IrishFest Atlanta

Subtitle

Workshops

Each year IrishFest Atlanta brings world class artists to perform and lead workshops for our community. Read below for full workshop descriptions before registering. 


Attendees must pre-register for workshops through our registration site. 

SPECIAL WORKSHOPS!!


YOUTH TRACK: We have added a series classes designed to encourage our youth to learn more about tin whistle, song, dance, sport and more!  Learn more...


LECTURE: Mick Maloney on TWO ROADS DIVERGED: A Talk on Irish & Black Contributions to American Music and Dance. Learn more...

Track 1
Track 2
 Track 3
 Track 4
  Track 5
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Tim Hogan
Beginner Bodhrán


9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Damien Stenson
Introduction to Traditional Irish Flute Tunes 
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Oisin McDiarmada
Sligo Fiddle


9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Seamus Begley
Sean Nos Singing


9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Samantha Harvey
Irish Set Dancing 


10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Tristan Rosenstock

Int/Adv Bodhrán



10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Brenda Castles

Concertina



10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Athena Tergis

Violin to Fiddle: What makes it Irish


10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Niall O'Leary & Billy McComiskey
Playing Music for Irish Step Dancers
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11:00 AM -12:00 PM
Kelly Stewart
Beginner/Intermediate Harp
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12:00 PM -1:30 PM
Liz Hanley
How to Accompany Song with a Melodic Instrument
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Pride of Moyvane
Playing Music for Ceilis
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Robbie O'Connell

Song Writing in the Tradition

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Sean McElwain 

Guitar Accompaniment

12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Mary Branick Ujda
Ceili Dancing
 

Workshop Descriptions

 

TRACK 1

BEGINNER BODHRÁN - 60 minutes

Tim Hogan

Survey course of Irish music and dance rhythms played on the bodhrán (Irish frame drum). Session etiquette for percussionists and instrument care will also be outlined. Class includes an overview of the principal dance tune forms such as jigs and reels, hornpipes, slip jigs and slides. This class is for all levels. No instrument yet, or did you forget yours? Tim has a few bodhráns to borrow or purchase, email him at [email protected] Bring your bodhrán and a recording device.

(Maximum class size of 20 players)

Teacher: Tim Hogan

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED BODHRÁN - 60 minutes

Tristan Rosenstock

This workshop focuses on deconstructing tunes and using techniques to accompany them with fresh ears. The tunes will get truly under your bodhrán skin. We'll also take a closer look at some of the lesser-played tune types in the repertoire. 

BEGINNING-INTERMEDIATE HARP- 60 minutes

Irish tunes and ornamentation for the harp. Beginning students will learn an Irish tune (or two!) along with basic accompaniment and ornamentation.  More advanced students will have the opportunity to work on arranging, phrasing, and fancy fingerings.

(Maximum class size of 20 players)

Teacher: Kelly Stewart

HOW TO ACCOMPANY SONG WITH A MELODIC INSTRUMENT - 90 minutes

Liz Hanley

Boston born, Brooklyn resident Liz Hanley is a singer and fiddler with a background in Irish traditional music. She currently performs with several ensembles of various genres. She’s been playing with The Greenfields of America for the last decade. As a solo performer she has been developing techniques in self-accompaniment on fiddle. 


Singing and fiddle playing at the same time doesn’t seem like the most obvious combination. In a playful and inspiring workshop focuses on solo vocal and fiddle accompaniment, Liz Hanley will share tricks, introduce simple but effective techniques and practice methods.

 

With this workshop Liz hopes to inspire singers and players of melodic instruments to push the boundaries and find new ways to back their favorite songs.

All instruments and levels of experience are welcome! 

(Maximum class size 20 players)

TRACK 2 

INTRODUCTION TO TRADITIONAL IRISH FLUTE TUNES - 90 minutes

Damien Stenson

Students will learn Irish tunes on the flute with a focus on tune selection, ornamentation and phrasing.

