Friday, 27 March 2015

Countdown continues to O’Carolan Harp Festival

Harpers and musicians are expected in large numbers in the picturesque village on Keadue, on the shores of Lough Meelagh, in Co. Roscommon for the 34th O’Carolan Harp Festival which takes place from August 3rd to August 6th 2012. 

  The Summer School in traditional music, song and dance precedes the Festival, commencing on July 30th and running until August 3rd. Students attending the Summer School can avail of classes and workshops in Harp, Flute, Tin Whistle, Fiddle, Banjo, Button Accordion, Concertina, Bodhrán, Traditional Singing, Set Dancing and Sean Nós Dancing.  Instrumental music competitions, ceilí, recitals and a concert featuring Summer School tutors and visitors, will also be held during the Summer School week. 

  This year's Festival, which together with the Summer School is organised by Keadue branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann, has a programme of events featuring many of the ever-popular Festival events along with new events and musical acts. The organising committee are most grateful for the support and funding received towards this year's events from Roscommon Leader Partnership, Fáilte Ireland, the Arts Council, Arigna Fuels Limited, Rory Lynch Transport, and Roscommon VEC and indeed from all of our donors and sponsors.

  On Friday night, 3rd August, one of the highlights of the Festival will be the appearance of Tale of the Gael in concert in Keadue Church. On Saturday August 4th, the International Harp Competitions will take place. On Saturday afternoon, Mr Colm O'Meachair will host an interesting demonstration and talk on the making of the harp. Saturday night's concert in Keadue Church should be a very special experience, when the Irish Youth Harp Orchestra will be performing, under the direction of leading harpist, Janet Harbison.

  Another musical highlight and a special treat for visitors to the Summer School will be the Harp recital by Gráinne Hambley, Holly Geraghty and Dearbhail Finnegan which will take place in Kilronan Castle Hotel, located just over a mile from Keadue, on Wednesday night the 1st August. 

  On Sunday August 5th, the official opening of the Festival takes place after the Festival parade led by Tempo Marching Band.  

  The Festival committee are pleased to be able to announce that the official opening of the Festival will be performed by Mr. Éamon Ó'Cuiv, T.D.  

  Following the official opening, street entertainer, Timothy Terror, the amazing stickman from Australia, will be performing, on his first ever visit to the Festival. Immediately afterwards, there will be Traditional music sessions with Shebeen and Liam Purcell and friends, with guest appearance by Sean Nós ar tSionnann. Sunday night's concert sees the return of Eleanor Shanley and De Dannan.

  On Bank Holiday Monday, 6th August, following a visit to the grave of Turlough O'Carolan in Kilronan cemetery and the laying of a wreath there, a lecture will take place in Kilronan Castle Hotel titled, Kilronan Through Time, 8000 BC- c. AD 1600 and will be given by Dr. Kieran O'Conor, Dept of Archaeology at NUI Galway. Taking place in St Ronan's Hall on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon, for the first time, is Family Fun Day with a Mad Hatter's tea party, Magician and other fun activities. Musical entertainment in the afternoon will provide an opportunity to listen to medieval, folk and traditional music, performed by music group Nuada, on their debut visit to the Festival.  

  One of the most popular events at the Festival over the last 33 years, which is taking place on Bank Holiday Monday evening, is the Door Dancing Competition where traditional dancers dance on a door – now, it is known as Sean Nós Dancing. A number of other groups and artists are appearing at the Summer School and Festival (more details next week). 

Issue dated: 27 JULY 2012
© Roscommon People