THE 30th Donegal Fiddle Week in Glencolumbcille next week brings together some of the most outstanding fiddlers the county has ever produced – and welcomes visitors from across the world.
Fiddle Week runs from Monday 3rd August until Friday 10th. Just three of those featuring are the legendary Tommy Peoples, who iss signing his remarkable new book on Wednesday afternoon; former Donegal Person of the Year Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh of Altan; and Brid Harper, who’s launching her long-awaited first solo CD.
More than a hundred fiddlers are expected to converge in Glencolumbkille for the week, which features a busy programme of classes, concerts and sessions.
There’s also a talk to mark the centenary of Glencolumbkille fiddler Con McGinley of Meenacross, who died in 2013.
Rab Cherry of the Donegal fiddle organisation Cairdeas na bhFidléirí, which organises Fiddle Week, says it’s a tremendous advertisement for Donegal and its unique fiddle tradition. “Fiddle Week has been bringing people to the county from near and far since it started in 1986. This year we’re expecting students from all over Donegal and the rest of Ireland, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and the US. It’s a great way of encouraging interest in Donegal fiddle music, and developing the talent and knowledge of fiddle players young and old, both in the county and far beyond it.”
Teachers this year include John Byrne, Thomas Strain, Stephen Gallagher, Tara Connaghan, Aidan O’Donnell, Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, Maurice Bradley, Mick Brown, Ronan Galvin, Dermot McLaughlin and Martin McGinley. Other visiting fiddlers will include the renowned Campbells from Glenties – Vincent, and father and son Peter and Jimmy.
There’s an exceptionally strong line-up of events for 2015 Fiddle Week.
On Tuesday night Castlefin native Brid Harper, one of the stand-out fiddlers of her generation, will launch her first solo CD at a concert in the Folk Village.
Also on the programme are Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, who recently released an acclaimed CD with Caitlín NícGabhann, and Danny Meehan, a former TG4 ‘Hall of Fame’ award winner. Admission €10.
On Wednesday afternoon fiddlers Mick Brown and Ronan Galvin will present a talk on the late Con McGinley at Oideas Gael from 4.15pm to 5.15pm. Con, who was 98 when he died in 2013, spent most of his life in England. He passed on many tunes and stories on his frequent visits home.
Afterwards Tommy Peoples of St Johnston, who’s been described as the most influential Irish fiddler player of last 50 years, will be selling and signing copies of his landmark book ‘O Am go hAm – From Time to Time’.
On Thursday 6th August there are traditional dancing classes during the day for students of the fiddle classes and anyone else who’d like to join in by arrangement.
The week concludes with the concert in Halla Mhuire at 9pm featuring Vincent Campbell, Dermot McLaughlin, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and other guests. Admission €10.
Registration for the classes takes place at the National School in Glencolumbkille on Monday 3rd at 10am.
For more information on any aspect of Fiddle Week, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone or text 0863409019.