(Maximum class size of 20 players)

CONCERTINA - 60 minutes

Brenda Castles

As well as learning new tunes, Brenda will  focus on ornamentation and helping students to learn to ornament the tunes themselves. Rhythm and phrasing are also focus points in the class. Brenda says that learning how to play tunes in different ways, using different options on the instrument is very useful to students. And sometimes it's fun to throw in a tune in an unusual key or time signature. (Maximum class size 20 players)

PLAYING MUSIC FOR CEILIS - 60 minutes

Margie Mulvihill, John Reynolds and John Paul Reynolds

If you’re an Irish musician longing to play for a ceili, then this workshop is for you! Margie, John and John Paul will discuss playing for set dancers. They will explore the different sets and how they vary with regard to the tempo that is expected.  As Margie says “no dancer would put up with a slow Connemara”. Our seasoned ceili dance musicians will also discuss appropriate tune selections and how to prepare a set list prior to playing for a ceili dance, and will share their own set list for a few of the most common sets.

(Maximum class size 20 players)

TRACK 3

SLIGO FIDDLE - 90 minutes

Oisin McDiarmada

Sligo Fiddle workshop, based around the Fiddlers of Sligo Tunebook.   This new publication includes transcriptions of 52 tunes from the recorded repertoire of 22 historic Sligo fiddlers, along with commentary about the Sligo fiddle style.  There will be a limited number of books available for sale, but are not mandatory for taking the workshop. Bring a recording device.

(Maximum class size of 20 players)

VIOLIN TO FIDDLE: WHAT MAKES IT IRISH? - 90 minutes

Athena Tergis

Irish Fiddle style from a Classical Perspective
Learn specific bowings, ornaments and phrasing for transforming mere notes into unmistakable Irish melodies.

(Maximum class size 20 players)

SONG WRITING IN THE TRADITION - 90 minutes

Robbie O’Connell

Have you ever wanted to write a song but did not know where to begin? This class will examine all aspects of songwriting, from the initial idea to the finished song. We will explore the various steps along the way to completing a song, and discuss the tips and tricks for increasing your creativity and becoming a songwriter. Whether you have already written songs or you are just starting, this class will save you many hours of toil by bringing you through the complete process from beginning to end. Bring a recorder, a notebook and an instrument.  If songs are your passion, this is the class for you. Time Length:  60 minutes

(Maximum class size 20 players)

TRACK 4

SEAN NOS SINGING - 90 minutes

Seamus Begley

Learn to sing traditional Irish songs with one of today’s best Irish singers.

(Maximum class size of 20 players)

PLAYING MUSIC FOR DANCERS - 90 minutes

Billy McComiskey & Niall O'Leary

Playing music for dancers
In this workshop we will explore the different techniques that are required to play music for dancers: tune selection, rhythm, tempo, style. 
Many musicians have stated that playing 'live' music for dancers is one of the most exhiliarating and rewarding experiences, and even more dancers have said the same thing! How to do it so that you get it right every time? Attend this workshop to find out! www.nialloleary.com

(Class size  max - 20 players and dancers)

GUITAR ACCOMPANIMENT - 90 minutes

Sean Mc Ellwain

In this workshop, Sean will cover the rudiments of DADGAD Guitar and also Bouzouki.

(Maximum class size 20 players)

TRACK 5

IRISH SET DANCING - 3 hours with breaks

Samantha Harvey

“Sets” are danced by eight people in a formation similar to that of American square dancing. Each dance may consist of a few figures with a short pause between each. Students will learn or review the valuable foundations for Irish social dancing, specifically Irish sets: how to find the groove of the dance, participate in the figure, and punctuate that groove with moments of battering, using their feet as percussion instruments. Sets to be taught in this workshop include the Connemara, the Caledonian, and others if time permits. Bring comfortable, slip soled shoes. (No taps or hard Irish dance shoes, please).

(Maximum class size of 24 dancers)

CÉILI DANCING - 3 hours with breaks

Mary Branick Ujda

Dancers of all ages will quickly gain a working knowledge of the basic céilí dance steps as we learn some of the fun progressive dances from the Irish social dance tradition. All experience levels are welcome, dance partner NOT required! Bring comfortable, slip soled shoes. (No taps or hard Irish dance shoes, please.

(Maximum class size of 24 dancers)