An Irish Good-bye, An American Thank You

Though it has been almost a week since I returned home from fiddle school in Ireland, I can still hear the last session ringing in my head. And here is what it sounds like:

Sessions like this went on all night and every night throughout the fiddle week in Glencolmcille. Though there were only two bars in the town, every night both were filled with music like this until the wee hours of the morning. I think I’m still trying to recover from my lack of sleep, even a week later. Those who frequent Irish Arts Week in the Catskills know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a tune learning marathon complete with sessions that never actually end. The music is still ringing true in my head and in my heart.

Looking back on my trip to Ireland, I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to attend the Donegal Fiddle School and travel about meeting new people, learning new tunes, and seeing new places.

I would like to shout out a special THANK YOU to the following people who made my trip memorable:

  • Rab Cherry – the man that never sleeps. Rab does an amazing job organizing the fiddle week incorporating classes, dances, concerts and talks so that everyone gets a well rounded experience of the Donegal tradition. He also completely took care of me, making sure I had a place to rest my head, a fiddle class to go to, concerts to attend and so much more.
  • Tara Connaghan – fiddler extraordinaire (and also the woman who never sleeps). If it wasn’t for Tara I wouldn’t have even known about the fiddle school. Thanks for the ride, the session in Ballyshannon, introducing me to your friends, the wifi, the boat ride and the towel. I hope you make it over to the states so I can return your hospitality.
  • Mick Brown – for being a great fiddle teacher (and player) and being so patient with me while I so slowly learned tunes.
  • Natalie Connelly and Anneke Schroevers for great food, song and conversations.
  • Caoimhin Mac Aoidh for the tunes and the stories and being such a great housemate!

I don’t know when I’ll get back to Ireland but I do know that Glencolmcille and the Donegal Fiddle School will always hold a special place in my heart.

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