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Saturday April 4th, 2009, Celbridge, Co. Kildare

Workshops in music, song and dance come no better than in ‘Ceardlann Earraigh’, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, in this its twelfth consecutive year. Established by the Kildare County Board of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, this year’s event takes place on Saturday April 4th, 2009.

It promises to be the best to date with the following all-star line up of tutors;
Fiddle – Fergal Scahill & Michelle O’ Brien
Concertina – Noel Hill & Maura Walsh
Banjo – Brian McGrath
Flute – Aoife Granville & Sarah Jane Woods
Accordian – Danny O’Mahony
Uilleann Pipes – Mick O’Brien
Tin Whistle – Seán Ryan & Méabh Ní Lochlainn
Bodhrán - Junior Davey
Harp – Laoise Kelly
Traditional Singing – Edel Vaughan
Steps and Sets – Gerard Butler
Music and Concert

The excellent list of tutors speaks for itself. Present will be ‘Concertina Maestro’ Noel Hill and ‘Mr. Uilleann Pipes’ himself Mick O’Brien, whose CD with Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh is a must for any student of traditional music. Also joining Ceardlann Earraigh this year will be Kerry trio, Aoife Granville on flute, Danny O’Mahony on accordian and Maura Walsh on concertina. Aoife is recognised as one of Ireland’s best exponents on the flute and her CD ‘Sráid Eoin Shuffle’ was released in 2007 to critical acclaim. Currently undertaking postgraduate studies in music in UCC, Aoife is an experienced tutor as is Danny, one of the tastiest accordian players around. Danny also presents an acclaimed, weekly, traditional music programme ‘Trip to the Cottage’ on Radio Kerry. Maura is an accomplished concertina, fiddle player and tutor and performs with Siamsa Tíre in Tralee. All three teach at many workshops throughout the length and breadth of the country and have been constants at Scoil Éigse, the traditional music school that is an integral part of ‘Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

Attending ‘Ceardlann’ for the first time is fiddler supreme Fergal Scahill. Fergal, who hails from Galway, released one of the landmark fiddle CD’s of recent times ‘ The Dusty Bridge’. Tutoring on fiddle also will be Michelle O’Brien from Clare, whose style is hugely influenced by the playing of Tommy Peoples and is a member of the well-established and much travelled group ‘Providence’.

Tutoring tin whistle this year is the incomparable and Ireland’s best, Seán Ryan. Seán has made many acclaimed recordings and his unique style is hugely respected and loved. His performance in ‘The Grand Concert’ is eagerly anticipated. Bodhrán wizard Junior Davey is welcomed back to ‘Ceardlann’ again this year. Junior is seen by many to be the leading bodhrán player of his generation and a listen to his CD ‘Skin and Bow’, a duet with Declan Folan substantiates this view.

Sarah-Jane Woods from Dublin will be teaching flute. Sarah-Jane has toured internationally with the group Liadán and is a much sought after tutor, as is Méabh Ní Lochlainn who will be teaching tin whistle this year. Along with Sarah-Jane she tutors annually at the ‘Joe Mooney Summer School’ in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim and Comhaltas’ own Scoil Éigse at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Harp classes will be taken by the pioneering Laoise Kelly who was really the first to push the boundaries of the harp in Irish traditional music.

Teaching Banjo is the renowned and versatile Brian McGrath. Originally from Fermanagh but now living in Galway, he is famed for his equal brilliance as an accompanist on the piano and is to be heard backing many of ‘The Greats’ on their CD’s. Singing classes at Ceardlann will be in the expert hands of Edel Vaughan from Clare. Edel performs with Brú Ború in Cashel during the summer months and has travelled extensively with them.

Set Dancing
For followers of Set Dancing, master tutor Gerard Butler from Longford doesn’t need an introduction. Gerard promises an enjoyable and informative day in all the intricacies that make up the set dancing tradition.
All these great musicians along with the current All-Ireland Set Dancing Champions, The Kincora Set Dancers from Clare, will perform in the ‘Ceardlann Earraigh Grand Concert’ in the Glenroyal Hotel at 8pm on Saturday 4th April 2009 following the workshops.

Directions and Timetable
The workshops will be held in Scoil na Mainistreach, Celbridge, Co. Kildare. Celbridge is situated 12 miles from Dublin city centre and is easily accessible from the N4, N7 and M50 with the 67 bus running directly to the village from Dublin city centre. Registration and grading takes place at 10.45am with the classes following from 11.30am to 4.30pm. The fee for the workshops is ?20, which allows free entry, for junior participants, to ‘The Grand Concert’ at 8pm on the night.
Celbridge is adjacent to the village of Straffan which played host to the most prestigious golf event ever held on these shores. Join us in Celbridge for the music, singing, craic and Grand Concert in what should prove to be ‘The Ryder Cup’ of all Workshops. Bígí Linn!

For further information please visit the website located at

Permalink - Posted: January 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm