Huge congratulations to our branch member and tutor, Caoimhe O’Kane, on receiving her Comhaltas TTCT Teaching Diploma. The presentation was made by Comhaltas President Éamonn Ó hArgáin at the annual Comhaltas Congress in Sligo on Sunday, 7th May. Well done, also, to all the other recipients on a fantastic achievement.

Derry and Antrim Fleadhanna 2024

Well done to all our members who took part in the Antrim Fleadh in Portglenone and the Derry Fleadh in Derry City last weekend.

Congratulations to all those who competed at both events, where we had a number of winners and qualifiers for the Ulster Fleadh in both solo and group competitions.

At the Antrim Fleadh on Saturday, Patrick Magee was awarded first place in the O-18 mandolin while his sister, Siobhan, came second in the 15-18 concertina and also qualified with third place in the newly composed tunes category.

In Derry, Annie Diamond won the 12-15 tin whistle slow airs and was third in the tin whistle dance tunes. Caitriona Lagan won both the newly composed tune and 15-18 miscellaneous instruments playing the mandola while Hugh Mulholland came second in the same newly composed tune competition. Maryrose Murphy did exceptionally well in achieving third place in a large and competitive U-12 tin whistle section with Sophia Bradley also taking part in the same competition at her first fleadh. Sophia was also part of the winning U-12 trio. Trease Nig Raine qualified for the Ulster Fleadh with a second place in the 12-15 harp slow airs while, at the group competitions in Portglenone on Sunday, Annie, Siobhan and Caitriona were in the winning 15-18 grupa ceoil and ceili band representing Ceoltoiri Crosskeys. In the O-18 competitions, we were represented by Patrick Magee, Hugh Mulholland Caoimhe O’Kane and Roise McCloy in the winning Ceoltoiri Crosskeys grupa ceoil while Hugh and Caoimhe also played in the Killimorrie ceili band who were winners of the senior ceili band competition.

Best of luck to all those going to compete in Dromore at the end of July and thanks to the Baile na gCailleach and Portglenone branches of Comhaltas for hosting very enjoyable and well organised fleadhanna.

Ballymena Festival 2024

Congratulations to Siobhan Magee and Annie Diamond on their successes at Ballymena Festival last weekend. Siobhan achieved first place in both the O-16 Miscellaneous Instrument and O-16 Slow Air Open competitions while Annie was placed first in the 12-15 Slow Air Open competition and second in the 12-15 Tin Whistle. Annie was also awarded the Councillor Sandy Spence Shield as most promising tin whistle player at the festival. Well done, girls!

AGM 2023

Our AGM takes place tomorrow evening, 17th October, in Newbridge GAC hall at 8:30pm. We would encourage as many members as possible to attend as this is an important forum for discussing branch development, activities and plans for the coming year. New members are also welcome, especially parents of children attending our classes who would like to find out more or be involved in the running of the group. Membership fees for 2023/24 are also due as registration is being submitted to the county board following the meeting.

Resumption of Monthly Sessions

We’re pleased to announce the return of our monthly music session.
In a break with tradition, we will be moving to the first FRIDAY of each month, starting on Friday 6th October.

We’re also combining our slow adult and junior sessions into a slow session for all, starting at 7:30pm. The senior session will then begin at 9:00pm.

Admission is £3 for adults, refreshments will be served from 9:00pm-10:00pm and the venue is the Newbridge GAC centre. Everyone welcome.

Classes – Autumn Term 2023

Our weekly music classes resume on Saturday, 16th September, in Anahorish Primary School. Registration for the classes will take place in the school on Saturday, 9th September, between 10:30am and 11:30am. It’s important that anyone hoping to attend our classes (including returning pupils) comes along to the registration morning to both guarantee their place and to facilitate the timetabling of the classes for the following week.

We’re currently offering classes in tin whistle/flute and fiddle. Subject to demand, we may also consider arranging classes in other instruments, so email or send a DM here with any suggestions or queries – committee members will also be available to advise at the registration morning. All ages and abilities, including beginners, will be catered for in all of our classes. The class timetable will be finalised following registration with each class lasting 45 minutes and starting between 10:00am and 11:15am.

The cost of the 12 week autumn term is £45 which includes a discounted membership fee of £5 per child. Additional family members will pay £35 (again including membership fee) while the cost of a second class (in a different instrument) will also be £35. Fees may be paid by cash, cheque or debit/credit card. Other membership options are:

Family – £18

Senior – £11

2nd senior in household – £7

Junior (not attending classes) – £5.50

Ulster Fleadh Report 2023

Congratulations to all our members who competed at the Ulster Fleadh in Dromore a couple of weeks ago. We had solo success in the Mandolin competition, with Caitriona Lagan winning in the 15-18 age group, while Roise McCloy also qualified for the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Mullingar with second place in the 15-18 Flute. In group competitions, four of our senior musicians were members of the winning Ceoltoiri Crosskeys O-18 Grupa Cheoil – Caoimhe O’Kane, Hugh Mulholland, Anthony Totten and Patrick Magee (pictured). Well done, also, to Valentino Lupari and Annie Diamond on their performances at the fleadh.

Best of luck to all our members heading to Fleadh Cheoil in Mullingar over the next week. There’s a week long programme of events including concerts, workshops, ceilis, sessions, gig rig performances and much more before the competitions get under way on Friday. We hope everyone has a safe journey and enjoyable time during their stay.

Derry Fleadh Report 2023

Congratulations to all our competitors who took part at the recent Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire Dún Geimhin 2023.

Pictured is Valentino Lupari who won both the flute and whistle competitions in the 12-15 age group. He was also placed second in the slow air competitions in both instruments and qualifies for the Ulster Fleadh at the end of this month.

Also heading for Dromore is Caitriona Lagan who won all three of the competitions she entered in the 15-18 age group (Banjo, Mandolin and Miscellaneous Instruments – Mandola) as well as the Newly Composed Tune category.

And Roise McCloy was winner of the 15-18 whistle, flute and piano competitions – she was also joint third in the Newly Composed Tune competition with our branch chairman, Hugh Mulholland.

Annie Diamond also qualified for the Ulster Fleadh having been recommended as a third place winner in the 12-15 whistle slow air section. She also came third in the harp competition.

Well done, also, to Maryrose Murphy who competed in her first Fleadh in the U12 whistle competition.

Thanks to everyone at Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire Dún Geimhin 2023 and Derry CCE for organising such a successful and enjoyable fleadh and best of luck at the Ulster Fleadh to all our members who qualified in solo and group competitions from both the Derry and Antrim fleadhanna in recent weeks.

Derry Fleadh Competition Timetable

Antrim Fleadh 2023

Well done to all our members who took part in Fleadh Cheoil Chontae Aontroim in Cushendall a couple of weeks ago, especially Siobhan Magee who was winner of the 15-18 concertina competition. Siobhan was also a member of the winning Ceoltoiri Crosskeys 15-18 Grupa Ceoil along with Roise McCloy, Caitriona Lagan and Annie Diamond. Congratulations as well to those who were members of winning grupai cheoil and ceili bands at O-18 level – Hugh Mulholland, Anthony Totten and Caoimhe O’Kane were part of the Ceoltoiri Crosskeys group while Hugh and Caoimhe also played in the Ceili Band competition representing Dunloy CCE. Best of luck to them all at the Ulster Fleadh in July and to those competing in the Derry Fleadh at the start of June.