A superb line up of artists will take to the boards of the Abbey Stage Ballyshannon on Thursday 25th October for a gala concert of the very best in Irish Traditional music beginning at 8pm. It promises to be a brilliant night of song and tune, of grace notes and harmonies.
The line up includes the internationally renowned harpist Michael Rooney who has so many stings to his bow (pardon the pun), there isn’t enough room in this article for all his achievements.
Michael had early shown talent as a musician and when he opted for the Harp the Irish music world had found its successor to O Carolan. He has since delighted crowds on both sides of the Atlantic has played to rapturous applause in England and has accompanied Mary Mc Aleese our ex president to every part of the Globe. With his wife June Mc Cormack the famous flute player from Sligo he performs as Draíocht. They have played to great acclaim world wide. Not only is he a musician of note he is also a composer of new Irish Music. One of his early outings as an international musician happened to be in the Abbey in Ballyshannon where his composition Famine was performed to packed houses. So while he is returning as the famous Michael Rooney he will be very familiar with his surroundings in the Abbey.
The All Ireland Fleadh has come to Donegal, twice. Both times it was held in Letterkenny. The man behind that phenomenon is Paddy Tunney. From a famous musical family Paddy has been playing the fiddle and entertaining crowds both here in France and in Canada. Son of the famous source of Irish song Paddy Tunney from Muleek, Paddy has been playing with the Comhaltas branch in Letterkenny for many years. As teacher and fiddler, the holder of the tradition received from Michael Coleman through Hughie Gillespie his style and panache has delighted halls everywhere.
John Tunney now living in Ennis has been known , like his father as a gifted singer of traditional music. We welcome John to Ballyshannon not only as a singer but as a composer. We hope to hear his latest composition on the night.
Shanua Mullen who has played with the Dave Munnelly Band will be one of the featured singers. From a very musical family ( which can be traced to the Man of Songs) Shauna has a unique and thrilling voice which will delight everyone. Tutored under the care of the great Margaret Mc Ginley Shauna embodies in her voice the wild rich and carefree spirit that was her inspirational teacher.
Caoimhin mac Aoidh a dedicated “fior ceoltóir” will team up with Danny Meehan , Peter Campbell and the one and only Terry Mc Intyre to provide the erneside town with a taste of local magic. Danny has just won TG4 life time award for Traditional music and is a master fiddler. Peter Campbell form the famous Campbell music family of Glenties is highly acclaimed in Europe and the US where he has recorded and performed on many occasions. Terry Mc Intyre has been one of the hubs around which Ceoltóiri na hEirne have revolved through the years. His unassuming manner and wit has made the hostelry down the mall a must visit location for real musicians.
Seamus Sweeney , the man with the Philosophers stone for musical talent , on the banks of the Erne has been turning the base metal of potential into the gold of All Ireland award winners for so long now he won’t admit it.He has gathered some of his former protégés together to entertain on the night.
Damien Mc Geehin and Aidan O Donnell both well known in their own right as superb fiddlers with “Fidil” Damien an Ulster and All Ireland champion and Aidan the TG 4 young musician of the year award recipient in 2012 will light up the night with their talent. Indeed this writer has heard Damien sing and what a voice what a talent! Shane Rooney is an accordion player of the highest regard.
The Abbey expects to be lifted off its foundations when he starts and in the company of Clive Acheson a brilliant banjo virtuoso of the future a truly magnificent show is promised.
Altogether this band of singers and musicians would grace the stage of any theatre in the world.
A great night is in store this Thursday, October 25th.