Children playing music at the Joe Mooney Summer School 2016
The 29th annual Joe Mooney Summer School kicks off this weekend when the finest traditional musicians from home and abroad gather in the picturesque town of Drumshanbo.
The hugely popular Summer School runs from this Saturday, July 15 to Saturday, July 22 hosting a wide range of events throughout the week.
Every aspect of traditional music is catered for through classes, workshops, recitals, talks, concerts and ceilithe in various venues throughout the town.
During the week, 62 tutors will conduct classes covering music, song and dance.
Registration for classes takes place in the Mayflower Community Centre on Sunday afternoon, July 16, from 4-6pm and again on Monday morning, July 17, from 8.30am.
Classes commence every morning at 10am (9.30am for set dancers) until 1pm (12pm on Saturday) and cater for all age groups from 6 years up.
The official opening of the festival will be conducted in the Lough Allen Hotel on Sunday, July 16 at 7.30pm, by renowned fiddle player and Shannonside presenter, Paddy Ryan, who has been a tutor at the school for many years.
Immediately afterwards the opening concert will feature the launch of Tommy Guihen’s new CD “The Torn Jacket” followed by the traditional group “Gatehouse”.
A much anticipated event this year will be the unveiling of the “Danu” sculpture situated in the Riverside Park which is right in the middle of the town.
This magnificent work was commissioned by the Joe Mooney Summer School and created by Manorhamilton sculptor Jackie McKenna.
It commemorates the ancient Irish legend of the Tuatha De Danann and their arrival on the slopes of Sliabh an Iarainn. The unveiling takes place on Monday, July 17 at 7pm. To celebrate this wonderful piece of art, the Sculpture Sessions will take place every afternoon at 4.30pm in the Riverside Park.
Over the past three years, local songster Eamonn Daly, accompanied by his wife Orla on harp and piano, have enchanted audiences with presentations on the Songs of WW1, Yeats in Song and Poetry and the Songs of 1916. This year’s performance which is entitled 'The Irish Comic Song Tradition,' will take place in the lovely setting of St. John’s Church of Ireland on Wednesday, July 19 at 3pm. An afternoon not to be missed.
Another event not to be missed is the Grand Traditional Concert, on Thursday, July 20, when all of the tutors gather together for a feast of Irish music, song and dance.
The following evening the Summer School BBQ, which attracts huge crowds, takes place in the Lough Allen Hotel.
Set dancers are well catered for with a ceili almost every night and an open air session of set dancing on High Street. from 4.30 to 7pm on Saturday, July 22nd.
Apart from the organised events there are a host of activities to interest visitors to the town. If you are interested in boating, sailing, fishing, walking cycling, or hiking, then you’ve come to the right place.
With impromptu sessions on the streets and the local hostelries coupled with the warmth and friendliness of the local people, Drumshanbo is the place to be .
Take part or sit back and enjoy the atmosphere!