Brian Rooney to head John Joe Gordon Festival

Kiltyclogher’s own, Brian Rooney is to head this year’s John Joe Gordon Festival Weekend in Belleek, December 7-9.

Kiltyclogher’s own, Brian Rooney is to head this year’s John Joe Gordon Festival Weekend in Belleek, December 7-9.

Belleek remembers one of Ireland’s greatest fiddle players -with special guest Brian Rooney, 2012 TG4 Gradam Ceoil Musician of the Year. Also appearing are Ben Lennon, Danny Meehan, Pauline and Patsy Hanley, Kevin Abeyta, The Gordon family plus many more local and visiting musicians.

On the weekend of December 7th - 9th Belleek CCE Chairperson, Bernie McNulty presents an agenda that is sure to suit all traditional music, song and dance enthusiasts.

The programme commences on Friday 7th with a session in the Fiddlestone starting at 7pm and led by the members of Belleek CCE music class. As in the previous five years the official opening and Cead Mile Fáilte duties will be ably carried out by Ben Lennon in the Carlton Hotel at 9pm where afterwards a big trad session with most of the weekend’s high profile musicians will be in attendance.

At 2pm on Saturday, December 8 Brian Rooney will take a fiddle masterclass in the Wark Hall. This is a great opportunity for all fiddle players to learn a tip or two from “the Godfather”. Then at 4pm in the same venue and for something different this year there will be an Uilleann pipe demonstration and workshop – pipes are provided so come along and have a go. Rosie Stewart will host a singing session at 4.30pm where Pauline Hanly will be special guest. There will be an afternoon session in Mc Morrows from 2pm on Saturday with many informal sessions in both Garrison and Belleek throughout the weekend.

The focal point of the weekend will of course be the John Joe Gordon Commemorative Concert which will take place in the Gillaroo Centre, Garrison at 8.30pm on Saturday night. Recordings from all contributing artistes and John Joe Gordon’s CD “The Humours of Glendart” will be available for purchase throughout the weekend.

The concert with Gary Lynch as MC will include a performance by Danny Meehan, Pauline and Patsy Hanly, Gary Curley, the Fermanagh Plearachna na nOg group. John Joe’s son Anthony, his grandchildren and great grandchildren will also take the stage. The highlight of the concert will of course be the performance of Brian Rooney. Born and reared near Kiltyclogher and now longtime resident in London, Brian is looking forward to being back among neighbours, friends and family.

On Sunday there will be a private function for the residents of Shannagh Nursing Home at which once again visiting musicians will play. There will also be two workshops on Sunday both starting at 2pm. Pauline Hanly will take the singing class in the Fiddlestone Pub. Her husband Patsy will take a flute Masterclass in the Wark Hall at 2pm – again all levels of flute players are invited to come along. The Lough Erne Ceili Band will play in the Black Cat Cove at 4pm. To conclude the weekend, sessions will be found in all venues throughout the day and the Slán Abháile session will culminate in the Fiddlestone at 6pm.

This is indisputably a weekend of the highest calibre – to be enjoyed and welcomed by all, considering the wealth of musical talent on offer.