Celtic Week Classes – July 12-18, 2020

(Unless otherwise indicated, all classes have a limit of 15)

Fiddle

INTERMEDIATE IRISH FIDDLE A (Liz Knowles)
We will learn a selection of tunes (jigs, reels, hornpipes, airs, etc.) to help establish and strengthen some of the foundations of good violin/fiddle technique as well as the basics of Irish fiddle technique: bowings, ornamentation and style. The focus of this class will be about giving you tools to take home in order to access and learn Irish music. We will take a deeper look at the bow and the fiddle as separate entities in order to develop good practice techniques. I will introduce you to various recordings of fiddle players throughout the week and you will come away from the week with a better understanding of how to access other players’ style, sound and technique using recordings. Sheet music will be provided during the class as needed and at the end of the week. Please bring a recording device. (Class limit: 30)

INTERMEDIATE IRISH FIDDLE B (Winifred Horan)
In this class for intermediate players we will cover the basics of Irish fiddle technique: intonation, left hand technique, bowing, ornamentation,tempo, rhythm, dynamics and tone. We will be learning new tunes, taught simply, phrase by phrase, before demonstrating how to incorporate various techniques into the tune. We will also take some standard session tunes and look at adding variations and different ornamentations. We’ll listen to recordings of fiddle players and studying their different styles and techniques. Tunes will be taught by ear, but sheet music will be provided for all students who would like to have the notation. (Class limit: 30)

ADVANCED IRISH FIDDLE A (Gerry O’Connor)
The bowing and articulation of bow patterns in the playing of jigs and other familiar dance rhythms introduced in the early part of the class will provide the basis for a systematic approach to a generic playing of Irish fiddle music suitable for intermediate/advanced fiddlers. This will enable the student to identify some repetitive patterns of bowing which, although non-specific, will aid the student in understanding the non-random activity of bow movement in Irish fiddle playing. Audio and selective video recording is encouraged. While some experience in learning by ear would be an advantage, a positive approach to attempting to learn by watching and listening is essential. The notation of the workshop tunes with some typical bowing motifs indicated will be forwarded in .pdf format by email after the class. (Class limit: 30)

ADVANCED IRISH FIDDLE B (Liz Carroll)
This advanced fiddle class will work on good bowing and ornamentation, and we’ll tackle interesting and challenging tunes. We’ll learn some new tunes and brush up on some old ones, and we’ll even learn a ‘Liz tune’ or two. A relaxed pace will be the order of the day as we delve into all the elements of Irish fiddling. (Class limit: 30)

INTERMEDIATE SCOTTISH FIDDLE (Mari Black)
Are you searching for your authentic Scottish voice? Looking for more sparkle in your playing? Want to get grooving with a real Scottish fiddle accent? This class is a fun, yet intensive odyssey that delves into creating a believable stylistic Scottish feel. We’ll learn many traditional tunes: driving reels and jigs, stately marches, mighty strathspeys (the signature Scottish tune type!), and haunting slow airs. We’ll discover how to capture the stylistic essence of each tune type through good choices in bowing, ornamentation, phrasing, and rhythmic groove. We’ll polish up your dance feel so you know how to get everyone’s feet tapping, and we’ll put together complete ‘MSR’ sets that you could use for a traditional Scottish performance or competition. All tunes will be taught by ear, so definitely bring your audio recorders, but don’t worry – notated sheet music for all tunes we learn will be given out at the end of the week to help you keep practicing once you get home! (Class limit: 30)

ADVANCED SCOTTISH FIDDLE (Laura Risk)
This course explores the diverse repertoire and playing styles of Scottish fiddling. We’ll learn tunes and work on ornamentation and bowing, phrasing and expression, and playing “in the groove.” We’ll also discuss Scotland’s regional fiddle styles and fiddling history, and listen to recordings of players from different styles. Technique and theory topics – tone, practice methods, simple chord theory, playing with speed and precision – will be included as appropriate. All tunes, including strathspeys, reels, jigs, marches, and slow airs, will be taught by ear. Students are encouraged to bring a small audio recorder to record musical examples and repertoire. (Class limit: 30)

INTRO TO IRISH FIDDLE (Andrew Finn Magill)
If you’ve learned the basics for violin and/or fiddle, but are just getting started on playing reels and jigs, this class is for you. Mastering the Irish fiddle is about so much more than just playing the notes. In this class we’ll put together a toolbox of basic skills (tune types, basic ornamentation, basic bowing, session etiquette, learning by ear, practice strategies, etc.) that you can use to start building a foundation for fiddle mastery. In the process, we’ll learn a few tunes by ear throughout the week, so please bring a device to record tunes each day. Please bring your questions and topics of interest! This class is geared towards those who already play at an advanced beginner/intermediate level, but are new to Irish music. All tunes will be taught by ear.

CAPE BRETON FIDDLE A & B (Katie McNally)
(NOTE: This class for intermediate to advanced fiddlers is offered once in the morning and repeated in the afternoon) We’ll look at what makes Cape Breton music different from other music. We’ll talk a lot about bowing and how this gives the fiddle style its ‘accent,’ as well as common fingered embellishments that you’ll hear in the style. Listening to recordings will also be a part of the class. We’ll use this as part of our ear training to identify common stylistic features and apply them in our own music. The class will be taught mostly by ear and we’ll talk about ways to improve your ear training. We’ll learn jigs and reels, and march, strathspey & reel sets, as the class desires. (Class limit: 25)

FIDDLE FOR COMPLETE BEGINNERS (Caitlin Warbelow)
Learn the fiddle from scratch in a week! This class offers complete beginners an introduction to playing Irish traditional music on the fiddle. You will learn how to hold the fiddle, good bow-hold, left-hand position, notation and the basic scales. We will learn some simple tunes by ear. Bring a violin and, if you wish, a recording device.

FIDDLE TECHNIQUE A (Andrew Finn Magill)
This class will be a mechanics class for Irish fiddling: What’s that bowing? What finger do you use? When do you ornament? We will go through each ornament and bowing pattern fiddle style by fiddle style and even fiddler by fiddler. We will also discuss the technique of the fiddle/violin itself and how to reduce risk of injury and adapt classical violin technique to a fiddle context. We will discuss how to practice traditional Irish music and how to maximize one’s practice time. This class is best suited for fiddlers who have some facility with the instrument and who are willing to be challenged. The class will be taught entirely by ear, however sheet music will be given out for any specific tunes we learn. (Class limit: 20)

FIDDLE TECHNIQUE B (Caitlin Warbelow)
Oftentimes, technique becomes a limiting factor on the journey to fiddle mastery. This often-neglected topic is well worth studying if you want to improve your sound quality, increase your speed while keeping a clean tone, expand your technical ability, and prevent unnecessary aches and pains. This class is for those who already play fiddle at an intermediate level, but wish to improve their technical skills. Over the week, we’ll put together a toolbox of technical skills (bowings and bow technique, ornamentation and left-hand technique, string crossings, a discussion of lilt, basic music theory, posture, troubleshooting strategies for common issues, etc.) that you can use in pursuit of good tone and ease of playing. While discussing technique, we’ll learn a few tunes by ear, so please bring a device to record tunes each day. The class will be customized to the needs of the students, so feel free to bring questions of interest! All tunes will be taught by ear; some handouts will be distributed as well. (Class limit: 20)

 

 

Flute and Tinwhistle

INTRO TO IRISH FLUTE A (Kevin Crawford)
This class offers an introduction to playing traditional Irish music on the flute for students who already have some experience with the basics of the instrument and can play some tunes at a slow pace with little or no ornamentation. We’ll discuss a ‘how-to-practice’ method and how to approach session playing. We’ll learn a few tunes but the emphasis will be on establishing foundations for you to take home and apply throughout your own learning as well as answering any questions you may have. Students will learn how to ornament tunes with rolls, cuts and tongue-ing. Tunes will be taught by ear so bring a D flute and a recording device. ABC notation will be provided for those who need it.

INTRO TO IRISH FLUTE B (John Skelton)
This class is designed for those who have just started playing Irish music on the flute. It will cover the basics of ornamentation and phrasing. Some time will be spent on tone production and the mechanics of playing a flute. Players coming from the tinwhistle or from another flute discipline will find this class particularly useful. The class is taught by ear but sheet music is available for those that need it.

