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New Release from Fergal O’Brien

On 20th November Fergal O’Brien will be launching the first ever Grade 2 Bodhrán Tutor and CD in Tí Chulainn, Mullaghbawn.

John Joe Kelly has agreed to launch the book and CD with master classes for beginners and advanced player throughout the afternoon before being joined by John McSherry and Brian Finnegan for what promises to be an intriguing day of traditional music. John Joe’s comment on the tutor was: “I have read many tutorials over the years but found this one in particular fun and creative, but yet sincere in its points that are being made”.
Beoga bodhrán maestro Eamon Murray has also reviewed the publication and was struck by the innovative notation which Rene de Kat, another bodhrán tutor with the Traditional Arts Partnership, has helped to develop alongside Fergal.
“Fergal is a lovely player and has brought many great young players through his tuition ranks. What he’s put together here is a wonderful breakdown of rhythm along to specific melodies from the tradition and will no doubt be a great aide to players coming through. More and more people want to learn through some kind of system of notation. Fergal and René’s notation is simple to pick up and ideal for this kind of learning. Mighty work from mighty men”

The publication was inspired by thirteen bodhrán candidates from the Traditional Arts Partnership (Ring of Gullion) who took part in the first ever London College of Music (LCM) bodhrán exams in St Mary’s Primary Mullaghbawn a few months ago. All candidates achieved distinctions across grades 2, 4, 6 and 8.
According to Fergal, “the purpose of this book is not to create a beginner guide to the bodhrán, as there are already a number of good guides and accompanying CDs. It is about sharing tunes and knowledge which enabled the Traditional Arts Partnership bodhrán “pioneers” to achieve their success”. Performance & repertoire tunes and supplementary tests are from Fergal’s own interpretation of the syllabus and other teachers will have many other examples they can use.

The tutor should be of interest to bodhrán tutors and candidates who embark on similar journeys. The book has already been well received by parents and students with social media comments like “What a brilliant resource this will be”, “A fantastic resource and a brilliant way to launch it”.

The day will be opened by the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick at 2pm. Registration for the bodhrán workshops is through Fergal email: and tickets for the concert will be available through Tí Chulainn.

Permalink - Posted: October 3, 2016 at 10:07 am