11th Annual Carolan Festival

Carolan Festival Vermont

Photo credit: Artistic Approach Photography, Cynthia Lubas & Family ​

It’s that time of year again to celebrate the music of Turlough Carolan, a blind Irish harper, singer and composer who is famous for his beautifully melodic tunes, many with a Baroque influence. Some of the most famous ones include Planxty Fanny PowerSí Beag, Sí Mór, and Blind Mary to name a few.

On Saturday, June 17, musicians and music lovers from all over will gather to play, listen, sing, and dance to the music of Carolan. Below are the details:

Date: Saturday, June 17, 2017

Time: 10am-9pm

Location: Mallery Farm, 108 Norton Rd., Worcester, VT

Suggested Donation: $10/person, $20/family of four (pay what you can)

Details: Open sessions, Workshops, music & dance (English Country, Irish Ceili, Morris, waltzing) performances & concerts including Young Tradition Vermont Fiddleheads & Harp students with Dominique Dodge; Benedict Koehler & Hilari Farrington.

Meals: purchase on site from Back Road BBQ.

Please note: the event will take place rain or shine. Also, please leave your furry friends at home, for people only.

For more information

For more information, including a detailed schedule of events, visit carolanfestvt.com, email carolanfestvt@gmail.com or call 802-229-9468.

Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day in a new way

Irish MusicSt. Patrick’s Day is the day the world celebrates the patron saint of Ireland. As an Irish musician, it is usually one of my favorite holidays. Mostly because, for me, it’s a recognition of this amazing music — everyone wants to hear Irish music on St. Patrick’s Day.

Regardless of why we have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in the past, I’d like to propose that this year, we make St. Patrick’s Day a day that not only honors of the patron saint of Ireland, but also honors of all American immigrants.

Immigrants bring diversity into our culture, diversity into our music and diversity into our lives. So this year I’d like to raise that glass of green beer (or any drink) in honor of all the immigrants who came to America in search of a better life. We salute you! And thank you to all the musicians from all over the world that brought, and continue to share their music with us all.

This weekend you can enjoy all sorts of Irish music, dancing and other festivities in celebration of St. Patrick and all the immigrants who make up our fine country. Here are few of my favorite events to check out this weekend.

Friday, March 17

St. Patrick’s Day at the Grange Hall, Waterbury
317 Howard Ave, Waterbury Center
7pm-9pm
$20

A show of local world-class musicians and Irish dancers. The event is family-friendly and includes:

  • Knotwork – with Michael and Annabel Moynihan, Don Schabner and Sebastian James. Knotwork has played Irish traditional music in Vermont and across Europe for over a decade. Recordings are available on iTunes, Amazon, and other digital music stores.
  • The Northern Lights – From foot stopping jigs and reels to dreamy waltzes and hoppy hornpipes, The Northern Lights will take you away to the shores of Ireland. The trio, based out of the Waterbury/Richmond area, is made up of fiddlers Katrina VanTyne and Denise Dean, and multi-instrumentalist, Jonathan Leonard. With 2 fiddles, guitar, bouzouki, button accordion and harmonium you’re bound to enjoy the sweet melodies of this traditional Irish music band.
  • The Church Restoration Project with Allen Church and Pete Haselbach as well as Heather Morris’ Celtic Dance Company

Saturday, March 18

 

Between the Jigs and Reels: Ireland’s History Through it’s music
Pickering Room, Fletcher Free LibraryTraditional Irish Music
235 College Street, Burlington
10:30am-Noon
Suggested Donation: $8

Music has helped to cheer and sustain the Irish spirit through times of oppression, poverty, and emigration. Benedict Koehler and Hilari Farrington will weave a unique and captivating history of Ireland through music on some of its iconic instruments: Irish harp, uilleann bagpipes, button accordion, and tin whistle. Founders of the Vermont School of Irish Traditional Music, these well-known musicians have played and taught music throughout North America and Ireland.

O’hAnleigh Live
51 Main, Middlebury
7:30-9pm

All your favorite Irish-pub sing-along song with some old ballads, artful originals, and toe-tapping fiddle tunes.

