Top traditional singers Fleadh Cavan
Subject: Top traditional singers Fleadh Cavan|
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 05:25 PM
ARTS COUNCIL DEIS FUNDED TRADITIONAL SINGING RECITAL
Host of top traditional singers lined up to feature in special performance at Fleadh 2010
• Cavan Crystal Hotel (upstairs room), Friday 20th August, 8.30pm–1am, admission €5 (tickets on sale at Multisound, Cavan, 049-4361312, and also at door, but book early as there is limited seating for 60).
• Includes the launch of Rita Gallagher's new CD, The May Morning Dew, in separate, adjoining room 10pm–10.30pm, admission free.
The time honoured love and appreciation of singing in Ireland will be duly reflected throughout Fleadh 2010 in Cavan, where numerous events and sessions will focus on all aspects of the song tradition, including a specially organised recital featuring about 20 of the finest singers and collectors of ballads and verse in both the Irish and English idioms.
Funded through the Arts Council Deis scheme, and taking place at the Cavan Crystal Hotel from 8.30pm–1pm on Friday 20th August, this Traditional Singing Recital is a must-see (and hear!) — not just for enthusiasts and experts, but for anyone who would like to learn more and enhance their understanding of how the tradition has evolved and been preserved, and how the old songs have been adapted and moulded through the years as they pass from one area to another and one generation to the next.
A special feature of the three hours plus event being hosted by highly regarded Tyrone singer Cathal Lynch will be the launch, at 10pm in an adjoining room, of a double CD, The May Morning Dew by Donegal's Rita Gallagher, a recording enthusiastically described by one reviewer as "a splendid collection of traditional songs", with each one being " a gem of special delight".
Joining Rita on the night will be a veritable who's who of renowned traditional singers, many of whom, appropriately enough to the setting, are steeped in the rich Ulster strain of balladry.
But for singers like Rosie Stewart or Gaby McArdle from the northern end of the island, or Paddy Berry or Johnny Mháirtín Learaí from the south and west respectively, the one thing they all have in common is a desire to share the song with the listener. It's not by accident that many's the ballad begins with "come all ye" or words to that effect, because every rendition of a song lives in the moment, and must be heard as well as sung.
In short, everyone is invited to share and enjoy the song and verse plucked from the wide-ranging repertoires the performers will bring with them, verses composed for the most part by long forgotten bards and balladeers who recorded the many joys and sorrows experienced in life by themselves and the people who lived around them.
RITA GALLAGHER CD LAUNCH
The singers, all of whom are highly respected for their interpretations of songs that are often unique to their local areas include the above-mentioned Rita Gallagher from Donegal, who launches her new CD on the night. Rita is one of the finest singers in the country, and the standard she has set for many generations to come is evident in The May Morning Dew, a new collection of 20 traditional songs in English which will be packaged on the night as a double CD along with her 14-song collection, Easter Snow', recorded in 1997.
A deserving three-times winner of the prestigious CCÉ all-Ireland title for ladies singing in English, Rita regularly participates in singing events around Ireland, and has toured Britain, Canada and the USA with Comhaltas.
In his sleeve notes for the new CD, the renowned Séamus MacMathúna, who will also be singing at the Cavan Crystal show, said it "excels and eclipses anything we have heard over the past decade". Describing the quality of singing in each song as "outstanding", he predicted that the recording would prove to be "a valued source and inspiration for singers of all ages in the years to come".
Cathal Lynch from Tyrone has been well chosen to compère this important recital. An all-Ireland champion in his own right, his passion for the songs, the singers and the history behind them is matched only by an in-depth knowledge of the subject that belies his relative youth.
The performers being introduced by Cathal on the night will include:
Rosie Stewart, a Fermanagh singer who has recorded three albums, The Rosie Drops of Dew, Adieu to Lovely Garrison, and The Leitrim Mountainside. Rosie was the winner of the TG4 Singer of the Year Award for 2004.
Jim McFarland from Derry has been a stalwart of the Goilin Singers Club in Dublin for many years and co-author, along with Inishowen singer Jimmy McBride of 'My Parents Reared me Tenderly' (1980). He recorded an album entitled The Mountain Streams in 2005.
Róisín White from Down had made two albums to date, and sings in a great Ulster Style, influenced by the likes of Paddy Tunney, Geordie Hanna, Sarah Anne O'Neill and Eddie Butcher.
Seamus Mac Mathúna is originally from Co Clare but has lived in Dublin for many years. A fantastic singer and flute player, Seamus is also a strong advocate of the Irish language and culture in song, and he has made a huge impact on the world of Irish traditional singing.
Ailish Hanna is a Tyrone singer, and daughter of the late Geordie Hanna, a legend in the tradition. Ailish sings with true heart and feeling, proving that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!
