Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Cootehill is trad capital for Gerry Whelan Festival
Whatever about the weather, Cootehill is always guaranteed a sparkling weekend of traditional music towards the end of September, when some of the biggest names in the business mix it with talented local artists in a festival that has become firmly established as one of the highlights on the Co Cavan town's annual calendar of events.
And whatever about the economy, this year's fifth annual Gerry Whelan Memorial Weekend, from September 18 to 20, looks guaranteed to bring the summer season to a close on an upbeat note of celebration and cheer, as fiddle legend Frankie Gavin heads another all-star line up in honour of a man whose lifelong support and commitment helped build the music tradition into the great bulwark of Irish culture that it is now.
A lively and well-attended pre-launch night of music and song to hail the advent of the festival was held in Mullen's Lounge, Cootehill last Friday night. The memorial weekend itself will see hundreds of local people and visitors alike enjoy concerts, seisiúin, marching band parades and other events, all showcasing what's best in the tradition - and it's only fitting that it takes place in the town that Gerry Whelan, a great supporter of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and Irish music had made his home.
Comhaltas, in turn, has returned the compliment over the last five years by enthusiastically playing the part of chief sponsor to this sparkling annual celebration of traditional music and song in Gerry's memory. Marching bands were a particular passion for Gerry, and the annual Whelan festival always brings the town of Cootehill to life with some of the bands that take part in the Gerald Whelan Memorial competition held in his memory at each year's All-Ireland Fleadh.
The weekend's festivities will again include the very cream of traditional music performers, including musicians like fiddling greats Frankie Gavin and Jim McKillop, box maestro Martin Donohoe, Téada guitarist Sean McElwain with concertina specialist Rona Dinkin and fiddler Barry McLaughlin, and great traditional singers like Cavan's Aoife Murray, Frances Rodgers from Down, veteran vocalist Mick Quinn of Armagh and lilting legend Seamus Fay.
For those who want to play the music or enhance their skills, a series of workshops will be given by tutors who are well-recognised masters of their instruments. These include Gerry O'Connor on fiddle, Martin Quinn on accordion, Angelina Carberry on banjo and Áine McGeeney on tin whistle.
The late Gerry Whelan, a native of Mohill, Co Leitrim, was actively involved with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann since the organisation was set up in 1951, and was President of the Ulster Council for a period of thirty years.
As a successful business leader in the footwear industry, he ensured that Irish music and culture benefitted greatly from his entrepreneurial skills, donating generously to fleadhs and other events organised by Comhaltas. With his beloved melodeon or bodhran in hand, Gerry liked nothing better than to settle down to a good seisiún.
The organisers give thanks to sponsors Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Wrangler Footwear, Inishfree Dance Shoes, to Cootehill CCE committee members, and to supporting publicans Kieran Mullen, Don Smith, Hannigan Bros, Gene Bannon, Fergie Donaghue, Kenneth Connolly as well as the White Horse Hotel, Cootehill.
For the full programme of events and more information on what is already showing all the hallmarks of another memorable weekend, log on to www.gerrywhelanweekend.com, or contact Geraldine Whelan-O'Meara at 085 776 6217 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Roisin Lyons at 086 333 9242 or email@example.com for more information on workshop bookings and concert tickets.
