Máire Ní Chathasaigh

TG4 Irish Traditional Musician of the Year 2001

The doyenne of Irish harp players” - Scotland on Sunday

"The most interesting & original player of our Irish harp today"
- Derek Bell

3rd Harp & Heritage Weekend at Bandon Walled Town Festival 2015

Click here to go to the Harp Weekend's new website!

Click here for concert details

Click here for artist, tutor and lecturer biographies

Click here for workshop details

Click here for Festival contact details

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Click here for artist and tutor biographies

Click here for workshop details

Click here for Festival contact details


About this year's Festival events

Our 2015 theme is contexts: the harp as bridge between Irish worlds and traditions…
The gala concert on Saturday 29th in the beautiful acoustic of St Peter’s Church will feature renowned Bandon natives the Casey/ Ní Chathasaigh sisters as they launch their new CD Sibling Revelry (which includes their specially-composed Bandonbridge Suite - a musical representation of the history of the town, premièred at the 2014 festival) and internationally acclaimed harper Kathleen Loughnane, who will treat us to the gorgeous music of the 17th and 18th century Irish harpers.

We also welcome Aibhlín McCrann, whose lecture on Friday 28th will explore the fascinating history of the Irish harp and its music, and Brenda Malloy, who will perform on her wonderful collection of Irish, Renaissance and Baroque harps at the lunchtime concert in the Methodist Church.

We've expanded our workshop offering again this year. The harp tutors will be Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Kathleen Loughnane and Damhnait Nic Suibhne, the fiddle tutor will be Nollaig Casey and the traditional singing tutor will be Mairéad Ní Chathasaigh.

Artist, Tutor & Lecturer Biogs

Máire Ní Chathasaigh is “the doyenne of Irish harp players” (Scotland on Sunday) and recipient of Irish music’s most prestigious Award, Gradam Cheoil TG4 – Traditional Musician of the Year - “for the excellence and pioneering force of her music, the remarkable growth she has brought to the music of the harp in Ireland and for the positive influence she has had on the young generation of harpers.” A multiple All-Ireland and Pan-Celtic winner, she developed profoundly influential techniques for harp performance of traditional Irish music, heard on her pioneering New-Strung Harp (1985) – “a milestone in Irish harp music” (The Irish Examiner) - and subsequent seven recordings with guitarist Chris Newman, with whom she tours worldwide. “Dazzling virtuosity” The Daily Telegraph “In a class of her own” The Guardian “Takes one of the most effete instruments in traditional music and breathes a fire into its belly” The Irish Times
www.mairenichathasaigh.com

Nollaig Casey‘s unique position in the world of traditional Irish music was marked by the recent broadcast of a TG4 TV programme (in the Fuaimrian mo Shaol series) about her life and music. Her powerful presence has graced two of Ireland’s most ground-breaking bands, Planxty and Coolfin. She made her Carnegie Hall début in 2006 as soloist in a double concerto for classical violin and traditional fiddle by Evan Chambers. She’s toured the world with the hit show Riverdance and performed at the 2003 Special Olympics Opening Ceremony. A soloist in over 20 feature films, she’s recorded and/or performed with Enya, Van Morrison, Sinéad O’Connor, Alison Krauss, Nanci Griffith, Ricky Skaggs, Rod Stewart, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Mary Black, Carlos Nuñez, Jim Rooney, Andy Irvine, Moving Hearts, Elvis Costello, Christy Moore, Liam O’Flynn, Dan ar Braz, Shaun Davey and Sharon Shannon. Her solo album featured “exquisite fiddle-playing and superb vocals” (The Irish Times) and she’s recorded two duo albums with guitarist Arty McGlynn.

Mairéad Ní Chathasaigh is a multiple All-Ireland-winning fiddle-player, harper, tin-whistle player and singer, with a sweet soaring voice that has been heard far too little in recent years. She’s toured in the USA, Canada, Italy, Belgium and France.

Kathleen Loughnane is based in Galway and has an international reputation both as a performer and teacher of the Irish harp. In 1990 she co-founded the group Dordán, whose distinctive mix of Irish traditional and baroque music led among other honours to their winning the 1993 Traditional Music Award in the Irish Entertainment Awards. In 2010, Kathleen was nominated for a Meteor Award in the traditional / folk category. Her arrangements have featured on the Irish Harp Syllabus of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. www.kathleenloughnane.com

Aibhlín McCrann has written, performed, and lectured extensively on the Irish harp in Ireland, Europe and the US, and is in much demand as a spokesperson on matters relating to the harp in Ireland. She is a former director of the International Festival for Irish Harp, was secretary of Cairde na Cruite for 25 years and is co-editor of a seminal collection of Irish harp music, Rogha na gCruitirí, reflecting the diverse character of Irish harp-playing today. She served on the board of the Irish Traditional Music Archive 2002-2005, has been a member of The Arts Council, An Chomhairle Ealaíon since 2006 and was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Council in 2011.

