Summer is waning, but that brings good news too: Listowel Duagh Comhaltas classes will be starting up on this Saturday, August 31st. All Saturday classes are scheduled sometime between 11am – 3 pm at The Seanchai Kerry Writers Museum, The Square, Listowel. In addition, traditional Irish music classes are also offered on Wednesdays, taught by Anne McAulliffe, recipient of the 2019 Comhaltas Gradam Saoil Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Branch offers student-centered programs with an open, fun learning environment and classes taught by highly accoladed tutors with a passion for teaching. Most classes are on Saturdays, and these include Timmy Flaherty (Uillean Pipes, Banjo & Mandolin), Matt Dean (Flute & Tin Whistle), Sean Abeyta (Fiddle), Eoin Moriarty (Bodhran), Neilius Mackessey & Conor Moriarty (Accordion), Aine Enright (Harp), Group Ensembles & Dancing. There is also free Comhra (Irish) instruction for members.
Listowel Duagh Comhaltas follows the cultural movement to promote and preserve the music, dance and language of Ireland. As the world grows more complex, it seems to us more important than ever that we take a strong stand in maintaining a living folk tradition.
And in keeping with that mission, the Branch are excited to announce they are embarking on a new program to become a Centre of Excellence in educating students on two designated National Heritage instruments: Uillean pipes and Irish harp. The Branch is partaking in a musical initiative which will allow students in Duagh, Knockanure and Listowel areas not only see and hear these instruments, but to experience them hands-on. The cost of these instruments often keeps them out of reach of many students. But thanks to a generous grant from Eir Grid, they will now have the opportunity to access them. Tutors will be visiting local schools as the program rolls out in the 2019-2020 academic year.
In 2017, Irish uilleann pipes were officially recognised as an important and unique cultural heritage symbol by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation). President Michael D. Higgins welcomed the move, noting that the recognition of uilleann piping in Irish culture is an honour and a “valuable recognition of the skills, imagination, creativity and importance of those who make, restore and play na píobaí uilleann.”He said the music and craftwork of Ireland “connect us in profound ways, weaving together cultural memory and contemporary vision.” Currently, UNESCO is considering a proposal to grant similar recognition to the traditional Irish harp.
Pre-registration is required, and will take place for all Saturday classes at the Seanchai Kerry Writers Museum on Thursday, August 29th, 5-6:30 pm.
Anyone who can’t make the registration session, or has any other questions, is invited to message the Branch on Facebook at Listowel Duagh Comhaltas for a quick reply