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Tag Archives: Willie Clancy Summer School

Web series showcases Miltown’s musical youth

THE wealth of musical talent of the young people of the Miltown Malbay area is set to be showcased to audiences around the world in a new web series to be released from this week. The series, which was the brainchild of the Miltown Malbay Development Committee (MMDC) and was filmed by Neil Hynes, the manager of the state-of-the-art €1.4m community centre in the West Clare town, features some of those who have taken the tradition into the 21st century. The initiative was prompted after the pandemic forced the cancellation of this year’s Willie Clancy Summer School. Mr Hynes explained, “Realising the streets wouldn’t be heaving this July with musicians and tourists from all over the world, we felt that it may be easy for the public to assume that the spirit of the area had been sucked out of it, that it was no longer there. No Willie Clancy, no Miltown Malbay. Nothing could be further from the truth.” …

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West Clare counts the cost of Summer School cancellation

MILTOWN Malbay and the wider West Clare community continue to count the cost of the cancellation of an event whose economic value has been set at between €5 and €10 million annually. The Willie Clancy Summer School, whose cultural value is probably impossible to estimate, is among the casualties of the coronavirus restrictions. Its absence, on what would have been its 48th birthday, will be felt well beyond the Banner county. This year’s event had been expected to attract 1500 students  between July 4 and 12, with many thousands more attending for sessions, talks, seminars, dancing, concerts and the general festival atmosphere. Administrative Director Harry Hughes described the cancellation of this year’s Scoil Samhradh as “disappointing but inevitable” in the context of Covid-19. “We had been hoping things might improve in terms of the virus, but that wasn’t to be,” he remarked. “We are very disappointed for all of our students and tutors who attend year after year and the cancellation …

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Scariff Harbour Festival cancelled due to pandemic restrictions

THERE has been a further blow to the county’s calendar of summer events, with confirmation in recent days that the annual Scariff Harbour Festival will not go ahead this year. The news follows the cancellation of a number of high-profile events, including the Willie Clancy Summer School, Spancilhill Fair, the Feakle Festival and more, and is in line with government recommendations and Covid-19 restrictions. The Waterways Ireland-sponsored festival, scheduled for the August Bank holiday week-end, is internationally regarded for the quality of its contributors, drawing key-note speakers, entertainers and performers of renown. The event, which was to have marked its 18th year, also showcased key attractions in East Clare and offered a host of free outdoor music, walks, talks, guest speakers, boat tours and children’s entertainment, making it a social highlight and a key driver for the local economy. “It is a huge disappointment for the community, festival-goers and the organising committee that this year’s festival cannot happen,” said Chairman, Mike …

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Arts grants for Clare projects

People in Clare will experience the arts in new and exciting ways this year, according to the Arts Council. Outlining its plan to invest €68.4 million nationwide over the course of the year, the agency for developing the arts said the focus of this year’s investment would be on creating opportunities for the public to experience large-scale work, as well as work of real artistic ambition, by supporting organisations through its two new funding programmes. “2018 is going to be an excellent year for people in Clare who enjoy the arts, said Arts Council Director, Orlaith McBride. “whether you love visual arts, traditional arts, or festivals and events, whether you are young or old, you will experience wonderful work that will lift your spirit.” In addition, there will be increased funding for particular work by artists,emerging companies and organisations through the new Arts Grants Funding programme Individual artists will be supported through a range of schemes such as bursaries and …

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Tapping into global teaching

MILTOWN Malbay on Willie Clancy week resonates with varied accents, strains of traditional music and rapid weather alterations. On Monday afternoon, the main street in the West Clare town teemed with people, while inside the open doors of the public houses, music wafted towards the open air. At Hennessy Memorial Park, the pavilion resounded with set dancers pounding the afternoon into evening, while even the old dressing room building was packed with students and tutors. Kieran Jordan, who is from Philadelphia but has lived in Boston for more than 20 years, was one of the teachers, along with Kevin Doyle from Rhode Island. While leg and soft muscle injuries are more associated with sport, Kieran has been on the treatment table a fair bit herself. She counts torn hamstrings, a torn ligament in her foot and a torn hip cartilage as amongst the strains and knocks she has encountered while dancing or teaching it. “It makes you reflect and say …

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Approved courses for teachers at Willie Clancy

Peter O’Connell The programmes on offer at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, July 5 to 13, are now recognised by the Department of Education and Skills as approved summer courses for teachers. Among the courses on offer are Dúchas an Cheoil, the Heritage of Irish Music programme which examines the historical, cultural and social backgrounds to the evolution of the Irish traditional music heritage, and the traditional singing workshops which explore the different genres of song in the Irish and English language traditions. These courses are suitable for those wishing to develop a critical overview of the key personalities, events, publications, organisations and influences that have shaped the development of Irish traditional music, song and dance over the past two cenruries. One does not have to be a musician, singer or dancer to participate in these programmes. For those determined to improve their practical skills there is a full programme of instrumental tuition as well as classes on old-style step dancing, …

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