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RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta launched the first ever CD album of Willie Clancy Summer School recordings; ‘Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy – Ceol agus Foinn’ at the Celtic Media Festival in Galway. RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta has been recording at the Summer School in Miltown Malbay since its foundation in 1973.

Launching the CD at the Celtic Media Festival this evening Director General of RTÉ Cathal Goan said; “It gives me great pleasure to launch this RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta – Willie Clancy Summer School production. I’ve had the opportunity to experience the talent of musicians at Miltown Malbay first hand and am delighted now that we can give listeners everywhere the opportunity to share in the rich tradition of the Summer School.”

The 40 track double CD album features archival RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta recordings which span the lifetime of the festival in Miltown Malbay. Among the well-known musicians and singers to be heard are Willie Clancy, Micko Russell, Seán Ryan, Junior Crehan, Hugh Healy and Jimmy Ó Ceannabháin.

Executive Producer Seán Ó’hÉanaigh took charge of the production which meant listening to hundreds of hours of archival material to get a flavour of the cross section of musicians and singers who have flocked to Miltown Malbay each summer for the last thirty five years. As RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s recordings are entirely of “live” performances from the various concerts in the local hall Seán had to ensure that each recording and performance was of high enough quality for the CD album. Seeking out the best quality recordings for the album meant that the selection process alone took over eight months.

There is a mixture of “old and young” on the album. Some of the musicians on the album are now deceased so the CD gives an opportunity to younger people to listen to the various styles of music played at the school over the years. International musicians are also represented on the album with Margaret Stewart from Lewis in the Outer Hebrides singing in Scots Gaidhlic and Japanese husband and wife, Isao & Masako Moriyasu, better known throughout Irish traditional music circles as ‘Paddy & Brigid’ playing reels on flute, harp and concertina.

Muiris Ó Rócháin, School Director, said at the launch that RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta had been to the forefront in supporting traditional musicians and singers since the start of the Summer School. Edel Ní Chuireáin, Ceannaire, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta said she was delighted with the association and described ‘Music and Songs from the Willie Clancy Summer School’ as “an important gem in the continuous development of traditional Irish music.”

All of the music on the album was recorded by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta. For quality reasons the earliest recording on the album is from 1978 although RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta has been recording at the School since its foundation in 1973.

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Seán Ó hÉanaigh is the Executive Producer of ‘Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy – Ceol agus Foinn’. Location recording and music compilation is by Seán Walsh, assisted by Seán Bán Breathnach.

The 40 track RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta double CD album ‘Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy – Ceol agus Foinn’ is available from retailers nationwide and RTÉ.ie/shop from tomorrow, Saturday 19 April.

For further information, interviews and review copies please contact:
Sarah Martin, Senior Press Officer, RTÉ Radio, Tel: 01 208 2312 / 087 750 1850

About The Willie Clancy Summer School
The Willie Clancy Summer School has been held annually since 1973 in Miltown Malbay Co. Clare in memory of local piper Willie Clancy. The School is a Mecca for traditional musicians and singers. Last year 1500 students attended 150 workshops at the Summer School. As well as pupils, hundreds of seasoned musicians teach classes, play in sessions and take part in the various concerts which are held each evening. The town of Miltown Malbay comes alive with the music of uilleann pipes, fiddles, concertinas and song as pubs and locals open their homes to musicians and visitors.

Permalink - Posted: April 21, 2008 at 4:42 pm