Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Cú Chulainn Short Film


Setanta, The Boy Cú Chulainn, is a short film by Patrick Fitz Symons and can be seen now on Youtube.

Link:  Setanta, The Boy Cú Chulainn

Cú Chulainn is the Ulster mythological hero who appears in the stories of the Ulster Cycle, as well as in Scottish and Manx folklore.  He is the first and foremost hero of Ulster. 

Monday, 28 May 2012

Scots-Irish Music Festival

Mark your calendars, the 6th  annual Scots-Irish Musical Festival returns to scenic Dandridge, Tennessee, on 29 September, 2012.   Events planned include; Bagpipe and drum competitions, Irish step dance and Highland dance demonstrations, Highland Games, and more.  

Come to the only Scots-Irish Music Festival in the United States on Saturday, September 29, 2012 in Historic Downtown Dandridge, Tennessee. The music festival honors the Town’s earliest settlers dating back to 1783. Families will enjoy this old-time Main Street Music Festival on the shores of Loch (Lake) Douglas in the foothills of the beautiful Smoky Mountains. The concert and all events are provided free of charge, courtesy of generous sponsors and patrons. The Town of Dandridge was named one of 2011’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The events start at 8:30 a.m. with Piping and Snare Drum competitions. At 10:00 a.m. the Street Festival opens with vendors selling Scottish and Irish merchandise and a variety of food.  There is a Children’s Play Area, a fun dog show, and many Clans with booths explaining their origins and history. Starting at 12:00 noon there will be a pipe band parade and the start of continuous stage entertainment.

At 6:30 p.m. the evening Ceilidh (Concert) will feature Scottish, Irish and Appalachian Celtic performers featuring the internationally acclaimed Celtic band Highland Reign, the Knoxville Pipes and Drums, The Nashville Pipes and Drums, Irish fiddle group The Celtic Martins, popular North Carolina duo Thistledown Tinkers, Highland Dancer Claire Macmillan, and Irish Step Dancer Katie Carver. The evening ends with the Lone Piper playing bagpipes at the top of the Town dike. “The Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival is known nationally for its high quality entertainment, vendors, and quaint downtown atmosphere,” said Tina Murrow, Director of Main Street Dandridge. “East Tennessee residents look forward to attending this Festival each year because it offers a free, fun and unique learning experience for the entire family. “ Festival Entertainment Chairman Mark Murray says:”We are proud to present an entertainment lineup that truly offers something for everyone - from dancing and piping to nationally known performers of both modern and traditional Celtic music.”

Please visit the Festival website at www.Scots-Irish.org  for complete details on entertainer bios and schedules, dance and piping entry forms, parking, contact and vendor information, and sponsor packages.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Donegal Gathering News

County Donegal has a plethora of excellent cultural, arts, and heritage events on the schedule this year, link below.

Link:   Donegal Gathering

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Live Broadcast and Video From Donegal on Friday

RTÉjr RADIO PRESENTS A LIVE BROADCAST AND VIDEOCAST OF our Donegal adaption of OSCAR WILDE’S THE HAPPY PRINCE WITH THE DONEGAL YOUTH ORCHESTRA & YOUTH CHOIR on Friday 18 May at 2pm and we invite you to listen in.  Pack up the school bags or put on the kettle and enjoy a  45 minute magical Donegal treat.

Ireland, and particularly Donegal is known for its creativity. Oscar Wilde, who wrote the beautiful story ‘The Happy Prince’, is one of Ireland’s most famous writers. Donegal County Council Cultural Services decided that they wanted to write a new adaptation of this most special story but write it in a way that made best use of our creative strengths in Donegal, which include music, storytelling and performance. We worked from this existing text, and writer, actor, storyteller and musician Little John Nee and composer Vincent Kennedy were commissioned to write and perform an orchestral/narrated Donegal adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince. We also asked Donegal Youth Orchestra if we wrote something especially for them, would they be interested in performing it and we were delighted when they said yes. The world premiere was performed in Donegal in April but now, with the support of RTE Jnr, we invite you to enjoy and experience our Donegal adaptation of 'The Happy Prince' .    

You can listen to RTÉjr Radio on your digital radio, online at www.rte.ie/digitalradio/rtejr, on Saorview and on the RTÉ Radio Player online, on iPad or on your mobile device. There is also an education pack that can be downloaded in Irish and English to ehance the experience for our younger 7-12 age group.  

