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Consairtín 2016

Consairtín 2016, the second National Concertina Convention, will take place in Ennis, Co Clare on 1, 2 & 3 April and will be the first flagship event of the Clare, County of Culture, initiative.

Consairtín is a celebration of the concertina in traditional Irish music. The past few years has witnessed an exponential rise in the popularity of the instrument among traditional players in Ireland and the establishment of a national convention now provides a platform for enthusiasts of all ages to gather in an environment that encourages learning, discussion, performance and fun.

Situated in the heart of Co Clare, where concertina playing has been an integral part of traditional music life for centuries, and where it is currently thriving, Ennis is an ideal venue for such a festival and the event salutes the instrument’s special place in the local musical landscape. Some of the most highly-regarded practitioners and teachers from throughout Ireland and further afield will gather to share their expertise and showcase their musical virtuosity.

Performers and teachers already confirmed for the convention include John Williams, Niall Vallely, Gearóid Ó hAllmhúráin, Simon Thoumire, Mary MacNamara, Pádraig Rynne, Micheál Ó Raghallaigh, Edel Fox, Cáitlín Nic Gabhann, Jack Talty, Katie O’Sullivan, Mairéad Corridan, Clara Mannion and Francis Cunningham.

The principal events of the weekend will include:

·        classes for players of all ages and abilities with experienced tutors

·        instrument maintenance tutorials that will give students a hands-on opportunity to learn basic maintenance skills

·        specialist workshops for advanced players with John Williams, Simon Thoumire and Niall Vallely

·        official opening by Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh and Sonny Murray Memorial Lecture by Prof Gearóid Ó hAllmhúráin

·        nightly Club Consairtín and Consairtín Sessions hosted by leading players

·        Three concerts featuring:
o       Hugh Healy, Michael ‘Blackie’ O’Connell and Cyril O’Donoghue; Aoibheann Murphy and Brian Mooney (Friday night – Old Ground Hotel)
o       John Williams and Eoin O’Neill; Niall and Caoimhín Vallely; Simon Thoumire; the ICE Quintet, including the premiere of ‘An Pocaire Gaoithe’, a new suite composed by Tim Collins in honour of Clare, County of Culture. (Saturday night - GLÓR)
o       Mary MacNamara, Sorchadha Costello and Geraldine Cotter; The Droney Family (Sunday evening – Old Ground Hotel)

·        two showcase recitals by younger performers, one highlighting Clare musicians and the other featuring concertina players from throughout Ireland. These events will be followed by open sessions for teenage players of all instruments

·        an evening of tunes and stories in memory of Dympna O’Sullivan, the outstanding concertina player from Lissycasey who passed away last year.

·        spoken Irish class for beginners

The festival directors, Tim Collins and Áine Hensey, bring many years of artistic and academic experience and expertise to this new venture. Tim is regarded as one of Ireland’s leading concertina players and teachers. He is a member of the Kilfenora Céilí Band and has recently completed his doctoral thesis in NUI Galway. Áine Hensey has worked as a traditional music broadcaster and arts adminstrator for more than 30 years and has also recently completed a doctoral thesis at NUI Maynooth.

Beidh go leor de imeachtaí an deireadh seachtaine, idir ranganna, coirmeacha agus seisiúin, á reachtáil trí mheán na Gaeilge.

Further information: 086-2612127; email: or

Permalink - Posted: February 9, 2016 at 11:58 am