BY SEÁN P. FEENY
THE annual Ceol na Coille Summer School of Irish Traditional Music is shaping up to be another very exciting event in its third year. The Letterkenny-based music school has just announced that it will be moving into the new facilities of Coláiste Ailigh for the duration of the summer school (July 21-25).
The organisers are also very excited to once again be joining forces with the annual Earagail Art Festival and high profile acts performing at the festival will be giving workshops for the students of all ages participating in Ceol na Coille.
One of the hottest trad groups out there at the moment, We Banjo 3, as well as well-known Donegal piano accordion player Martin Tourish and his trio will be special guests passing on their musical knowledge during the eagerly-awaited workshops.
In its first two years Ceol na Coille has already attracted visitors from all over the world coming to the county specifically to take part in the summer school.
They have come from as far as New Zealand, Canada and the USA and this year is no different as musicians from Canada and the Isle of Man have already booked their places.
Organiser, Paul Harrigan said: “It is a great boost for our summer school and the county to see people coming from so far away to attend the summer school.
“Ireland is very popular with musicians all over the world coming here specifically to do workshops and have a music holiday, so to speak.”
A highly-regarded traditional musician in his own right, the Burnfoot native is looking forward to welcoming some great musicians to the summer school to teach the students. Those include Joleen McLaughlin of The Henry Girls (harp), All Ireland-winning button accordion player Conor Moriarty from Kerry, Inshowen fiddle player Roisin McGrory, Colaiste Ailigh teacher and concertina player Shane Bracken, Colm Breathnach of Arcanadh fame (banjo) and Gaoth Dobhair uilleann pipe player Ciarán Mac Fheidhlimidh.
The summer school workshops are open to musicians of all ages, from children to intermediate and advanced classes for adults. There is also an ‘Introduction to Irish traditional music’ workshop where young children can try out different instruments. Bookings for Ceol na Coille are now being taken. If you would like to find out more information log on to www.ceolnacoille.ie or calling Paul directly on Tel 087 677 46 01.
This is John's first trip to the World Championships where he will come up against full-time professionals.