A taste of trad for Castleisland students


Presentation Castleisland Secondary School recently organized a traditional music session for teenagers as part of the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival which takes place every year in the town.

he school’s music department wanted to give their students the opportunity to experience a traditional session and learn how tunes and tunes can be passed down from one generation to the next and how peer tutoring works. in traditional Irish music.

Being in the heart of the Sliabh Luachra region means that many pupils of the school play traditional music but often do not have the opportunity to participate in the sessions due to their age. The 30th Patrick O’Keeffe Festival was an ideal time for teachers Ailish O’Connor and Deirdre O’Brien to highlight the great tradition of Irish music to their students.

To give the party an authentic character, the teachers then decided that it was necessary to invite traditional music groups from other schools.

“We contacted the Patrick O’Keeffe Festival Committee and Kerry County Council Musician-in-Residence Eoin Stan O’Sullivan for help and ideas on how we could contact other schools. and get in touch with traditional actors who come to Castleisland for the weekend. They couldn’t have been more helpful and encouraging. We would like to thank them and our principal Pierce Dargan for supporting us in this project,” said teacher Ms O’Connor. A total of six schools participated. In addition to Presentation Castleisland, St. Patrick’s Secondary School and Castleisland Community College participated, along with Mercy Mounthawk from Tralee, Presentation Secondary Killarney and Boherbue Comprehensive School.

The students were joined and led by local traditional musicians Anne and Nicky McAuliffe and Celia Regan as well as many other well known players.

“I hope this will be the first of a long series and that there will be an annual teen session for the Patrick O’Keeffe Festival every year in the future at Presentation Castleisland.

It’s so great to see the students enjoying the music and interacting with other musicians. As music teachers, that’s what it’s all about for us. Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí mar a deirteann an seanfhocal,” Ms O’Connor said.

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