Music lovers from far and near will enjoy a feast of traditional music, song and dance this weekend as Foxford Traditional Weekend gets underway from the 5th – 8th October 2017. The town which is a haven for many musicians will host the annual event and there is a serious line-up for this year’s festival, which is fast becoming one of the best shoulder-season festivals in Ireland.
The internationally acclaimed Seán Keane will kickstart the weekend when he performs in concert on Thursday 5th October at 8pm in Foxford Secondary School Hall. He will be joined by Pat Coyne on guitar and two well-known local musicians who are part of his band, David Doocey and Stephen Doherty. This promises to be a great night and the perfect start to a jam-packed musical weekend.
A session trail of music around the town, will commence following the concert and will continue at different times, day and night, for the whole weekend, in all seven public houses. The session trail will include some of Ireland’s finest musicians from all parts of the country and this ‘high energy’ trail is sure to lift your heart and get your feet tapping. All musicians are invited to join in the session trail or initiate their own session in one of the many nooks and crannies.
The standard and quality of music from the younger generation is just inspiring and a showcase of their talent will be on show during ‘Teen Trad’ in Cruiser’s on Friday evening at 7pm. This event will feature many All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil finalists and indeed winners, from all over Connacht, and will not disappoint.
A series of workshops and master classes will take place over Saturday and Sunday with some of Ireland’s leading tutors. ‘Guest Tutor’ for the weekend is the renowned concertina master from Co Clare, Noel Hill. Noel has taken the concertina to stages throughout the world as an awe-inspiring performer and music teacher and his arrival in Foxford will surely cause great excitement amongst concertina players, young and old! Other workshop over the weekend include tin-whistle, flute, fiddle, banjo, accordion, harp, piano accompaniment, bodhran and singing.
A performance master class will be held to cater for proficient musicians. They will be guided under the instruction of David Doocey – A Master Musician himself! This group will have the opportunity to perform at the Saturday night concert alongside greats like Noel Hill, tutors and many, many more fabulous musicians.
One of the classes which will be of interest to a lot of people is the mixed instrument adult class – this class would perhaps suit adults who may have played music at a younger age but realise now that their Mother was right and they should have kept it up! This might just be the push needed to get them back into the ‘ceol’!
Sean-nós dancers will be put through their paces on Saturday afternoon with the sean-nós dancing competition which will start at 4pm in the Mayfly Hotel. There will also be individual competitions for the cailíní agus na buachaillí and all ages are catered for. Music by melodeon player, Tom Doherty. Tom is well known to the sean-nós scene – his sweet rhythmic music is a treat to behold!
‘Féile Concert’ on Saturday night at 8pm in the Mayfly Hotel will feature ‘Guest Tutor’, Noel Hill. It’s guaranteed a great night of ceol, damhsa agus craic. The concert will also feature many of the weekend tutors and visiting musicians, singer and dancers. A must for all true Irish music lovers.
Foxford Traditional weekend’s aim is to celebrate and cherish our native language through song, music and dance. This festival is open to everyone to participate and experience the warmth and richness of the Irish spirit. With set-dancing, singing club, storytelling, junior sessions and lots, lots more, tune up your instruments, polish your shoes and don’t miss this exciting musical event on our doorstep.