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Return of award-winning Celtic concert series

The East Clare Heritage Centre will once again open its doors to the arts as the award-winning Celtic ­Tradition Concert Series returns this week for another season of weekly concerts at St Cronan’s Church, Tuamgraney.
Winner of the Best Tourism Hospitality Award 2011 at the Ennis Chamber of Commerce/FBD Awards, the concert series showcases the music and culture Clare has to offer.
The series was founded by well-known Clare ­entertainer Kate Purcell and now enters its third season, where it will continue to present a sample of the very best of Clare entertainment in a friendly, cosy environment in historical surroundings.
The weekly concerts take place each Monday night from 8pm until 9.30pm at the East Clare Heritage Centre in St Cronan’s Church, Tuamgraney.
The church itself is a very popular and unusual venue as it dates back to the time of Brian Boru, whose brother was Abbot of the monastery on the site.
The church is used by the local Church of Ireland community, which makes it one of the oldest church in continuous use in these islands.
Many of the performers throughout the series will be household names such as concertina player Chris Droney and many have won titles at Fleadh na hÉireann. Professional musicians who have performed in previous series include Mary McNamara, Andrew McNamara, Manus McGuire, John Lyons and Seamus Bugler.
Another regular is music teacher and violin player Denise Glass.
Meanwhile, the next generation of Clare performers are well represented by Gearóid and Eimear Coughlan, grandchildren of the late Paddy Canny, and Mark Donnellan, son of the late Francie Donnellan of The Tulla Ceilí Band.
Not all the performers participating in the series will be from Clare and there is a chance to see artists such as Yuki Nishioka a Japanese classical violinist and violin teacher. She is a very competent traditional player and a great example of how Irish music has travelled the globe.
Another visiting musician who played during last year’s series is scheduled to return and he is renowned accordion player and traditional singer Brendan Begley from West Kerry.
The concerts also include Sean Nós dancing and Stephanie Keane, who is a teacher at workshops all over the country, will hold a regular slot during the series.


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