Catskill Irish Arts Week Logo


Lecture Series, Irish Language, Harp Maintenance, etc. [4:00 – 5:00 pm daily]

Every weekday afternoon, starting at 4:00 pm, all of our students are welcome to attend and participate in our lectures, presentations and slow sessions.  Musicians will be leading sessions around town – there are scheduled slow sessions and intermediate sessions, as well as special lectures or presentations about a particular instrument, player, locality, or other interesting topics relating to Irish history, traditional music or dance.

Bernadette Nic Gabhann – Irish Language

4:00 pm to 5:15 pm, Monday – Friday: Shady Maple, opposite the Shamrock House

Blas Gaeilge, A Taste of Irish… The Irish Language in Music and Songs. FREE/ drop in for all – sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge

forasblas gaeilge logo

Iris Nevins – Harp Maintenance
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Monday 7/14/14: Weldon House

Dan MilnerIrish Songs from Old New England
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Tuesday 7/15/14: Weldon House
Beginning during the Civil War, large numbers of Irish people crossed from Canada to work in the timber woods of northern New England.  Others had already found their way to farms and factory towns in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  They sang a magnificent collection of old ballads and newly-made songs that reveal the troubles and joys of life on both sides of the Atlantic.  Oddly, this huge collection of songs has been largely overlooked.  Singer, song collector, geographer and historian Dan Milner reveals their content and performance in what promises to be an engaging lecture containing plenty of useful take-aways.

Seamus Connolly: Celebrating his Life in Music –
In Conversation with Matt Cranitch, Sally Sommers Smith and Paul Wells
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Wednesday 7/16/14: Weldon House
Seamus Connolly is one of the major figures in the world of Irish traditional music in the US. Not only is he a wonderful fiddler (with more All-Ireland titles to his credit than anyone else has ever earned), but he is also a renowned teacher, and great promoter of Irish music. He is longtime Sullivan Artist-in-Residence at Boston College, where he also heads the Irish Music program, and continues to mount Gaelic Roots programs throughout the academic year. Currently he is just completing work on a major collection of tunes. In 2013 he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was also awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest form of recognition bestowed on a traditional artist.  In this presentation, Seamus will talk about his life of music on both sides of the Atlantic, touching on matters such as musical influences, sources and repertoire, teaching and performance, and much more. In a setting that combines words and music, this occasion offers a unique opportunity of gaining a deeper insight into the creative persona of a truly wonderful and influential musician. The event will be presented jointly by Matt Cranitch, Sally Sommers Smith and Paul Wells.

Robbie O’Connell – The Last Hurrah:
The role of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in the Irish Folk Revival
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Thursday 7/17/14: Weldon House
As an eleven-year-old, Robbie O’Connell attended the first concert of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in Ireland in 1962. He later spent nineteen years as a member of the Clancy Brothers, recording three albums with them. He speaks candidly about his years touring with the group and assesses their role in the resurgence of Irish folk music in the 1960s.

Cormac MacConnell- “A Small Bird Blown Off Course!”
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Friday 7/18/14:  Weldon House
In Glasgow in the Spring, at the Celtic Connections tribute concert in honour of my gentle genius of a musical brother Cathal, I saw one sentence on the festival programme which still rings in my memory. It read: “A Small Bird Blown Off Course!”  Is that not beautifully evocative after the winter storms on both sides of the Atlantic? About everything and everybody was blown off course. Somehow the winds that blow me off course in a delightful way are those which emerge from underneath the fingertips of our gifted musical brothers and sisters. Piping, tin whistles, and timber flutes and pipes especially touch acres of my soul and memory and current reality on a unique frequency which loosens both my tongue and my heart. And my soul. What flows from a group like those entertaining us now does not create any kind of lecture in the accepted sense of that word. But there is a kind of Celtic alchemy, surely, which purifies and uplifts us all and that is spiritual.

Paul de Grae and Marta Cook – Workshop: Building Dialogues; Panel: Representations of Silence and Struggle
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Friday 7/18/14:  Cultural Center
Workshop: Building Dialogues
Social, historical, and political contexts will be explored through group activities and discussions in order to go beyond common assumptions and perceptions and gain a basic awareness of structural dynamics that are usually invisible. Our basic assumption is that “no one knows everything, but together we know a lot.” Basic questions we may explore include: What images and representations of Irishness are judged “acceptable” and which are not? Under what circumstances? How might this affect what different people experience? How do the stories we tell about our identities mesh with the realities of the lives of others? How can conversations happen when it’s not possible to be articulate all the time?
Panel: Representations of Silence and Struggle
This panel aims to critique and challenge historical and contemporary cultural representations of traditional culture that emphasize disappearance and decline. Such representations celebrate the silence in which the dead or incapacitated can be passively projected upon. We aim to examine the structural and individual impact of this phenomenon on the lives of traditional artists from the Enlightenment to present-day neo-liberal capitalism.