Top players in Glen for Fiddle Week

Danny Meehan.

Danny Meehan.

ONE of the big annual events in the Donegal music calendar returns next week when the 28th annual Fiddle Week takes place in Glencolumbkille.
Fiddle Week attracts around a hundred fiddle students, some of them travelling across the world to get the chance to learn Donegal fiddle music. The tutors include some of the top players in the Donegal style.

Glencolumbkille is expected to be alive with music from Monday, with lots of impromptu music sessions in the local pubs. As well as the classes, there are evening concerts next Tuesday and Friday, a talk on Wednesday afternoon, dance classes on Thursday and a dance that night. All are welcome to these events.


Rab Cherry of Cairdeas na bhFidleiri, which organises the week, said: “It promises to be another fantastic week of fiddle playing and a great social event for anyone who enjoys the music and everything that goes with it. The school always has a great mix of local Donegal people and visitors from far and wide.”

The classes cater for people of all playing standards, from absolute beginners to advanced players. They usually run from 10am to 4pm daily.
The concerts offer the chance to hear some of the great Donegal-style players in action. The line-up on Tuesday night in the Folk Village from 9pm includes Danny Meehan from Mountcharles, winner of the TG4 Lifetime Achievement Award, and at least two members of the McGinley clan – Martin, originally from Raphoe, and local man Derek, from Meenacharvey. On Friday night in Halla Mhuire from 9pm the performers include Vincent Campbell from Glenties, Derry native Dermot McLaughlin and Dunkineely’s Aidan O’Donnell.

Two of the great players of yesteryear are remembered in a talk by Ronan Galvin at Oideas Gael on Wednesday at 4.30pm. They were neighbours on the road from Carrick to Glen – Denis O’Gara (1868 – 1945) of Min na bhFachran and the renowned John Mhosai McGinley from Loch Inseach.

The great dances of the ‘big nights’ in the houses are featured in the dancing class* in Halla Mhuire on Thursday, and there’s a chance to try out the new steps at the dance there that night. Music is by Jimmy and Peter Campbell from Glenties, aided and abetted by Glen regulars Maurice Bradley and Ciaran Kelly with many more musicians joining them on the night. * The dancing class is open to non – fiddle school students at a cost of € 10, to arrange attendance, see the contact details below.

Tutors at Fiddle Week this year are John Byrne, Thomas Strain, Stephen Gallagher, Derek McGinley, Martin McGinley, Tara Connaghan, Aidan O’Donnell, Mick Browne, Ronan Galvin and Maurice Bradley.
Anyone who wants any more information on Fiddle Week email (until 26th July) or contact 0863409019.

Dutch link with Fiddle Week
Fiddle Week is once again expected to welcome some fiddlers and visitors from the Netherlands, carrying on what’s become a strong fiddle link.
There are now two Donegal fiddle weekends each year in the village of Nieuwe Niedrop in North Holland. It’s an initiative which began in 2004 with the late Jack Schroevers, a fiddler and fan of Donegal music, and it’s carried on by his widow Anneke and a group of young players.
At the most recent Donegal fiddle weekend in Nieuwe Niedrop, a sign pointing to Glencolumbkille was erected in the village to mark ten years of the link-up.

Kilcar musicians remembered
Cairdeas na bhFidileirí have also recently added to the “Musical Landscape” project on their website
The parish of Kilcar is now represented in this innovative project.
Rab Cherry of Cairdeas said; “The project remembers the people who were involved in the music in their areas. The information is map-based and where we have information on the musicians, it is presented here, along with photos and some sound recordings.”


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