Workshop descriptions

For all ages (scroll down for workshops especially for kids)

Introduction to Bagpipes
Rick Lange

Rick will present a demonstration of how bagpipes work and an introduction to how to play them. Participants will have an opportunity to try playing a bagpipe practice chanter and a bagpipe, as well as getting information on where to learn more about this traditional Celtic instrument.

Introduction to Bodhrán
Ric Morrisonn

An introduction to the drum and Celtic music. We will review reel and jig rhythms and some simple variations. Practice these, and you will be able to sit in at any session.

Introduction to Irish
Mary Grace Brogdon

Yes, that island has its own language! Come learn some very basic Irish.  Tír gan teaga tír gan anam.

Celtic Guitar and Bouzouki
Sean Earnest

Learn the exciting stylings & techniques of Celtic music on the acoustic guitar and bouzouki. Fundamentals, harmony, rhythmic accompaniment and melody playing will be covered.  While the workshop is geared toward players of acoustic 6-string guitar in DADGAD tuning and Irish bouzouki in GDAD tuning, those familiar with Standard/Drop D/GDAE/ADAD tunings are welcome and will find plenty of relevant information. Suitable for players of all ages and skill levels. Students strongly encouraged to bring picks, a capo, a tuner, and their recording device of choice (paper & pen or electronic).

Tunes for Uilleann Pipes
Preston Howard

A survey of tunes from the uilleann piping traditions of Ireland.  This workshop will focus on tunes that have been evolved distinctly by pipers in Ireland such as Tommy Reck, Seamus Ennis, Richard O’Meally, Willie Clancy, and others.  Elements of piping techniques and effects will also be explored in the context of specific tunes.  Although this workshop will focus on uilleann pipes and pipers, all instrumentalists are welcome. Students should bring a recording device.

Ornamental Knots
Ric Morrisonn

Learn a few binding and lanyard knots that are easy to learn but are very effective as ornamentation. Ric will bring samples of articles he has ornamented with knotwork.

Sea Shanties
Joe Ross

Come prepared to sing along as we weigh anchor or hoist sail in this interactive sea shanty session. These work songs were sung to accompany labor aboard large sailing vessels. Besides those led by Joe Ross, attendees will be encouraged to start up and lead a shanty or sea song of their own, while the audience joins on the choruses. As crew member of this workshop’s “shanty gang,” expect a rollicking good time.  Song sheets will be available, and scalawags and bilge rats of all singing ability are welcome!

Bob More

May Day was originally called Beltane, which means “brilliant fire.” The day was traditionally marked by the lighting of bonfires in every village and town. May Day-Beltane is a spring celebration of life, growth, and love. Bob will present the ancient traditions that marked this celebration.

The Scottish Roots of Golf
Grant Rogers

Grant Rogers, director of instruction at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, will discuss the Scottish origins of golf and how links golf at Bandon Dunes is related to the Scottish experience.

Sean-nós Dancing
Maldon Meehan

This workshop is designed for the beginner as well as the experienced dancer. We will begin with warm up, followed by beginning reel steps, basic choreography and gain an understanding sean-nós vocabulary of steps and movements. Workshop will cater to the level and experience of all attendees. The workshop will emphasize the Connemara tradition and style of dance. Please bring a notebook and a recording device. Wear comfortable clothes, smooth leather or hard soled shoes. Sneakers or sandals are not recommended.

Making Tunes Sing and Dance
Joe Ross

How does a band create their arrangements? With various instruments in his arsenal, Joe Ross and friends will share demonstrations and suggestions for ways to use available skills and instruments to make your tunes and medleys sing and dance. Learn about reels, hornpipes, jigs, polkas, waltzes and more.

Natural History of the Celtic Lands
Marty Giles

Join this informative presentation to learn about the historic landscapes and some of the plants and animals of the British Isles and discover a bit about how those elements have affected Celtic culture. Local professional nature guide and nature writer Marty Giles has been interpreting coastal natural resources for the public for several decades.

Song Circle and Workshop
Andrea Wild

Embrace the joy of singing in a supportive environment without any pressures. We will explore working with songs from the Celtic tradition. We will learn the melody and lyrics of a traditional song.  Handout will be provided for this purpose. The workshop will address the basics of vocal ornamentation with helpful hints on memorizing the lyrics ranging from song chorus to lengthy ballad. Focus will be on songs in the English language. Participants are welcome to share a song to share with the group.

Introduction to Whistle
Nick Metcalf

Nick will cover the basics of how to play the Irish whistle, including breath control, finger exercises, and ornamentation used in Irish music, and he will teach a couple of tunes. He will cover the basics of the Irish low whistle as well. Bring your D whistle and recording device.

Hammered Dulcimer
Joe Ross

Everyone enjoys the “sweet sounds” of the hammered dulcimer. When Joe Ross first heard the instrument being played at an outdoor market in the 1970s, he decided to get some plans (from the Smithsonian Institution) and build his first “whammadiddle.” In this workshop, quickly learn how to do that yourself, explore the interesting history of the dulcimer, try out the instrument, and possibly embark on your own lifelong path of hammering.

How to Play in a Session
Sharon Rogers

At this pre-session session we will share some pointers about session process and etiquette, and also learn various accompaniment strategies to support the traditional tunes in their natural environment. All instruments and levels welcome. Workshop goes right into the festival’s session.

Pub Songs
Bill Mrkvicka

Mrk, an experienced performer, will show what makes a pub song and how they can be performed.  Bring one and sing one!

Ancient Irish Medicine
Tom Leahy

Ancient Irish healers are said to have made injured soldiers whole by plunging them into a bath of milk and diagnosed wounds by the groans of the wounded. Learn how the ancient inhabitants of Ireland understood the body and healed the sick.

Especially for kids, but all welcome

Stories for All Ages
Mary Grace Brogdon

Come hear tales of magic and mystery interspersed with the music of the Celtic harp.

Dances for All Ages
Stacy Rose

Come and learn beginning level dances from many of the Celtic nations. Got two left feet? Bring ’em both!

Three-note Jig for Kid Fiddlers
Jennifer Sordyl

Kids who have their own fiddle and know how to use their fingers on the fingerboard can learn how to play a jig. Bring a recording device if you have one. All ages and abilities welcome. Class size limited to 10.

Make a Bodhran
Charlotte Pierce

Kids can learn how to construct, decorate and play a simple Bodhran out of simple craft items.  A brief history of the instrument will be included.

Music for Kids
Sharon Rogers

Open to all ages. Explore lively songs and ballads of the Celtic lands.