Gabriel McArdle from Fermanagh has recorded on two albums, Dog Big and Dog Little Claddagh Records (1989) and The Natural Bridge (1998). Regarded as one of the best there is, Gaby's voice has a wonderful tone, which one admirer compared to a well-tuned set of pipes!
Jackie Boyce is a singer, musician and collector from Co Down who, in the late 1970s, began a mission to track down every song that emanated his native county. His book 'Songs of the County Down' (2006) shows the effort he put into this noble quest, even if room could not be found for every verse that comes from that part of the country!
Paddy Berry is another fine singer, who goes one better than Jackie in that he has published two books on songs from his native Co Wexford. Paddy, who was the all-Ireland champion for singing in English in 1976, has also recorded a number of albums.
Frances Rodgers is a long established singer from Co Down, who for over 30 years has gathered a vast repertoire from all parts of the country, including some great Ulster songs recorded on her LP, The Oul Songs are the Best, Outlet Records (1978).
Mick Quinn from Armagh is a wonderful storyteller and singer whose yarns and songs bring great craic to any singing session. People should take care not to get included in any of the hilarious episodes he sings about!
John Kennedy from Antrim is a veteran fife and flute player as well as a singer, and he brings a true cross-community dimension to the recital. A wonderful source of songs, he has recorded an album for the Veteran label entitled The Girls Along the Road.
Josie Sheáin Jeaic Mac Donncha, who hails from An Aird Thoir, Carna, Co Galway, is a justly recognised master of the sean-nós tradition of singing in Irish, and comes from an area steeped in this ancient and treasured aspect of the singing tradition.
Johnny Mháirtín Learaí Mac Donnchadha is another veteran sean-nós singer from Carna who has many wonderful songs, and who, along with Josie Sheáin Jeaic, is a winner of 'Corn Uí Riada' the prestigious annual sean-nós singing competition at Oireachtas na Gaeilge.
Séamus Brogan is a traditional singer and lilter originally from Co Wexford who has been living for many years in London. Seamus has collected and saved for posterity many great examples of song from his area.
Catherine McLoughlin (nee Nugent) from Co Fermanagh is a daughter of the late fiddler Sean Nugent and comes from a family background totally immersed in Irish music and song. Catherine compiled a book of her father's compositions, 'The High Hills of Largy' (2007).
John Tunney, who is originally from Donegal but now living in Co Clare, is the son of another great singing legend, the late Paddy Tunney, and as such he carries forward an inherited passion for the songs and ballads of old.
Mairéad Walls is an Antrim singer and whistle player whose repertoire includes many lovely northern songs. She features as both a singer and player on the CD Crosskeys Inn - Live In The Kitchen (2000).
Another very special guest of the Fleadh who'll be dropping in and might be up for a verse or two is the intriguing Fermanagh singer and flute player Cathal McConnell, who has been named TG4's Gradam Ceóil Traditional Singer of the Year 2010, and who has an immense store of songs and tunes.
Indeed, Cathal is currently working on a major recording project that will preserve for posterity the 150 to 160 songs in his repertoire. The founder and anchor member of the legendary 'Boys of the Lough' for over four decades, Cathal is another of those whose background is deeply rooted in the music and song of his native area, in this case the village of Bellanaleck, near Enniskillen.
And yet another seasoned man of the tradition who might just pop his head round the door to add to this very impressive list of acclaimed performers is Cavan's own renowned lilter, Seamus Fay, who has been fittingly honoured as Fleadh President 2010.
FLEADH OF SONG
Indeed, the whole tradition of song will take pride of place throughout the Fleadh, which includes a varied range of events that devotees of song can attend and, of course, take part in themselves. The list of singing events includes:
•Singing & Storytelling Club at the Farnham Arms Hotel, from 9pm–12am, Monday 16th to Friday 20th.
•Slua Amhránaíocht (group singing in Irish) at the Kelly Rahill Centre, Cootehill Road, Cavan from 4pm–6pm on Wednesday 18th and Friday 20th, and from 3pm–4pm on Saturday 21st.
•'Singing Ireland's Song', a two-hour workshop with the 'Beyond the Blarney' group, which will explore the history and themes of traditional Irish singing (check www.beyondtheblarney.ie), at the Farnham Arms Hotel, 8pm–10pm, Thursday 19th.
•'Let's Sing', part of the Official Welcome & Canaimis, and featuring Seán Ó Sé and Cavan CCE musicians (in honour of Brian Prior), on the Peace III Gig Rig, 7pm–8pm, Friday 20th.
•Traditional Singing Club, Golf Club, from 9pm–1am, Friday 20th and from 9pm–11pm, Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd.
•'Songs from the Sperrins', a CD and booklet launch, Cavan Crystal Hotel, Saturday 21st, 5pm–6pm.