accordion achill activities Affiliate Program Alan Kelly Alan Shatter Alasdair Roberts Alison Krauss All Ireland Fleadh Altan Andy Irvine antrim archive armagh Arthur McBride Arts Arts and Entertainment Arts Council Arty McGlynn Athlone Baltimore band banjo Bantry Barney McKenna Baroque music Bill Whelan Bluegrass music bodhran Bodhrán bouzouki brendan begley Brendan Dolan brian boru Brian Conway Brian Cunningham Brock McGuire Band bunsatty Caoimhin O Raghallaigh Cape Breton Castlebar Cathy Davey Cavan cd ceili Céilí Band Céilidh celtic Celtic music Celtic rock ceol charlie lennon Chicago chieftains christmas Christmas music Christy Moore ciorras clancy Clancy Brothers classes classical music comhaltas Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Compact Disc Compass Records concert concertina Concerts and Events Connemara Conradh na Gaeilge Cootehill cork Cork County Council Cork University Press Cormac De Barra County Clare County Leitrim Dáithí Sproule Damien Dempsey Dán Dance Dancing at Lughnasa Danny Boy danu Dave Swarbrick De Dannan Declan Sinnott Deezer Derry dervish dkit Dolores Keane Dónal Lunny Donegal Donegal Fiddle Tradition Donnacha Dennehy doolin drisheen Drogheda Drumkeeran drums Drumshanbo dublin Dubliners dun uladh Dundalk early music East Clare Ed Reavy Education Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Eileen Ivers Eleanor McEvoy Electric Picnic emer mayock ennis European Union Fairytale of New York Feakle feis Feis Ceoil felix dolan festival Festivals fidde fiddle Fiddling Film festival Fleadh Fleadh Cheoil Fleadh Cheoil Competition Céilí Band Jig Comhaltas Fleadh Cheoil fleadh nua flute Folk music Folk music of Ireland folklore france outdoors Francis O'Neill Frank Harte Frankie Gavin frankie kennedy free download Gaeilge gael-linn Gaelic galway Galway Arts Festival galway bay George Bernard Shaw gig glor goodman manuscripts Grammy Award Green Linnet Records group Grouse Lodge Guinness guitar harp hinse history holidays hornpipe Iarla Ó Lionáird iPhone Ireland irish Irish American irish arts centre irish dance irish flute Irish language irish music Irish people Irish Recorded Music Association irish times irish traditional music Irish Traditional Music Archive irish whistle IrishCentral IrishTimes irishtune.info Israel itma Ivan Goff jack coen JAMES JOYCE James Joyce Centre Jig jigs Joanie Madden Joe Derrane John Carty John Doyle John McCusker John McKenna John McSherry john spillane John Wynne Julie Fowlis Junior Crehan Karan Casey Karen Matheson Kathleen MacInnes Kevin Crawford Kilfenora Kilfenora Céilí Band Latin America Le Vent du Nord learn Len Graham Leopold Bloom Lieutenant of Inishmore Literature Liz Carroll London London Irish Centre Lord of the Dance louisburgh lunasa Lúnasa MacTalla Mor Maggie MacInnes Máirtín Ó Direáin mairtin o'connor Máirtín O'Connor Malawi Mandolin Margaret Bennett Martin Carthy martin fay Martin Hayes Martin McDonagh Martin Quinn Mary Bergin Mary Black Maryland Massachusetts Matt Molloy mayo McMahon Merry Sisters of Fate Michael Flatley Michael Rooney Michael Tubridy Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin Micho Russell Mick Moloney mick o'brien milwaukee Monaghan Moya Brennan mp3 Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh music Music festival Music of Ireland Musical composition Natasha McShane Neil Young New York Noel Hill Northern Ireland npu NUIG o'carolan omagh Orkney Paddy Fahey paddy keenan paddy moloney paddy o'brien Padraig Rynne passionfruit theatre Paul Brady penny whistle pennywhistle Peter Horan Philadelphia Philip Duffy piano pipes Planxty podcast Poetry Pogues Quebec radio radisson Raidió Teilifís Éireann recording reel reels riverdance Robert Downey Jr Ronan Browne Ronnie Drew Roscommon rose of tralee rowsome Royal Irish Academy of Music RTÉ Concert Orchestra Ryan Molloy Saint Patrick's Day school scoil acla Scoil Éigse scotland Seachtain na Gaeilge Sean Nós Seán Ó Ríordáin Séan O'Riada séan potts sean tyrell Sean-nós song session Set dancing Shanachie Records shannon shannonside Sharon Shannon shetland show singer Singing Skara Brae Sliabh Luachra sligo solas Sorley MacLean st.patrick stephen ducke Streaming media Stuart MacRae summer school teada teetotallers tg4 the forge theatre Tin whistle Tommy McCarthy Tommy Peoples Tommy Sands Toner Quinn Town Hall Theatre trad trad music traditional Traditional Folk and Celtic Traditional music tradmusiconline.com tradschool trocaire Tulla Tulla Céilí Band tune makers tunepal tutorial tv uilleann pipes Ulysses University of Limerick vallely Van Morrison venue Vermont video Violin W. B. Yeats Waterford westmeath whistle willie Willie Clancy Willie Walsh workshop workshops world fleadh