Music is one of the best expressions of Irish Culture and County Mayo offers a good numbers of Summer Schools promoting traditional Irish music where music lovers can get in touch with this music sometimes melancholy, but always sparkling with joy. At the heart of these schools is tuition, for all ages and abilities, in a range of traditional musical instruments such as harp, uileann pipes, fiddle, banjo, concertina, tin whistle and accordion.
Feile Chois Cuain is an annual celebration of traditional music, song and dance. It is renowned for the high quality of its informal sessions in pubs and streets all over the weekend. Everybody is welcome to join the music, sing a song, play a tune or dance a step.
It is also well known for the concerts and for the classes in every traditional instruments such as harp, accordion, fiddle, flute, tin whistle, concertina and banjo and in sean-nos singing, ballads and set dance.
This Irish Traditional Summer Music School will take place in Westport from Monday 20th July to 24th July. Many of the best Irish traditional musicians and tutors will be involved in this prestigious event such as Tara Breen, Liz Kane, Christopher Maguire, Louise Mulcahy, Emer Mayock, Lisa Canny, Michelle Mulcahy, Des Cafferkey, David Doocey, Fergal Ó Murchú, Dr Katie Sweeney, Liam Scanlon, Zoe Conway and her husband John McIntyre. There will be workshops, lectures, tutor concerts, ceili and sessions.
Scoil Acla is the annual Achill Island summer school, which has been fostering traditional Irish music, arts and culture for almost 30 years. The extensive range of traditional music classes available at Scoil Acla includes tin whistle, concertina, harp, accordion, fiddle, banjo, uileann pipes and concert flute. This popular summer school also hosts a highly esteemed writers' workshop, poetry readings, drama performances, concerts and art exhibitions. There are also workshops in Traditional Irish Dance, classes in Irish Language and courses in Traditional Basket Weaving.
The little village of Kilmovee hosts the annual Seosamh MacGabhann Summer School. It takes place in the Community Centre in July, with classes and tuition provided in traditional Irish music, sean nós dancing, conversational Irish and traditional singing in Irish and English. Some of the best tutors in the country give classes in tin whistle, concertina, fiddle, flute, banjo, bodhrán and accordion. Sessions are held each evening where pupils get a chance to practise tunes learned during the day; tutors join the full sessions offering a great night of music and dance.
On Monday night the Summer School will be opened by the All Ireland Champion Ceìli Band - the Moylurg Ceìli Band. Two closing concerts will take place: on Friday night, the 15 to 18 year old pupils will perform while, on Saturday night, the Salamanca Ceìli Band will close the Summer School.