Our end of year virtual sessions were a tremendous success, with around 50 different musicians of all ages and abilities taking part across the three sessions. Videos of the performances are available below.
Our final sessions of the season would have been held in The Elk on Thursday, 7th May. They won’t, obviously, be going ahead now due to the restrictions in place, but we were hoping to post a set of tunes from each of our sessions on the night by asking everyone who might have been attending to record a video of themselves, submit it to us and we’ll try to piece everybody together and synchronise the audio.
Sheet music and an audio backing track to play along with can be downloaded from our Downloads page where you’ll also find a link for uploading your video. Each of the audio files has a short introduction to set the tempo and give you an idea when to start playing. Simply listen to the audio on one device using earphones and play along while recording on a second device. It might take a bit of practice to get used to but should be fun. Feel free to play at all three sessions and, if you’re a multi-instrumentalist, record as many videos as you wish!
Due to the measures announced by the Irish Government on 12th March regarding the coronavirus crisis, Comhaltas at national level have issued a directive aimed at protecting the welfare of its members, supporters and the wider community. It applies to all branches, north and south of the border, and necessitates the suspension of our Saturday morning classes for the immediate future. We have also had to cancel the Big Trad Breakfast that was due to take place on St. Patrick’s Day. We’ll keep you informed as soon as possible regarding the resumption of classes and whether our monthly session in April will take place. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Congratulations to all our competitors at Ballymena Festival on 22nd February. We had almost 30 youngsters take part and, as well as having several prizewinners in solo competitions, our groups won both the Primary School Age and Secondary School Age group competitions against some very stiff opposition. Both groups played fantastically well on the day and it’s the first time our secondary school group has won their section. Thanks to all the youngsters for taking part and to their parents for their support. Special thanks to the tutors and mentors for preparing the groups to such a high standard.
To mark 10 years of entering groups in the festival, we’ve included a photo here of our very first group from 2010.
In solo competitions at Primary School age, Annie Diamond won both Miscellaneous (piano) and Harp competitions, while Darcy Donnelly was placed 2nd in P1-P4 Tin Whistle and Valentino Lupari was Highly Commended in the P5-P7 Tin Whistle.
In the Post Primary solo competitions, Caitriona Lagan was winner of the Banjo/Mandolin section, Brian Magee (accordion) won the O-14 Miscellaneous, Siobhan Magee (concertina) won the U-14 Miscellaneous and Ava McPeake (concertina) was 2nd in the same competition.
Congratulations, also , to the Loup CCE members who played in our groups – Katherine Kealey (3rd in Primary School Harp), James Kealey (1st in P5-P7 Tin Whstle, 2nd in U-14 flute) and Charlie Kealey (1st in U-14 Tin Whistle and 3rd in U-14 Fiddle).
We had another hugely successful set of sessions on Thursday, 6th February, with large numbers of musicians at each of our junior, slow and senior sessions – a short clip from the senior session can be viewed below.
Classes are taking a mid term break as our groups prepare for Ballymena Festival on 22nd February – they will return for the final 6 weeks of term on Saturday, 29th February.
A couple of sets of tunes have recently been added to the set list for our monthly slow session which continues to attract a large number of ‘mature’ musicians. The sheet music and audio can be downloaded for our Downloads page.
Our activities for 2019 were concluded on Saturday night, 14th December, when a group of about 15 of our musicians provided the music for the vigil Mass in Newbridge chapel. Earlier in the day, we had our final class of the year where we had a short session for our pupils in Anahorish Primary School which was also attended by their friends and families. The previous Saturday, 7th December, we were invited to play a few tunes at the annual Senior Citizens Christmas dinner in Ballymaguigan Hall. Thanks to all the musicians and their families who supported these and all our other events throughout the year.
Our first event of 2020 will be our January session on Thursday, 2nd January, in The Elk. All three sessions (junior, slow and senior) will be held upstairs in The Creagh Suite at 7:30pm, 8:15pm and 9:00pm respectively.
Classes resume on Saturday, 4th January, with registration from 10:00am and classes at the usual times (10:30am and 11:15am).
We had great turnouts and fantastic music at all three of our sessions on Thursday, 7th November. Pictured below are the musicians at the slow session in the Creagh Suite, while we had similar numbers attending the junior and senior sessions downstairs. Classes resume on Saturday, 9th November, in Anahorish Primary School and continue until the final class of the autumn term on Saturday, 14th December.
At our recent AGM, the following officers were appointed to serve for the incoming year.
Chairperson – Hugh Mulholland
Vice-Chairperson – Mary Cassidy
Secretary – Roisin Magee
Assistant Secretary – Pat Magee
Treasurer – Kevin O’Kane
Auditor – Margaret Conway
PRO – Seamus Donnelly
Youth Officer – Caoimhe O’Kane
Treorai na Gaeilge – Kieran McKenna
Delegates to Co. Board – Seamus Donnelly and Kevin O’Kane
Child Protection DLPs – Theresa Cassidy and Kevin O’Kane
Thanks to everybody who came along to our October sessions. We had three great, well attended sessions with some new faces and lovely music throughout the evening. We also took the opportunity to mark Ellie Conway’s recent All-Ireland success with a small presentation on behalf of the branch. Our next sessions will be on Thursday, 7th November but, before that, our AGM will be held in The Elk on Wednesday evening, 16th October, at 7:30pm. All members and interested parties are welcome to attend. Finally, membership fees are now due and can be paid to any committee member.
We had another hugely successful fleadh season this year, with multiple Ulster champions and an All-Ireland winner in Ellie Conway who won the 12-15 whistle competition at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Drogheda.
At the Ulster Fleadh in Castlewellan at the end of July, Roise McCloy qualified for the All-Ireland in three different competitions, playing three different instruments, and coming away with two Ulster titles. Ellie Conway won at the Ulster Fleadh on her way to her All-Ireland success and we also had members in the winning O-18 Grupa Ceoil from Ceoltoiri Crosskeys – Hugh Mulholland, Anthony Totten, Roisin Magee and Patrick Magee The group went on to take second place in Drogheda.
Full list of prizewinners from the Ulster Fleadh were:
12-15 Piano – Roise McCloy 1st
12-15 Flute – Roise McCloy 2nd
12-15 Whistle Slow Air – Roise McCloy 1st
12-15 Whistle – Ellie Conway 1st
12-15 Mandolin – Caitriona Lagan 3rd
O-18 Mandolin – Patrick Magee 3rd
Newly Composed Tune – Hugh Mulholland 3rd
O-18 Grupai Cheoil – Ceoltoiri Crosskeys 1st (including Hugh Mulholland, Anthony Totten, Roisin Magee and Patrick Magee)
O-18 Ceili Band – Killimorrie Ceili Band, Dunloy 3rd (including Dick McKeague)
And at the All-Ireland Fleadh:
12-15 Whistle – Ellie Conway 1st
O-18 Grupai Cheoil – Ceoltoiri Crosskeys
Congratulations to everybody who represented Newbridge CCE at feis and fleadh competitions this year. We have a short break now before classes get under way again at the start of September. More information will be published in the next week or two.