fiddle

 

We had over 80 workshop participants at last year's festival. We are proud to once again feature some of the top teachers and performers in Irish music today.

***If you are new to Irish music and dance, we encourage you to enroll in one of the classes labeled with the symbol *** which denotes a class suitable for beginners. It is recommended that you have some amount of playing experience for all other classes. Saturday workshops are intended to be a full day intensive with the same instructor.

Visit the Registration page for fees and to sign up!

Saturday Workshops
April 8, 10am-3pm (Orientation 10am, Lunch break 12-1:30) at St. Michael the Archangel School, 10 Willow Ave., Baltimore, MD 21206

Button accordion - Billy McComiskey

This class is designed for students of the button accordion with some prior experience. Students should at least have a working knowledge of the keyboard and basic scales. Tunes will be taught traditionally, breaking them down into easy-to-learn sections at slow and moderate tempos. Ornamentation and bass accompaniment options will be demonstrated and discussed, as well as alternate fingerings and styles of play.

Fiddle (advanced) - James Kelly


This class is designed for violinists or fiddlers already playing Irish music who want to improve technique, style and Irish tune repertoire. Ornamentation and technique will be covered and the class will learn several tunes by ear.

Fiddle (intermediate) - Rose Flanagan

This class is for students able to learn a tune by ear and who have an intermediate level command of the instrument. The focus of the class will be on repertoire but more particularly on bowing, as well as ornamentation, accents and variations. Make sure to bring a recording device.

Fiddle (advanced beginner) - Dylan Foley

This class is for violinists or fiddlers already playing a little bit of music who want to improve technique, style and Irish tune repertoire. Ornamentation and technique will be covered and the class will learn several tunes by ear.

Guitar - Daithi Sproule

This class will explore approaches to the accompaniment of Irish music with dadgad tuning. Focus will be placed on rhythm, chord selection, phrasing, and right- and left-hand techniques.

 

Flute (intermediate/advanced) - Kevin Crawford

This class is for students who are skilled enough to play tunes in a variety of rhythms (jigs, reels, etc.), with good technique and at a reasonable tempo. This course will expand on the skills and topics introduced in the beginners class, with more attention given to ornamentation, breathing, style and repertoire, while continuing to emphasize rhythm and phrasing in the music. Tunes will be taught by ear so bring a D flute and a recording device. ABC notation will be provided for those who need it.

Flute (intermediate/advanced) - Kathleen Conneely

This class is for students who are skilled enough to play tunes in a variety of rhythms (jigs, reels, etc.), with good technique and at a reasonable tempo. This course will expand on the skills and topics introduced in the beginners class, with more attention given to ornamentation, breathing, style and repertoire, while continuing to emphasize rhythm and phrasing in the music. Tunes will be taught by ear so bring a D tin whistle and a recording device. ABC notation will be provided for those who need it.

Flute / tin whistle (advanced beginner) - Aaron Olwell

For flute and/or tin whistle players who may know a few Irish tunes, would like to improve their technique, repertoire and ornamentation and learn more about Irish Traditional music as well as flute and tin whistle styles of playing.

Tenor Banjo/Mandolin - Bob Smith

In this course for banjoists and mandolin players of all levels, Bob will cover right- and left-hand technique, ornamentation, tune settings, and different banjo styles. Tunes that are particularly well-suited to the banjo and mandolin will also be incorporated into the class. Students are advised to bring a recording device.

Concertina - Alex Boatright

Description coming soon...

Uilleann Pipes - Dan Isaacson

The class will focus on the areas of; the tuning of the pipes, the teaching of new tunes which will start with the basic melody. At this stage attention will be on fingering technique and rhythm will be most important. Moving on we will focus on variations and ornamentation. Dan will be happy to discuss tunes that students may already have in their repertoire. Audio recording devices essential. Class wll be taught by ear, have your pipes in the best shape possible.

Irish traditional Songs - Pat Egan***

Songs are like stories – some are short, while others go into great detail. And if well written, you can be drawn right in. But where do you find these songs? How do you find the version that best suits you and your voice? Patrick’s workshop will guide you and show you by example. You will come away with great songs, fresh ideas on approach and finding the right songs, and techniques for relaxing while singing and finding your voice. Patrick also will show you how to approach accompaniment on the guitar (standard tuning) using simple but emotive chords, simple picking, and strumming patterns. Above all, you will learn to love the simple pleasure of “singing a song”.