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED FLUTE A (Kevin Crawford)
This class is for students who are skilled enough to play tunes in a variety of rhythms (jigs, reels, etc.), with good technique and at a reasonable tempo. This course will expand on the skills and topics introduced in the intro class, with more attention given to ornamentation, breathing, style and repertoire, while continuing to emphasize rhythm and phrasing in the music. Tunes will be taught by ear so bring a D flute and a recording device. ABC notation will be provided for those who need it

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED FLUTE B (John Skelton)
This class covers all of the aspects of Irish flute playing – ornamentation, phrasing, breathing and rhythm. Some time will also be spent on repertoire and in developing a personal style. We will learn a few tunes and then ‘de-construct’ those tunes to help us understand different styles. Students should be proficient in playing tunes at a moderate tempo. The class is taught by ear but sheet music is available for those that need it

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED FLUTE C (Nuala Kennedy)
Nuala grew up playing traditional Irish music in Dundalk, Co. Louth and has also spent many years living and playing music in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is also strongly influenced by the music of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. In this workshop, she will explore some of the repertoire from these three places, looking at a variety of tune types including marches and strathspeys. Students will play in a range of keys. Written music is not provided, however students are free to notate, and are encouraged to bring a recording device.

TINWHISTLE FOR COMPLETE BEGINNERS (Billy Jackson)
This class is for students with no prior experience of the tinwhistle. Instruction will start with the most fundamental techniques and a few very simple tunes. By the end of the week, you’ll be well on your way to playing. Please bring along a recording device and a tinwhistle in the key of D.

INTRO TO IRISH TINWHISTLE A (Cillian Vallely)
This class is for students who already have some experience with the basics of the instrument, and can play some tunes at a slow pace with little or no ornamentation. Beginners will learn how to ornament tunes with rolls, cuts and tongue-ing. Emphasis will be placed on rhythm and phrasing. Tunes will be taught aurally, so bring a D whistle and a recording device. Sheet music will be provided for those who need it.

INTRO TO IRISH TINWHISTLE B (Brian Holleran)
In this class, we will fine-tune basic ornaments (the rolls and cuts that are built into tunes). Music will be taught slowly and clearly by ear. Participants will have an opportunity to become stronger aural learners, and to tap into a suitable group rhythm. We will also listen to classic recordings and discuss what we like about each player. Bring along a recording device, and one tune you feel comfortable sharing.

INTERMED./ADVANCED IRISH TINWHISTLE A (Cillian Vallely)
This class is for students who are skilled enough to play tunes in a variety of rhythms (jigs, reels, etc), with good technique and at a reasonable tempo. This course will expand on the skills and topics introduced in the beginners class, with more attention given to ornamentation, breathing, style and repertoire, while continuing to emphasize rhythm and phrasing in the music. Tunes will be taught aurally, so bring a D whistle and recording device. Sheet music will be provided for those who need it.

INTERMED./ADVANCED IRISH TINWHISTLE B (Brian Holleran)
This class will give advancing players a chance to examine style and repertoire. We will work on rhythmic feel, ornamentation and breathing/phrasing. We will practice switching from one tune to another, and we will talk about effective, efficient ways to learn by ear, and to expand repertoire. We will also listen to classic recordings and discuss what we like about each player. Bring along a recording device, and a list of all the tunes you feel comfortable playing by yourself.

 

 

 

Harp

INTRO TO CELTIC HARP (Billy Jackson & Gráinne Hambly)
The beginning student will be introduced to the fundamentals of this grand and ancient instrument, including basic harp technique (e.g. hand position, posture, exercises). Arrangements of simple Scottish and Irish melodies will be taught by ear, with written music provided as back-up. Billy and Gráinne will each lead the class at various times during the week. In order for classes to commence on time, students are kindly requested to be tuned and prepared well in advance, and to ensure their instruments are in good working order. Students are also encouraged to bring a recording device, music stand, and spare strings.

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED CELTIC HARP (Billy Jackson & Gráinne Hambly)
Class topics will include arranging, ornamentation, and accompanying voice and other instruments. A selection of Scottish and Irish material will be taught at a more advanced level and individual interests of participants will be taken into account. Billy and Gráinne will each lead the class at various times during the week. In order for classes to commence on time, students are kindly requested to be tuned and prepared well in advance, and to ensure their instruments are in good working order. Students are also encouraged to bring a recording device, music stand, and spare strings.

 

 

Fretted Instruments

CELTIC FINGERSTYLE GUITAR (Robin Bullock)
This class will explore the world of possibilities presented by traditional Irish, Scottish and Breton repertoire arranged for solo fingerstyle guitar. Some tablature will be offered, but students will also create their own individual settings of airs, jigs, reels and the 18th-century harp music of Turlough O’Carolan, sharing arrangement ideas in an informal, hands-on environment. Alternate tunings such as DADGAD, “Canine” tuning (CGCGCD) and “Werewolf” tuning (CGDGAD) will be used extensively to open up the instrument’s full sonic potential. A good time will be had by all. An audio recorder is recommended.

SESSION GUITAR ACCOMPANIMENT I (Will MacMorran)
This class is for newer guitarists and those new to Irish traditional music. Students will learn chord shapes and patterns for DADGAD guitar tuning and strumming patterns for jigs, reels and other melodies. We will focus on common keys within Irish traditional music, how to be creative with your own playing, and also discuss the ‘ins and outs’ of playing with others. An audio recorder is recommended, and chord charts will be provided.

SESSION GUITAR ACCOMPANIMENT II (John Doyle)
In this class for advanced students, players will further master different strumming techniques to a variety of types of tunes, add dynamics to their playing through syncopation and emphasis, confident chord substitutions, fingerpicking techniques, tips and tricks for playing in sessions, how to work out the right chords for tunes and alternate tunings for the guitar. Students should be familiar and comfortable with strumming, have a good working knowledge of Irish music and of music theory. Chord sheets in dropped-D tuning will be provided. Students should bring a capo.

FLATPICKING CELTIC GUITAR (Robin Bullock)
This intermediate-level class will focus on making traditional Celtic tunes come to life, flatpicked on steel-string guitar. We’ll discuss technique, lift, ornamentation, and other facets of making Irish, Scottish and Breton tunes sound authentic on guitar, as well as alternate tunings, capo techniques and methods for picking up tunes by ear. Sheet music and tab will be available if required. Students should bring a capo and an audio recorder is recommended.

DADGAD SONG ACCOMPANIMENT (Eamon O’Leary)
This class will focus on approaches to song accompaniment using the unique DADGAD tuning. We’ll start with an introduction to the tuning, so no previous experience is necessary, and then we’ll explore the different rhythmic and harmonic possibilities that it affords. Particular emphasis will be placed on chord voicings and rhythm-hand techniques. Participants need not be singers and most of what we cover will also be applicable to ‘tune’ accompaniment.

ACCOMPANY TUNES ON THE FLY &
THE NASHVILLE NUMBER SYSTEM 
(Will MacMorran)
In this intermediate/advanced level class, we will strengthen our knowledge of the guitar’s fretboard while building an array of right-hand rhythmic possibilities. We will also learn to use the Nashville Number System as it pertains to chording traditional music. Using DADGAD tuning for counter-melodies, syncopation, and reharmonization, we will explore ways to be an invaluable addition to any musical setting. By the end of class, we will have explored techniques to accompany tunes on the fly, and given new life to the music you already play.

CELTIC BOUZOUKI (John Doyle)
In this class we will explore the first basic chord structures for backing tunes and songs, rhythmic patterns in Celtic music, and then explore further into counter-melodies, hammer-ons, and other techniques used to make bouzouki accompaniment dynamic and unique. Students should bring a bouzouki, pick, capo and recording device.

MANDOLIN I (Dave Cory)
This will be a primer for Irish music on the mandolin. We’ll learn about tune types, navigating the fretboard in GDAE tuning, building fundamental ergonomics and picking mechanics, and work on a balanced selection of basic easy-to-learn tunes. I’ll provide notation for everything we learn, but will emphasize playing by ear throughout the week, while incorporating enough music theory to give a solid technical context. Bring a recording device!

MANDOLIN II (Dave Cory)
In this class, we will focus on more complex playing aspects. We will work on advanced repertoire, develop a wider range of ornamentation and tonal control, approach quicker tempos, using double stops and harmony, adapting to dynamics of other instruments, and a lot more. Bring a recording device!

TENOR BANJO (Eamon O’Leary)
In this course for banjoists of all levels, Eamon will cover right- and left-hand technique, ornamentation, tune settings, and different banjo styles. Tunes that are particularly well-suited to the banjo will also be incorporated into the class. Students are advised to bring a recording device.

 

 

Reeds

UILLEANN PIPES (Kieran O’Hare)
This class will introduce tunes new to students, and illustrate particular techniques on the uilleann pipes. As students may vary greatly in terms of experience and ability level, it is possible that this class will include some individual or small group attention and tutelage. More experienced students will focus on matters of technique, ornamentation, articulation, and style. Various points of pipe maintenance may also be explored, although this will not include the making of reeds. The class will emphasize the development of classic piping technique, through detailed demonstration and discussion, and through scrutiny of the recordings and approaches of master pipers. The goal is to enable each student to get rewarding and musical returns from the time they spend learning their instrument in class and beyond, to optimize each student’s ability to make music on their own and with others. A recording device is recommended.

BUTTON ACCORDION (John Whelan)
In this class for B/C accordion, a specific tune will be assigned to the class each day, and learned by ear. Attention will be paid to posture in general, fingering technique, hand position, air button control, the understanding/internalizing of a tune, phrasing and ornamentation. Different playing styles will be demonstrated and discussed, along with listening recommendations for representative box-players. Students will also be encouraged to showcase their progress to their classmates. Classes will be taught by ear. Students are encouraged to bring audio recorders, pen and paper, and to ask as many questions as possible. Videotaping is not permitted.

PLAYING IN SESSIONS (John Whelan)
Have you ever wondered whether you are adding or detracting from a session? Have you even wondered about session etiquette? Or how to manage in a session with beginners, intermediate and advanced players? What do you do when you have twenty-five people or more? This class for all instruments will help you with all these questions and more, including: what session tunes to play; which tunes you need to learn; understanding how your session is effected by social, economic and demographic locations. Whether you have two or twenty people, you can have a wonderful session if you approach it in the right way. Remember that Irish music is inclusive not exclusive. Now go build your session! (No class limit)

ANGLO CONCERTINA (Gráinne Hambly)
This class is intended for students playing Anglo C/G concertinas, and is open to all levels, from beginners with some basic playing experience upwards. It is not suitable for complete beginners, however, and all participants should be familiar with their instrument (location of the notes, etc). Basics of technique and style (e.g. bellows control, phrasing, alternative fingerings) will be covered, as well as ornamentation in the context of Irish traditional dance tunes. Participants are encouraged to bring an audio recorder. Written music will also be provided.

 

 

Song and Folklore

THE IRISH OTHERWORLD IN STORY, MUSIC & LORE (Dáithí Sproule)
From the earliest stories in the Irish Gaelic language – some written down first in the 7th or 8th century – right up to lore current in Ireland, the Otherworld has felt close to Irish people. We see this not just in myths and folktales, but in the lore about tunes and songs, and in stories told of even recent occurrences of music learnt from the Otherworld people or fairies. Dáithí looks forward to sharing some of this with you and to showing that Otherworld beliefs reveal a coherent and meaningful view of reality! (No class limit)

IRISH GAELIC SONG TRADITION (Dáithí Sproule)
The Irish Gaelic song tradition is one of incredible richness and beauty – both in melody and poetry. In fact, all the great instrumental players agree that Irish language song is the heart of the music. Dáithí has been singing songs in Irish all his life, even before he knew the language, and they can be learned phonetically and enjoyed by non-Irish speakers. We’ll learn a variety of songs, and Dáithí will share background and stories about them. (No class limit)

SINGING SCOTTISH SONGS (Ed Miller)
Each day will focus on two or three songs, learning them by hearing and singing them over several times. We’ll also listen to recordings by a variety of singers to hear how they present, express and decorate a song. Songbooks will be available and the language and social context of the songs will be explained. Emphasis will be on learning a selection of traditional and more recent songs aurally and orally by repetition. (No class limit)

SCOTLAND IN SONG (Ed Miller)
The songs of the Scottish folk revival of the past 50 years cover everything from politics and social change to urban renewal and personal experience. In this class, we’ll listen to, talk about and SING serious and humorous songs by Adam McNaughtan, Ewan MacColl, Alan Reid, Hamish Henderson, Robin Laing, Andy M. Stewart, Dougie MacLean and others, all of whom are keeping the Scottish song repertoire refreshed, vibrant and relevant. Songbooks will be available. (No class limit)

LOVE IN ITS MANY FORMS (Dave Curley)
Love songs come in many forms; requited and unrequited, broken promises and ‘happy ever afters’ (they’re a bit rare but they do exist), personified songs of love for the homeland and arduous journeys to prove dedication. Jovial and energetic or sombre and bittersweet, Love songs can encompass it all. We will learn by ear with the aid of lyrics. (No class limit)

IT’S A MINER’S LIFE FOR A MINER’S WAGE (Dave Curley)
We’ll look at working songs and songs that chronicle the journey of the Irish people looking for a better chance at life. Most laboured and toiled, many didn’t survive and some made it to the height of power all over the world. Mines, railroads, skyscrapers, ditches, politics, military, servants, – the Irish have left a strong legacy in the physical and political landscapes of many countries. We will learn by ear with the aid of lyrics. (No class limit)

SONGS FROM THE IRISH TRADITION (Len Graham)
In this class, Len will share songs from his extensive collection of songs found in the Irish tradition in the English language. Many themes will be covered including classic and broadside ballads, songs of love, politics, emigration and much more. Each song will be put in context, giving historical and social background. As an oral tradition these songs will be taught by repetition and ear with lyrics provided. Participants are encouraged to bring an audio recording device. (No class limit)

THE HUMOUR IS ON ME NOW (Len Graham)
Len has a large repertoire of songs on a humorous theme – a symphony of jingles, tongue-twisters, lilts, nonsense verses, songs of ceremony and FUN galore! This class is suitable for ALL ages, 7-107. Most of the songs have rhythm and thus will lend themselves to instrumental arrangement. However, this class will be unaccompanied and will be taught by repetition and ear with song lyrics provided. Participants are encouraged to bring an audio recording device. (No class limit)

THE BIG SING (Nuala Kennedy)
Everyone is welcome at The Big Sing, where we will sing a range of beautiful Celtic songs plus a few wild cards thrown in, and arranged to create the powerful group sound for which this class is known. No skills in reading music are required. No singing skills either! This is a class for all ages and abilities: a love of song is the only prerequisite. Thre’s safety in numbers. If you love harmony, love belting out a song or poem or are shy about singing then this is the class for you! It’s an enjoyable way to broaden your repertoire and add your voice to the group. Please come ready to share at least one song or poem (or even tell us a joke!) that you enjoy. Lyric sheets will be provided. Bring a recording device if you have one.(No class limit)

 

 

Percussion and Dance

BODHRAN I (Anna Colliton)
In this class, we’ll cover basic position and technique for playing the bodhrán. Students will leave with several “no fail” approaches to both jigs and reels, a basic understanding of how to use tonal variation in their playing, and a few simple syncopated patterns and ornaments to enhance their playing. We’ll learn using both written notation and ear training, so all learning styles are welcome, and both beginners and players who want to brush up on the basics or re-evaluate their technique are invited to join us. To help students continue their development throughout the year, we’ll use the final 5-10 minutes of each class to make short videos of the day’s topics for students to refer to in the future. Please bring a recording device if you can, and a notebook. (Class limit: 25)

BODHRAN II (Anna Colliton)
We’ll learn to further enhance our jigs and reels with ornamentation, tonal variation, and syncopation, and work on various approaches to other types of tunes including hornpipes, slip jigs, slides, and polkas. Students should be comfortable with both jigs and reels and be able to play with consistent timing. We’ll examine ways to accent rhythmic elements in different types of tunes, make smooth and interesting transitions within sets, and work well with other rhythm players. The class will explore elements of “top end” style bodhrán playing according to the wishes of the class. The goal of the class is to help students become versatile and sensitive players who are able to accompany tastefully in whatever style they choose, and students are strongly encouraged to bring questions, ideas, favorite recordings, and topics of discussion to class – we’re going to have fun! We’ll learn using both written notation and ear training, so all learning styles are welcome. To help students continue their development throughout the year, we’ll use the final 5-10 minutes of each class to make short videos of the day’s topics for students to refer to in the future. Please bring a recording device if you can, and a notebook. (Class limit: 25)

BEGINNING SEAN NÓS DANCE (Siobhan Butler)
Sean-nós dancing is considered by many to be the original form of solo Irish dance. Literally translating to “old style,” sean-nós is an improvised dance style that is completely unique to each dancer. Dancing interprets the music through low-to-the-floor percussive movements. This class is a wonderful opportunity for those interested in starting, or returning to, the basics of sean-nós dance. Focusing on its rudimentary movements and rhythms in sean-nós, this class will give students the tools to begin building their repertoire and developing their sense of musicality. Students will leave the week having learned an expansive and fun series of steps. Please wear hard-soled shoes (leather or very hard rubber) and bring water and a recording device or notebook. (No class limit)

IRISH SET DANCING (Siobhan Butler)
Irish set dancing is the old country dancing from Ireland. Derived from European dances such as quadrilles, this style of group dance has seen a resurgence of popularity in Ireland since the 1970s. Sets are danced in square formations of eight people and made up of several figures or parts. The number of figures in a dance can vary between two and nine and are danced to varying tune types such as reels, jigs, polkas, slides, and hornpipes. While this class is open to dancers of all levels, the class will be tailored for beginners and will cover basic footwork, individual movements, and coupled patterns as well as several dances from areas including Cork, Clare and Connemara, among others. Please wear hard-soled shoes (leather or very hard rubber) and bring water and a recording device or notebook. (No class limit)

MASTER CLASS IN ARTISTRY (Janis Ian)
evel and to colleagues in the arts, focusing on the role of and history of the artist through the ages and up to the modern world. We will be covering history – from the Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal to the ancient Greeks and those ugly Romans, the Dark Ages, the medieval troubadours and their role in spreading the news, the Renaissance, and why syphilis gave rise to the “artist as lunatic” perception. We’ll pay attention to fear and its effect on us as creative persons, the poetry and consciousness of wood, what to do when the well runs dry, the importance of both craft and talent, and the impossibility of living up to your ideals. There will be quotes and song illustrations as well. Students will be asked to read 3-4 short stories about artists before class begins. If you haven’t received the short stories three weeks before classes begin, please email me at janis@janisian.com for copies of these. (No class limit)

 

 

Other Events

SLOW JAMS & SINGING
After supper each night, students have the opportunity to participate in slow jams and singing sessions. At the slow jams, common tunes are played at a speed that is accessible even to beginners. The singing sessions are a chance to share your voice and songs.

POTLUCK SESSIONS
In addition to the regular class sessions, in the afternoons the staff will offer Potluck Sessions serving up a different menu of one-hour workshops each day.

 

 

Children’s Program

We offer a full-day program, taught by Melissa Hyman, for children ages 6-12. Children must have turned 6 by July 1st to participate. No exceptions please. Evening childcare for ages 3-12 will be provided at no additional cost.

This summer, we’ve got an especially dreamy theme picked out: it’s all about DREAMS! The Swannanoa Gathering Children’s Program Dream Team will journey together into a world limited only by our own wild imaginations. We’ll make our own dreamcatchers, and learn about the Native American traditions and tales behind these beautiful crafts. We’ll learn about and even make our own surrealist art, with the wacky dreamscapes of Magritte and Dalí – among others – as our inspiration. We’ll explore and talk about what happens in our brains while we’re asleep, to create all those crazy scenarios we half-remember in the morning. Why did you dream about your teacher frying an egg while tap-dancing to Beyoncé songs and standing on her head?? We’ll sing, craft, play games and read stories in our classroom (which will be transformed into a beautiful dreamscape, of course) and even talk about ways to make our most fabulous dreams come true. We’ll write our own original songs on our Dream Theme, with the help of our talented and imaginative music teacher and some extra-dreamy-sounding instruments. We’ll make new friends, play our favorite messy games, and dress up in crazy clothes. At the end of the week parents will get to hear us sing and see the crafts we’ve made at our big performance at the Student Showcase. As a special treat, we will be visited throughout the week by wandering musicians and artists (Gathering staff) who will perform just for our kids. We will, of course, continue our beloved traditions of shaving cream hairdos, movie night, crazy contests and the Gathering Scavenger Hunt. Get ready to dream away the week with your friends at the SGCP! There is a $30 art/craft materials fee for this class; fee is payable by cash or check to Melissa Hyman, the Children’s Program coordinator, on arrival.