Ennis secondary schools are getting ready to play host to Scoil Éigse, the week-long summer school for traditional music which is run each year in conjunction with Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.
Classes will run each day for traditional instruments; fiddle, flute, whistle, accordion, concertina, banjo, harp, uilleann-pipes and piano-accompaniment, as well as traditional singing in Irish and English, dancing and conversational Irish. A mixed-instrument class also exists for adults only.
Ennis Community College and Gaelcholáiste an Chláir will host classes in concertina, piano accompaniment, bodhrán and sean-nós dance. Rice College will host the banjo, flute, pipes and harp classes, and Coláiste Muire will host the remaining classes and the Scoil Éigse Information Centre.
The schools are looking forward to playing their part in Fleadh Cheoil 2017, according to Brian O’Donoghue, principal of Ennis Community College and Gaelcholáiste an Chláir. “It’s a natural extension of our educational mission”, he says. “Music is offered to all students at Ennis Community College and the Gaelcholáiste – it’s at the core of our curriculum and we’ve partnered with Music Generation Clare to ensure that as many of our students as possible have the opportunity to study music”.
Well-known concertina player Pádraig Rynne is one of the tutors on the Music Generation programme at Ennis Community College. He’s also involved in Scoil Éigse, where he will be joined by Frances Cunningham, who is a past pupil of Gaelcholáiste an Chláir.
Scoil Éigse will feature some of the finest traditional musicians in the country, and its director is Ennis musician and RTÉ presenter Kieran Hanrahan, who has himself been a tutor at Scoil Éigse for many years.
Apart from the daily classes, Scoil Éigse also affords the students and their parents and friends an opportunity to hear the tutors in a performance setting each afternoon in the Scoil Éigse recital series. Club Éigse, a traditional session involving the students and their tutors will take place each evening at 8pm, and the final Scoil Éigse 2017 tutors Concert will take place on Friday morning 18 August at the Supermacs Dome.
Enrolment forms and further information about Scoil Éigse are available at www.comhaltas.ie.