Gallic flair for fiddle week

Gallic flair for fiddle week
Large crowds are expected in Glencolmcille next week for the 29th annual Donegal Fiddle Week.

Large crowds are expected in Glencolmcille next week for the 29th annual Donegal Fiddle Week.

There’s a busy programme of classes, concerts and sessions ahead for the popular event which starts on Monday. And this year it has an added Gallic flavour.

Joining the usual gathering of top-class musicians are fiddlers and dancers Perrine Bourel and Robin Vargoz from France, who specialise in music and dancing from the southern Alps.

More than one hundred fiddlers are expected to attend including some of the best-known names in Donegal fiddle music. Fiddle students from across the world will be taking part in the daily classes, and there are concerts on Tuesday night in the Folk Village and on Friday night in Halla Mhuire.

Rab Cherry of the organisers Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí said: “Fiddle Week draws people of many nationalities who love the chance to experience this marvellous fiddle tradition at close quarters. And it’s a great meeting place for fiddlers as well, who get to catch up and play lots of music.

“The school itself always has a great mix of local Donegal people and visitors from far and wide. It’s about promoting and teaching Donegal-style fiddling and we cater for all playing standards, from absolute beginners to advanced fiddle players.”

Perrine Bourel, a noted player of traditional music in France, will be teaching some tunes from her own region, including mazurkas, valses and scottisches. She and Robin Vargoz will also be performing in the Tuesday night concert in the Folk Village, and will also teach a traditional French dance during ‘dancing day’, next Thursday, 7th August.

Donegal fiddlers on stage on Tuesday night will include Martin McGinley and Peter Campbell. Also performing at Tuesday night’s concert will be Danny Diamond, who has just released a CD of his fiddle playing. In action on Friday night in the hall will be Dermot McLaughlin, Ciaran Ó Maonaigh from Gaoth Dobhair, a member of the group Fidil, Kilcar’s Stephen Gallagher and Danny Meehan.