Irish Piano - Donna Long

The Irish piano class this year is designed for intermediate to advanced players.  We will focus on tunes that are more difficult and have unexpected melody/chord changes.   I will be teaching a minimum of four tunes and we will talk about the different ways to make a tune interesting without detracting from the melody. 
Please bring a tape recorder and note paper.  There will be handouts of tunes.

Bodhran - (Irish drumming) - Intermediate/Advanced - Myron Bretholz***

Learn and improve your skills for accompanying jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas, and more. We will also discuss how to practice and continue improving, and how to fit in, hold your own, and positively contribute to a session or performance. Please bring your bodhran and tipper to class.

Irish Music 101-
Josh Dukes ***

No experience necessary! Newbies encouraged! If you've thought about playing Irish music or are just interested to find out what it's all about, this class is for you. And what a great opportunity to learn from one of the best! All Ireland champion Josh Dukes will give a overview of Irish tradtional music, its origins, the different instruments involved, what makes a good session, what IS a session, Adjusting to participants interests, Josh will teach you a tune or two on the tin whistle (bring your own or buy one at class) and a few rhythms on the bodhran. Songs will also be discussed.
Open to both adults and kids over 8.

Old Style Irish Dance (Intermediate/Advanced) - Kieran Jordan

Traditional Old Style Step Dancing: 10:30am-12pm
Old Style Irish Step Dancing developed more than 200 years ago in Ireland. Traveling Dance Masters who composed intricate hornpipes, jigs, and reels were renowned for their detailed teaching methods, feisty performances, and signature movements and styles. Their steps like “drums,” “rocks,” “tipping” and “toe clicks” have developed over the years into our modern Irish dance vocabulary. Old-style step dancing allows dancers of any age and level to learn traditional footwork that can be danced to uptempo, traditional Irish music. Kieran's old-style steps include dances learned directly from master
collectors and teachers, such as Joe O'Donovan, Patrick O'Dea, Michael Tubridy, as well as other dancers throughout the US and Ireland. Students in this class will learn the simple, yet beautifullystructured, patterns that are the foundation for all of Irish step dancing.

Sean-nós (“old style”) Irish dance: 1:30-3pm
Sean-nós (“old style”) Irish dance is a joyful expression of movement and sound. Considered to be one of the earliest forms of Irish dancing, sean-nós is an improvised solo style, with footwork danced close-to-the-floor, a relaxed upper body, and a playful dialogue between the dance and the music. In this class, students will enjoy listening and responding to traditional Irish music while gaining confidence as percussive dancers. The class will focus on timing, technique, building a body of basic steps, and developing a personal style. Please wear comfortable shoes with a smooth hard sole (leather or hard rubber soles are preferred — please no taps or fiberglass). Dancers are encouraged to bring water, a notebook, and a recording device.

Irish Social Dance - Megan Downes (Beginner/Intermediate)***

If Irish music makes you tap your feet, come dancing! Irish sets are a fun and social way to be a part of the music you love. Learn how to swing, jig, slide and glide. Learning the Monaghan Set will teach us the rhythms of jigs, reels, hornpipes and polkas while practicing the basics of how to move around the set with a partner.

 

Sunday Workshops
(April 9 at The Avenue in Hampden (Exact location TBA soon.)

Song Repertoire class - Daithi Sproule

1:30-3 pm

Dáithí will share some rare and beautiful songs from his wide repertoire. The emphasis will be on singing without accompaniment and he will teach at least one song phonetically in Irish. Dáithí believes everyone can and should sing! All welcome! He will also play a few recordings of his favourite singers.

Tune Teach

3:15-4:45 pm


A great opportunity to learn some new tunes in a group setting! (Some experience needed)

Intro to Irish dance

1:30-2:30 pm

Designed for beginners of all ages, this class will introduce the basic footwork for Irish dance. Kieran will demonstrate and teach the foundation steps and rhythms used in sean-nós, step dancing, and set and céilí dancing. All are welcome and no experience is required. Stay for the céilí that follows 3-5pm, to dance your steps with live music!