2nd Summer School 2012
The 2nd Annual Seosamh Mac Gabhann Summer School took place in Kilmovee from July 1st to July 6th 2012.
It was a great success, with over 230 pupils attending from across the country. The week started with Aifreann Gaeilge in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Kilmovee. The Mass was celebrated by Fr Vincent Sherlock, with the choir led by Ann Marie Rooney and Marian Egan. This was followed by the Heritage Tour on Sunday afternoon. The tour visited many interesting sites including Logán Ó Labhra, the Ogham Stone, the Caiseal and Urlaur Abbey. Johnny (Matt) Duffy was a fantastic tour guide and proved to be a fountain of knowledge on the historical and archaeological sites of Kilmovee
The Kilmovee Community Centre was buzzing on Monday morning as registration took place for the week’s classes, with all classes filled to capacity for morning and afternoon. As per last year the Summer School Committee, the staff of the Kilmovee Community Centre and Kilmovee Family Resource Centre and the many volunteers put in a huge effort across the week to ensure the needs of all the pupils and tutors were fully catered for.
On Monday evening, the official opening was performed by Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh in the Kilmovee Community Centre. The night started with the All Ireland Winning drama “An Fáinne Óir”, produced by Seán Caulfield and performed by the Kilmovee Foróige group. The cast had the huge audience in complete silence in awe of the intensity of the performance, which demonstrated why this play had won an All Ireland title. This was followed by Micheál, who spoke at ease with no notes and again it was very clear why he is such a popular character across the country. He was most generous with his time afterwards, posing for pictures and signing autographs for anyone that approached him. He even stayed late into the night to listen to the great blast of music, song and dance provided by the regular ‘Cois Tine’ Heritage Night musicians and visiting performers. Dominick Rooney once again was on hand to provide perfect sound.
On Tuesday morning, everyone was bright and breezy after a great night and ready for their classes in the Community Centre. Of course, this seamless transition back to classes was only possible due to the work done in the background late on Monday night, to get everything ready for Tuesday morning by everyone helping out with the Summer School. The seisiún on Tuesday night took place in Duffy’s Four Ways, Kilmovee and it proved to be a fantastic night of music, with pupils, tutors and musicians who came along to enjoy the Summer School. A slow session took place at the start to give all pupils a chance to practise some of their tunes with other pupils and tutors.
Everyone was ready for their classes again on Wednesday morning and a projector was set up in the main hall, showing photos from the week so far. The shop was in full flow all week and the Summer School Wristbands proved very popular amongst all the pupils. The seisiún on Wednesday night took place in Shazzy Mac’s in Kilkelly and it started with the slow session, a lovely tune around a roaring fire, in the replica kitchen setting at the back of the pub. A lively session followed later with a host of local musicians, tutors and pupils of the Summer School.
By Thursday, the tutors were starting to put the final touches to their performances with their pupils, for the closing concert on Friday, with a few surprises being cooked up. The seisiún on Thursday night in The Brusna Inn again started with the slow session. This included a huge number of the younger musicians, singers and dancers, who, encouraged by their families showed what great progress they had made during the week. This was followed by a social, with a couple of our long standing band members Frank Keane and Michael Joe Caulfield leading the band, which was made up of local and visiting musicians. The dance floor was busy all night with the Siege of Ennis, Shoe the Donkey, Stack of Barley and lots of Waltzes.
Despite such a hectic week, everyone was ready for Friday, which proved to be a day not to be forgotten for everyone involved. Classes took place as normal, with some visitors arriving which included Joe Byrne from Mid West Radio, Tommy O’Connor from Claremorris Community Radio and Máirtín Davy from Raidió na Gaeltachta. The recordings from Joe and Tommy from the classes were fantastic and have already been broadcast, with the programme recorded by Máirtín due to go out in September. James Hunt our local photographer also visited and took pictures of each of the classes, which were put up on the Summer School notice board.
By Friday evening, the hall was ready for the Closing Concert. With the hall packed to capacity, an outstanding performance was put on by every tutor and their pupils. It was very evident that the standards had moved on from our first Summer School last year and that you could see the progress all of the pupils had made during the week and in their classes throughout the year. This was a credit to their music teachers and the tutors over the week. All of the comments back were hugely complimentary to the fantastic week and the very high standard of tutors at the Seosamh Mac Gabhann Summer School. To close the concert, Cian and Caoimhe Kearins performed a song they had written about the Summer School with their singing classes. Where else would you get it!
Just when everyone thought things could not get any better, the All Ireland Winning Dartry Céilí Band arrived for the Céilí Mór. The music was out of this world and the sweat was pouring as the dancers had the night of their lives, dancing to this wonderful band. It was a fitting way to close such a terrific week of music in Kilmovee. The final seisiún took place on Saturday night in Spell’s Bar, Ballaghaderreen and once again it was a really nice tune with both resident and visiting musicians.
The 2nd Annual Seosamh Mac Gabhann Summer School was a huge success and this Summer School is now recognised across the country and beyond as one of the best Summer Schools for anyone that wants to develop their skills in Irish music, song, dance and the Irish language. The Summer School has succeeded in ensuring that the legacy of Seosamh Mac Gabhann continues in Kilmovee and beyond, with plans already underway to make the 3rd Annual Seosamh Mac Gabhann Summer School even bigger and better again.