“It is the combination of Little John’s words, Vincent’s music & orchestra and the singing of the choir that truly bring the story to life.  Close your eyes early on and the score allows you to see the snowfall on Errigal that Little John describes. The music paints audio pictures of the flight of the swallow, the people of the village, even of happiness and pain. In an era of near constant visual stimulation, it’s a treat for the audience to have their imagination put to such use.”  Carolyn Farrar, Donegal Democrat

Issued: 02 May 2012

For further information please contact:
Bernadette Johnston, RTÉ Radio Press Office
Phone: (01) 208 4157
Email: Bernadette.johnston@rte.ie

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Down From the Hills Heritage Music Festival

Traditional Southern music has Ulster roots.   The music festival in New Albany, Mississippi features fiddle music and is an enjoyable way to reconnect with one's heritage.
The 11th Down From the Hills Heritage Music Festival and State of Mississippi Bluegrass Championships are set May 19, 2012, at the Union County Fairgrounds in New Albany, Mississippi.  Cash awards in both youth and adult will total $8,000, as well as bragging rights with the state trophy.

Competitions in fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo and dobro are the individual competitions.  Bluegrass band competition will determine the state bluegrass band winner for 2012. A  Suzuki/Celtic fiddle workshop will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Admission on Saturday is $5 per person. Children under 6 free.

Union County Quilt Show and a Pony Pull are part of this event.  Other workshops for children will be held on Friday.  If area teachers would like to bring classes, they should pre register by calling 662-538-0014.  For more information go to www.mississippifiddlers.com or call 662-538-0014 or 662-534-1916.  Campsites with hookups are available.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Donegal Heritage Festival on 20 May

 Féile Grianán Áiligh 20th May

According to Historians, the ancient fort of Grianán of Áiligh was conquered and destroyed stone by stone in 1101 by Murtagh O'Brien, the ruler of the Fifth of Munster as a reprisal for the Ui Neill's destruction of his royal seat at Kincora some thirteen years before. In a few weeks time, Grianán will once again be conquered, only this time not to be destroyed, but to create an awareness of, and celebrate,the importance that this Fort has in Irish history.

The inaugural “Féile Grianán Áiligh” Ancient Cultural Event at the Fort takes place on Sunday 20th May to coincide with the Inishowen Food Feast Festival from 18-20th May.

The Féile will tell the story of the arrival of St. Patrick, who baptised “Prince Eoghan” (Owen), son of Niall of the Nine Hostages and Ri of Ireland, who came to Aileach and gave his name to Inish Eoghain (i.e. Island of Eoghan). This will be done through folklore/storytelling, ancient song, music, dance and carnival/drama/pageant in and around the Fort on the day. It will also consist of many exhibits, such as Basket Making, Wattle Making, Yarn Spinning, Falconry, Blacksmith /armoury, illustrating the life of the area at that time in history.

The ancient Fort of Grianan has much legend and historical stories attached to it and it has been the focal point for human activity for thousands of years. It was unanimously agreed by the amalgamations groups as being the ideal venue from which to host a Cultural event that will acceptable and neutral to all communities involved. The Féile will be a celebration of a period in time of An Grianán illustrating how ancient people lived their lives through work and leisure.

This community lead programme of activity will support important actions at a local level and that will endeavour to create and promote the region to a wider tourism audience, and to achieve greater community cohesion in the locality. The event will help maximise best use of the An Grianán Áiligh historical site and will showcase it in all its glory. The event will encourage visitors to the area, and it will be an opportunity for all communities in the locality to work together to bring much needed tourism related products to an area/region that is underdeveloped. The theory of this Cultural event has really taken on a new dimension and is gathering support from many different sources within the community since its conception.

Féile Ghrianán Áiligh cultural event is the first of its kind on this scale to be undertaken in the ancient site for over 30 years. Féile Ghrianán Áiliagh Group are an amalgamation of local development groups, local and cross-border businesses, artists, musicians, historians and tourism providers living in the border and surrounding areas of Inishowen & Derry, (all of whom have been involved in a variety of projects over the years in their local communities). The Project is supported by PEACE III Programme managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by Donegal County Council in conjunction with Inishowen Development Partnership.

The day promises to be a colourful one of cultural and historical interest that will capture the imaginations of all the family with events taking place throughout the afternoon from 1pm - 6pm. A full programme of the events for the day will be publicised in the coming weeks but in the meantime, reserve May 20 in your diary.

Traffic and access restrictions to the Fort will apply on the day. Parking will be available near to the Fort with transport provided. Admission is €5 or €15 per family. Tickets will be available in advance or pay on the day. For further details, contact Mary at 0872905922.

Féile Grianán Áiligh will also team up with The Inish Food Festival 2012: A Revelation of Irish food. Foodies on Tour 18-20th May 2012, this is a food blogger event initiated last year that snowballed into a massively popular weekend of demonstrations, talks, storytelling, singling, and eating, of course, on the Inishowen peninsula in Co Donegal.

For the full weekend line-up, please click the link below:

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Scots-Irish Music

Old Time Music has its origins in Ireland and Scotland, with the province of Ulster playing a particularly important role in the genre's formation.  From Old Time Music sprang Bluegrass in the mid 20th Century.  The Johnson Mountain Boys are an excellent example of the cultural continuum and links between the American Southern uplands and hills and Ulster.