Sunday, March 19

Burlington Irish Heritage Festival Ceili
Contois Auditorium, Burlington, VT
1:00pm-3:00pm

Brattleboro Irish SessionThe ceili is fun for the whole family with Irish step dancing, and some fine local traditional Irish musicians. There is a bake sale, raffle and information about Irish language, Irish culture and more. After the Ceili, musicians are invited to stick around for a traditional Irish session.

There are a ton more events going on for the next week or so. For more information on the Burlington Irish Heritage Festival download the 2017 schedule of events.

 

 

Irish music in June

June, when the weather is warm, the days are long and music festivals and concerts in Vermont are abundant. June is the true beginning of summer and what better way to enjoy it but with some Irish music. There are a couple of Irish music events around Vermont this month that you won’t want to miss:

Irish Music Festival – June 17-19

Turalough O'CarolanIf you like the music of Irish harper and composer, Turough O’Carolan, check out the 10th Annual Carolan festival, a festival filled with lessons, workshops, concerts, sessions, dancing and more, all celebrating the music of Turough O’Carolan.

This year’s featured performers include Irish harper, Máire Ní Chathasaigh and guitarist, Chris Newman. Other performers include harper Dominique Dodge, harper Hilary Farrington, piper Benedict Koehler, The Fiddleheads and more.  See the full line-up of performers and festival events.

Deadline for pre-registration and to pay for meals is June 10.

Date: June 17-19, 2016
Place: Worcester, Vermont
Register:  Contact Us

Irish Fiddler, Frankie Gavin – June 21

Frankie Gavin, FiddlerFrankie Gavin began playing whistle at age 4 and fiddle at age 10 and by the time he was 17 he placed first in the All Ireland Fiddle Competition and in the All Ireland Flute Competition on the same day. His influences were Michael Coleman and James Morrison and helped to form the band De Dannan in 1973. He has recorded 16 albums with the band and a handful of solo albums. He’s played with Stephane Grapelli, The Rolling Stones and Earl Scruggs. Learn more about Frankie.

Date: June 21, 2016
Time: 6-8:30pm
Place: Burlington Violin Shop, Church Street, Burlington, VT
Cost: $25
Register: email mark.sustic@gmail.com

There are only 40 seats available so register today!

Carolan Festival this weekend

Traditional Irish Music

Benedict & Hilary

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? This weekend marks the 9th Annual Carolan Festival, a gathering for people who play, listen, sing or dance to the music of Turlough Carolan, a blind Irish harper and composer.

The Irish festival takes place in a beautiful Vermont country setting overlooking the North Branch of the Winooski River and Worcester Range. The weekend will be filled with Open sessions, Workshops, Country & Ceili dancing, music & dance (English Country, Irish Ceili & Step, Morris& Rapper, sean nos, waltzing) performances & concert. Rain or Shine.

This is the only festival devoted to the music of Carolan in the USA- there are 2 O’Carolan Festivals in Ireland. Wonderful harpers will be performing (including Hilari Farrington), but many other instruments will also be played. The music lends itself to a wide spectrum of music, dance, and song.

Please visit the  website www.carolanfestvt.com for more info.

Enjoying St. Paddy’s Day in Vermont

button accordionMarch is one of my favorite months. It’s the month both my mother and grandmother were born, it’s the month where the days get so much longer, it’s also the month to celebrate Irish music. And you don’t need to be Irish to partake in the festivities.

Growing up in Boston, St. Patrick’s Day was always a huge celebration with parades, music, parties, and lots of drinking. As I got older and moved to Vermont, St. Paddy’s Day became less about testing my metabolism and more about sharing this poignant music with the masses who might not be exposed to it during the rest of the year.

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Liz Carroll Returns to Vermont

liz carroll irish fiddlerWhen I was first taking fiddle lessons I said to my teacher at the time, “I want to play fast.” She said “start listening to Liz Carroll.” So I did. And I fell in love with her music.

It’s not the speed of Liz’s playing that makes her such a brilliant player though, it’s the preciseness of her notes, the swing in her rhythm and lift she brings to the melody. Her ornaments are perfectly placed and every now and then she switches up the key or changes one major (or minor) note to bring color to the tune.

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