AGM 2021

Our AGM will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, 26th October, at 8:00pm.

Although our activities have been curtailed over the past 18 months, we’re starting to make plans for the upcoming year, so anyone interested in the development of the branch is invited to take part. As a voluntary organisation with limited resources we need skill sets and time from many different individuals and we welcome everyone to come along and join us in building and promoting our branch.

Anyone wishing to attend should PM your mobile number and/or an email address to this page or to Seamus on 07960 956 959.

AGM 2020

We will hold our AGM on Wednesday 21st October at 7.30pm. Current executive guidelines do not allow us to meet in person so we will use the online Zoom portal for the meeting. The meeting will be open to everyone – if you wish to be a part of it please send your mobile number and/or an email address to Seamus on 07960 956 959.

Covid-19 Update

At this time of year we would normally be preparing to resume our activities following the summer break. However, due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and the large amount of planning and implementation of mitigation measures required to run classes safely, our committee has regretfully decided that classes are to be postponed indefinitely. This decision hasn’t been taken lightly as our classes are the most important function we carry out as a group, but the safety of our members, pupils, tutors and volunteers is paramount.
It is also anticipated, at this time, that our monthly sessions will not be able to resume, as scheduled, in October. We do, however, hope to carry on with the virtual sessions we initiated earlier in the summer in an effort to increase the repertoire of our non-beginner pupils and would ask our parents to encourage all the children to continue practising in the knowledge that we’ll eventually be able to get back to face to face classes.
The above decisions will be constantly reviewed, with reference to Government and Comhaltas advice/regulations as the situation evolves.
We know this news will be disappointing for many but ask for understanding and patience in these unusual times. We’re also available and happy to help with any queries our members might have – just send a PM/email/text at any time and we’ll get back to you.

More Virtual Session Videos

Our slow session and junior session groups have been learning a couple of slides recently. We’ve just completed compiling and editing the recordings and they’re now available on our YouTube channel and we’ve embedded them below. Thanks to everyone who took part.

Virtual Session Videos

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.

May 2020 Virtual Session

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!

Coronavirus Statement

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.

Ballymena Festival 2020

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).

February 2020 Update

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.

December 2019 News

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).