Damhnait Nic Suibhne is a native of Donegal and a full-time instrumental music teacher with the County Cork School of Music. She teaches harp, piano and traditional music and is based in Coláiste Treasa, Kanturk, Co. Cork. She has won numerous All Ireland titles on several instruments and has an M.A. in Ethnomusicology. She has a particular interest in the wider repertoire in Irish music and has published some articles on the subject.

Brenda Malloy is a Dublin -based harpist who plays early Irish harp (the cláirseach), the Renaissance harp, the arpa doppia (Italian Baroque triple-strung harp) and neo-Irish harp. She has studied extensively with the Spanish historical harpist Javier Sainz, and with Siobhán Armstrong, the Chair of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland. Brenda was a great hit at Bandon Walled Town Festival in 2012 and 2013.

Click here for artist, tutor and lecturer biographies

Click here for workshop details

Click here for Festival contact details


Harp workshop details

Workshops will take place in the historic Floraville, Mill Place (near the Town Hall, N. Main St.) on Sunday 30th August 10am - 4pm. All standards are accepted.

Tutors:

Kathleen Loughnane: 10:00am - 12:30pm (only)

Máire Ní Chathasaigh: 10am - 4pm

Damhnait Nic Suibhne: 10am - 4pm

Kathleen will teach a morning class and Máire an afternoon one in order to facilitate intermediate - advanced players who may wish to benefit from both tutors. Depending on numbers, Máire may teach in the morning too.

Price:

€50 (workshops only) or €60 (to include entry to all weekend concerts)

Timetable for the day:

09:45 Enrolment

10-12:30 Morning Harp Class

12:30- 14:00 Lunch break - there's a choice of cafés within easy walking distance. Medieval and Renaissance harps will be available to try, courtesy of harpist Brenda Malloy.

14:00-16:00 Afternoon Harp Class

17:00 The Gathering at the Town Hall - Workshop participants and harpers, fiddle-players and traditional musicians and singers from far and wide will play together at what promises to be a very special musical and social event! (There will be some cameo performances...)

19:00 Close of Bandon Walled Town Festival 2015

Workshop Description (Máire) :

The tunes we learn will be drawn from the wide repertoire of the Irish tradition, which has lots of lovely seventeenth- and eighteenth-century harp music, "slow airs", songs and dance tunes to choose from. We'll look at the issues involved in adapting this music to the harp, concentrating on ornamentation, rhythm, fingering, and most importantly, on preserving the original essence of the music in the process. We'll also discuss phrasing and some appropriate approaches to harmony and accompaniment.

Participants will learn by ear and my imitation, though written music will be available if this seems too daunting.

If time allows we'll also explore strategies to increase the joy of playing, touching on topics such as listening with your 'inner ear'; phrasing and melodic line; and the power of heartfelt performance. We'll briefly discuss the mental aspects of music-making: concentration, thinking ahead and effective practising. The physical aspects of harping will be covered too: solutions to postural issues and common problems will be suggested, and we'll talk about learning to relax and the relationship of relaxation with tone.

We'll also have a lot of fun, I hope!!!

To register (and for all Festival queries):

Contact Maria McLaughlin here or call her on +353 87 310 4354. Cheques should be made payable to Bandon Walled Town. For credit card payments over the phone call Maria on +353 23 884 1115. Special deals on accommodation are available on request.

Fiddle and traditional singing workshop details

Fiddle workshops will take place in the Clúid Housing Association bulding in Mill Place on Sunday 3oth August 10am - 4pm.

Irish traditional singing workshops will take place in the Allin Institute on Sunday 3oth August 10am - 4pm.

Tutors:

Fiddle: Nollaig Casey (further info about Nollaig here)

Traditional Irish Singing: Mairéad Ní Chathasaigh

Timetable for the day:

09:45 Enrolment

10-12:30 Morning Harp Class

12:30- 14:00 Lunch (provided)

14:00-16:00 Afternoon Harp Class

17:00 Gathering - Workshop participants will join the harpers and play together at what promises to be a very special musical and social event! (There will be some cameo performances...)

19:00 Close of Bandon Walled Town Festival 2015

To register:

Contact Maria McLaughlin here or call her on +353 87 310 4354. Cheques should be made payable to Bandon Walled Town. For credit card payments over the phone call Maria on +353 23 884 1115. Special deals on accommodation are available on request.

Click here for concert details

Click here for artist, tutor and lecturer biographies

Click here for workshop details

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