of the Carricks.

Two more film screenings complete the programme – the first, a documentary on the life and music of renowned fiddler Seán Keane, and the second, a further screening of the recently released Dark Horse on the Wind, a feature-length documentary on the life and legacy of Dublin singer-songwriter, Liam Weldon. The screening will be presented by director, Myles O’Reilly, and producer, Lorraine Kennedy,

Laoise Kelly
Seán Keane
Louise Mulcahy
Bobby Gardiner
Máire Ní Chéallachair
Jack Talty
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