Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Fleadh launch for latest edition of Bodhrán tuition pack

 The latest edition of a highly sought after Bodhrán tuition pack will be officially launched as part of Newry’s Iúr Cinn Fleadh next month.

Produced by master musicians Fergal O’Brien and René de Kat, the pair will launch the third edition of their Grade 2 Bodhrán Tutor Book and CD on Saturday 8th September at an event in Newry Library.  Previous editions having attracted regional and international commendations, with copies sold in 17 countries, and as far as Japan and South Korea.

Over the past two years, bodhrán students and teachers with the Traditional Arts Partnership (TAP) in Mullaghbawn, have enjoyed excellent successes, while Fergal and René, along with Alana Flynn, have led 63 students of all ages and backgrounds successfully through Bodhrán Grades 2-8 in the London College of Music (LCM).

Fergal says that he believes that the Bodhrán grades have had many advantages. First and foremost it has raised the self confidence levels of participants leaving them with a tangible qualification for life. Students have the opportunity of gaining University points from Grade 6 onwards, who wish to attend some Northern Irish and UK colleges, whilst mature students can gain credits for performing arts courses in the Republic of Ireland. Although students at TAP continue to gain opportunities to take part at a Feis or Fleadh, grades offer the chance for a much wider number of students to get a sense of achievement.

Information on the grades will be provided from 10.30am ahead on the day of the event, ahead of the official launch of the Third Edition of the Grade 2 Bodhrán Book and CD at 10.45am on 8th September in Newry Library. 

Fergal and René will follow the launch with bodhrán workshops in Newry Library for beginners from 11am-12pm and Intermediate/ Advanced from 12- 1pm. Registration is £5.00 per workshop by email  or on the morning (subject to space).  Bodhráns for total beginners can be provided for this workshop if pre- arranged.

Ahead of its official launch, the new edition book and CD have been receiving rave reviews from leading players and book reviewers: “This is a very useful, accessible little tutor book. It introduces learners to the different rhythms and forms found in traditional music without over- complicating things at this early stage, and anyone- not just those sitting the Grade 2 exam- would learn from it” Chris Heatley-Mulhall, The Living Tradition.

Eithne, mother of a primary student commented: “This book is a God-send for anyone who wants a step by step guide on how to work towards their Grade 2 on the bodhrán. It’s easy to follow, and covers every single detail you will need. The CD included is particularly useful for practising with the tunes. I would highly recommend it.” 

Scheduled workshops will provide an opportunity for students of all ages to find out more about bodhrán grades before joining classes in Mullaghbawn or Warrenpoint. Registration with the Traditional Arts Partnership, Mullaghbawn will be Tuesday 28th August in Mullaghbawn Community Hall from 6-8pm and registration for lessons with Warrenpoint Comhaltas  will take  place September 12th  from 7.30pm in St Peter’ s GAA Club Warrenpoint. Further details contact Fergal O’Brien by email at .