The 30th Annual Glenties Fiddle Weekend with Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí takes place from Friday, October 5 to Sunday, October 7.
The line up for the Saturday night concert in the Highlands Hotel features Ingebjor Sorboen from Norway, Paul Anderson from Scotland, Derry fiddler Dermot McLaughlin and Maeve Donnelly from Galway. Donegal is well represented by Breffni and Iarflaith O’Donnell, Tara Connaghan and Derek McGinley, Danny Meehan, and Vincent Campbell. The concert starts at 9pm, admission €12 .
On Saturday and Sunday there are fiddle classes from 11.30 am to 1pm.
Also on Saturday at 12.30pm, there will be a talk remembering Simon Doherty of that amazingly talented family of musicians and tinsmiths, who died 50 years ago, followed by a look at the growing popularity of Donegal music over the past 30 years.
The organisers expect a great gathering of Donegal’s fiddle players and visiting fiddlers over the entire weekend, it promises to be another good one.
This tremendous event was first held in 1983 and was the formal beginning of Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí’s efforts to help the great fiddle traditions of Donegal survive and prosper.
In addition to the Fiddle Weekend, Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí has been actively involved in a number of other initiatives over the last 30 years.
These include: collecting and archiving the fiddle music and associated folklore of Donegal; organising classes at various venues around the county including masterclasses, mentoring projects and a very successful fiddle summer school, which attracts students from Donegal and all around the world; putting on concerts to make the fiddle music of Donegal more accessible to those interested, these events also offer the opportunity for the players to gain more public recognition; and working to preserve and maintain the styles of playing around Donegal and have brought the concept of preserving regional styles to the attention of many.
Cairdeas has also published a significant collection of CD’s: The Fiddle Music of Donegal Vols 1, 2 & 3, with Vol 4 coming soon; a series of solo CDS featuring Con Cassidy, Frank Cassidy, Vincent Campbell, Néillidh Boyle, Danny Meehan.
A new double CD featuring archive recordings from the late 1940’s and early 1950’s of the fiddle playing of Jimmy Lyons, lilting and stories from Peadar Johnny Johndaí Ó Beirn, songs by Ann Donegan and stories in Irish by Condy Johnny Johndaí Ó Beirn of Teelin is currently in production.
Cairdeas has also published a DVD on some of the traditional dances of Donegal and a tutor book of transcriptions of approx 350 tunes with audio is currently being prepared.
On top of all this, Cairdeas has developed, and continues to develop, a first class website, www.donegalfiddlemusic.ie.
To mark this 30th year of their activities, Cairdeas are introducing a new feature to the website, a fiddle tuition section. with such eminent tutors as Mick Brown, John Byrne, Tara Connaghan, Stephen Gallagher, Ronan Galvin, Caoimhín MacAoidh, Aidan O’Donnell, Damien McGeehan, Martin McGinley and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh. This section of the website will be going live just before the Glenties weekend, October 5-7 October.
Rab Cherry encourages anyone interested in fiddle playing or Donegal music to get in touch. “We are always interested in collecting information on fiddle playing (and music in general) in Donegal, so if anyone has information that they would like to share with us, or photographs, recordings, artefacts – such as old tin fiddles, home made fiddles or bows etc we would be very interested in hearing from you, we can be contacted through our website.”