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40ú Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy

July 7th – 15th, 2012

The 40th annual Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy will be opened by internationally renowned uilleann piper, Liam O’Flynn, on Saturday, July 7th. The piper has family connections in West Clare and his playing was influenced by the music of Willie Clancy, whom he knew and with whom he played. Liam taught at the summer school in the early years, when the overall numbers were very modest, and the piping classes a fraction of what they are today. He will be returning to a vibrant piping school, with 18 classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced, specialist classes on slow airs, and workshops on reed making and pipe making.

Having reached its 40th birthday the school should be in celebratory mode; and it is; but it is a celebration tinged with sadness, because the co-founder of the school, and the driving force behind it for so many years, Muiris Ó Rócháin, died last October. Muiris’s promotion of Irish traditional music resulted in his being awarded Gradam na gCeoltóirí / The Musicians’ Award, in the annual TG4 Gradam Cheoil Awards, in 2010. It was a well deserved tribute from the traditional music community. His overall contribution to Irish culture will be recognised by the University of Limerick in March when it will posthumously award an Honorary Doctor of Letters.

His contribution to Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and traditional music will be marked and celebrated at the 2012 school. There will be a commemorative event on Tuesday afternoon, the 10th July, when musicians, singers, dancers, folklorists, story tellers and the John Street Wren will congregate to celebrate his life’s work. This year will see the inauguration of a scholarship in his memory. Oineach Mhuiris Uí Rócháin is a family scholarship, sponsored by Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and administered by Na Píobairí Uilleann. Full details on the scholarship and application forms are available from NPU at 15 Henrietta St, Dublin 1; Tel: 01-8730093:

Raidió na Gaeltachta will be marking its 40 years involvement with Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy by broadcasting a concert from the Community Centre on the opening Sunday night. Raidió na Gaeltachta broadcasts for the full week of the summer school every year. Links between Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and the Gaelic arts in Scotland, first established in the early 1990s, have continued over the years with singers and musicians from Gaelic Scotland a regular presence at the school. This year’s opening lecture, delivered by Malcolm MacLean, Director of Proiseact Nan Ealan /Scotland’s National Gaelic Arts Agency, will examine developments in the Gaelic arts in Scotland over the past decade and the Irish connections. In other lectures, Pat Mitchell re-appraises the musical legacy of Willie Clancy, Harry Bradshaw traces the history of the recordings of Irish traditional music since the beginning of the 20th century, and accordion player, James Keane, recalls the people, places and experiences that shaped his musical life.

The 40th summer school promises  education and entertainment, a school and festival, in a convivial atmosphere.

Permalink - Posted: March 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm