Saturday, December 7, 2013 2:30pm CST – we are hosting a live streaming gathering in Chicago!
Coming Up on NPU-TV
Breandán Breathnach Commemoration
8:30pm – Illustrated Lecture – Seán Donnelly:
‘The Cork Pipers’ Club: the early years, 1899–1912′
9:30pm – Piping Recital with Néillidh Mulligan, Robbie Hannan, Tommy Keane
Taking a break for Thanksgiving, will be back the first Saturday in December. Any questions on taking tin whistle on the way to learning uilleann pipes, comment here!
Thanksgiving week Irish traditional music Tuesday 8pm Lincoln Park Halsted Harp 2138 N Halsted Chicago! Stop by for some uilleann piping from Patrick Cannady, there are sometimes three uilleann piping students of Patrick’s carrying on!
From the The Irish Gift:
“Dear Irish Gift Supporters,
After careful and painful consideration, The Irish Gift has determined that due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances out of the organization’s control, we must postpone the Ireland Immersion Weekend 2013 to a future date.
Organizers have put in over a year of planning for this highly anticipated weekend and we intend on having this at a date to be announced in the near future.”
Patrick Cannady is bringing some Chicago uilleann piping history and tunes to the Ireland Immersion Weekend as “Patrick Cannady – Uilleann Piping Connections Across Time, Language, and Location” this upcoming weekend of November 15-17, 2013. He and Karen are honored to be asked to participate in this truly informative, educational and fun weekend!
We had a quite fun visit to New Orleans the end of October. We were lucky to be able to play some tunes for an appreciative audience at a fine gastropub called The Irish House on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. We were made to feel welcome and enjoyed the company of a very supportive audience, including players from the session the next night and the statesman of Irish Ceili/Set Dancing in New Orleans, Noel Reed. Not only is The Irish House a beautiful place, the food is tasty too! (Above picture is the chalkboard sign advertising our appearance at The Irish House October 27, 2013)
IUPD 2013 kicked off in Chicago at the Irish American Heritage Center in the Shamrock American Club Room on the 2nd floor. We were able to obtain use of the room thanks to the generosity of the SA Club, which contributed a great deal of time, energy, and money to the renovation of the building the IAHC now uses. We owe them our heartfelt thanks.
Our live stream back to Dublin started at about 11AM US Central Time. I tried to follow the suggested format by interviewing some members of the local piping community. Each guest played a few tunes as well, and I joined in. Up first we had Pete Fleming, a native South Sider who first got curious about the pipes in his late teens and began playing them in his mid-twenties. We played his favorite tunes – “The March of the King of Laois (aka Mairseal Ruairi O Mor)” and a pair of jigs, “The Leitrim Jig” and “Saddle the Pony.”
Next, I was joined by Sean Curran, 12, of Clontarf. Sean’s parents are in the Chicagoland area on a work assignment for a few years so we are luck to count him among us. He has been playing the pipes for a little over two years now and has grown a great deal as a piper in that short time. We couldn’t be more proud of the diligence and determination he has shown in his daily practice and in the coolness he has shown in high pressure performance situations.
After Sean, I was joined by our most senior member of the Chicago uilleann piping community, Mr. Kevin Henry, originally from Doocastle, Sligo. Kevin is unfailingly generous with his time, stories, reeds, and advice, and has been a great help to pipers here who struggle with our fluctuating climate. Kevin and I played a few tunes together, but the highlight was his recitation of the old poem, “The Cow that Ate the Piper,” which had everyone laughing.
After Kevin, I was joined by my lovely wife Karen, who plays fiddle, for a few tunes and played out the end of our webcast.
We took some time for tea (Barry’s Gold) and scones, took a group photo, and enjoyed watching performances from elsewhere around the world before I undertook my presentation on the history of pipes.
The presentation borrowed images and content from a brief presentation NPU sent out as well as some of my own research into the matter. I had a small audience of lay people as well as fellow pipers and pipe sympathizers, and for about half an hour or 40 minutes I talked about the “geneaology” of the bagipes family of instruments, where the uilleann pipes fit into that family, historical and technical developments leading up to the development of the union pipes, the evolution and refinements of the classic pipemakers, the historical consequences of the Act of Union and the Famine on piping and music making in Ireland, etc. There was a brief question and answer session, but then we had to prepare for a special 10 minute live segment back to Dublin.
Unfortunately, our feed was disrupted due to technical problems. We will try to correct the problem to participate again next year!
We did get to see the Big Concert in Dublin. We especially enjoyed Nollaig MacCarthaigh and family as well as Joe McKenna’s fiery performance. Joe’s rendition of The Groves was a truly mighty performance I won’t forget any time soon. It was also great to see Joe joined by Gay McKeon for a few tunes to wrap up the evening, and they played magnificently together.
We in Chicago wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to all NPU staff, officers, and volunteers who helped pull off this year’s edition of IUPD. It was a great day and a great honor to be a part of it. Let’s do this again!