The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113098 Message #2401539
Posted By: Jim Carroll
30-Jul-08 - 02:15 PM
Thread Name: EFDSS and competitions
Subject: RE: EFDSS and competitions
As you say, Comhaltas has been in existence since 1951.
It has no accessible library, it has no sound archive, its magazine Treor is a joke on par with the Beano, it has no academic standing whatsoever, and its visitors centre, Bru Boru at Cashel is a musical Disneyworld.
It is totally devoid of any form of democracy, with a leadership that can expel branches without either consulting the membership beforehand or informing them after the event. The lifeblood of the organisation, the membership, is treated with contempt by the leadership.
Irish music is blossoming at present, not because of CCE, but in many cases despite it (read O Murchú's's report).
I saw hundred of youngsters in the UK driven out of the music because the motivation they were given was not love of the music, but the winning of medals - when they didn't win they left.
One of the strongest and most influential areas of traditional music in Ireland at present is here in West Clare, Miltown Malbay in particular. The main driving force behind the Irish music renaissance has been The Willie Clancy Summer School which has been in existence for three and a half decades and which CCE refused to participate in because of the refusal of the locals to hold competitions.
On the last 3 St Pat's Day parades there were well over 60 youngsters of school age playing Irish music here in Miltown, and playing it well - Comhaltas only re-opened a branch here last year after 25 years absence.
One of the main causes of the disappearance of regional styles has been the standardisation of the music in order to win competitions.
Comhaltas once played a vital part in the survival of Irish music; it no longer does so - As Breandán Breathnach once said "It is an organisation with a great future behind it".