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440Scoil na gCláirseach 06 Director's Report

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  • Siobhan Armstrong
    Sep 22, 2006
      Scoil na gCláirseach–Summer School of Early Irish Harp 2006

      The fourth annual Scoil na gCláirseach–Summer School of Early Irish
      Harp took place 19-25 August 2006. It was our best-attended summer
      school yet with twenty-eight enthusiastic students from nine countries
      on three continents. Our overseas students outnumbered students based
      in Ireland: seventeen to eleven. There were six US based students,
      five from England and Scotland, two from Germany and one each from
      Italy, Spain, Poland and France. The classes divided into three groups
      of nine beginners, seven intermediate and twelve advanced students. As
      usual, it was a packed and intensive programme but still the student
      body managed both to work hard by day and party by night!

      Our tutors and seminar presenters were Ann Heymann [USA], Javier Sáinz
      [Spain], and myself, Siobhán Armstrong [IRL]. In addition, Paul Dooley
      [IRL] visited as a guest tutor and performer on Tuesday, 22nd August.

      Our unique two-tiered system of lectures for less and more advanced
      students continued this year: Simon Chadwick [Scotland], Seán Donnelly
      [IRL] and, for the first time, Edward Bunting’s biographer, Roy
      Johnston [N. IRL], gave talks.

      The HHSI’s latest student harp model – the HHSI Student Downhill – made
      its appearance in class for the first time with three belonging to the
      Society rented to Scoil students in addition to others played by their
      owners. These were in addition to many of the HHSI’s Student
      Trinities, rented and owned by some participants. For more information
      on HHSI student harps please visit http://www.irishharp.org/shop/

      The generous support of the An Chomhairle Ealaíon (The Arts Council)
      made it possible for the HHSI to present three concerts in association
      with Scoil na gCláirseach: one in Kilkenny with The Irish Consort and
      one each in Galway and Dublin presenting the three Scoil tutors in
      concert with guest sean-nós singer, Róisin Elsafty. All of the
      concerts were well attended with standing room only at Rothe House in

      The importance and positive effect of eating well at a summer school
      cannot be overestimated! The Scoil lunches this year were particularly
      well received by all. Pat Glavin of The Food Company, Carrick-on-Suir,
      provided a vegetarian feast each lunchtime and not content with the
      work that that involved, soon started providing us with mid-afternoon
      home-baked treats for our tea breaks. Sincere thanks to Pat for his
      wonderful contribution to the week.

      I would like to thank my assistant director, Simon Chadwick, and the
      tutors, lecturers and performers whose advance preparation and non-stop
      hard work and enthusiasm at Scoil na gCláirseach enabled us to present
      the best possible programme we could for the students.

      I would also like to thank the following for all their kind help and

      Fergus Shiel and the An Chomhairle Ealaíon; Philip Edmondson and
      Kilkenny School of Music; Maura Uí Chróinín and Galway Early Music;
      Brenda Malloy; Pattie Moore; Niamh Tumelty; Marian Rabbitte; John
      Elwes; Charlie Heymann and Ealasaid Gilfillan.

      To see a photo album of Scoil na gCláirseach 06 please go to

      Siobhán Armstrong
      Director–Scoil na gClairseach

      E: info@...
      Web: http://www.irishharpschool.com