BY SEÁN P. FEENY
THE young members of a Donegal traditional music school will host musicians from the Scottish Highlands as part of a new exchange programme this week.
Members of the Letterkenny-based music school Ceol na Coille are delighted to be hosting the Feis Spé Cairngorms Ceilidh Trial group.
The exchange programme has been set up between Ceol na Coille, The Inishowen Traditional Music Project and the Cairngorms Ceilidh Trial through the Feis Spé organisation based in the Cairngorms National Park region of the Scottish Highlands.
The visiting group will stay with host families in the area and will perform a number of joint performances both formal and informal during their stay.
Tomorrow night (Doors, 7.30pm) the groups will be performing at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny. There will also be a performance at McGrory’s, Culdaff on Thursday, August 1, showcasing the young musicians from all three participating groups.
Head of the music school, well-known Donegal musician Paul Harrigan said it was a fantastic opportunity for young traditional musicians.
“This exchange in particular offers a unique opportunity for young Donegal musicians to explore our close cultural links with Scotland, incorporating both the music and language elements of both groups.
“All of these events offer musicians the opportunity to showcase their talents on national and international stages,” he said.
Younger members of Ceol na Coille will also perform at the concerts and a group from Donegal will travel to the Cairngorms region in early 2014 on the return leg of the exchange.
Ceol na Coille recently held its second annual summer school. “We had a very successful summer school this year again with pupils from New Zealand, Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dublin, Armagh and throughout Ireland,” said Paul.
“We had our end of summer school concert in Glenswilly GAA Hall, which was open to family, friends and the public. There was a great turn out for this.”
To commemorate the memory of the late Legnahoorey fiddle player Jim Doherty at the concert, the Jim Doherty Memorial Fiddle was once again passed on to the school’s most promising fiddle student.
Paul said: “The Doherty family have again very generously entrusted one of Jim’s fiddles to Ceol na Coille which was presented to this year’s recipient, Stephanie Greenan from Letterkenny by Jim’s granddaughter Mary Kate.
“Jim’s wife Kathleen, daughters Deirdre and Annmarie and family friends were also there to see the fiddle being handed over.
“Music from Jim’s wide and varied repertoire was taught during the week and performed at the concert on Friday, passing Jim’s musical legacy on to a new generation of traditional musicians.”
AN exciting week of music planned for this year’s Summer School of Irish Traditional Music. Ceol na Coille will...