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> O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat: Midlothian, TX, October 20-22, 2017
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Posted: 24-May-2017, 08:28 AM
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14th annual O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat

October 20-22, 2017

Hoblitzelle Camp & Conference Center in Midlothian, TX.


This years spectacular teaching lineup includes:

Bodhran (Fundamentals) – Cara Wildman; Bodhran (Intermediate & Advanced) – Albert Alfonso; Bouzouki – Alan Murray; Button Accordion – Billy McComiskey; Concertina (Fundamentals) – Brian Ó hAirt; Concertina – Tony O’Connell; Dancing – Pat Murphy; Fiddle (Fundamentals) – Devin Shepherd; Fiddle (Intermediate) – Randal Bays; Fiddle (Intermediate) – Liz Carroll; Fiddle (Intermediate) – Brid Harper; Fiddle (Advanced) – James Kelly; Flute (Intermediate & Advanced) – Steph Geremia; Guitar – Daithi Sproule; Harp – Marta Cook; Mandolin/Banjo (Fundamentals) – John Liestman; Mandolin (Intermediate & Advanced) – Mary Coogan; Piano Accordion (All Levels) -- Alan Kelly; Singing (All Levels) -- Brendan Nolan; Tenor Banjo (Intermediate & Advanced) – Pauline Conneely; Uilleann Pipes – Mickey Dunne; Whistle/Flute (Fundamentals) – James Hamilton; Whistle (Intermediate & Advanced) –Shannon Heaton.

Historically, Irish music is passed down from generation to generation, but in Dallas as with other communities in Texas and surrounding states, there weren’t players of an older generation fulfilling that call, with the exception of Jim O’Flaherty. Jim was born in Listowel, Ireland and came to America at the age of 18. He played the tinwhistle, flute, concertina, fiddle and the uilleann pipes. An airline pilot, Jim had 10 children, all of whom played musical instruments, and he was careful to teach them the music of his homeland. Living with his family near Denton, Texas, Jim’s home regularly became a place where beginning Irish players gathered for potluck and the sharing of tunes. His “sessions” were always eagerly anticipated and served to unite the traditional Irish music community in North Texas.

As a tribute to Jim who passed away in 2001, a Dallas musician named Ken Fleming organized the O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat. The retreat focuses on the teaching of traditional Irish music on fiddle, flute, harp, uilleann pipes, tenor banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, bodhran, guitar, piano, accordion and concertina. Singing in English and Gaelic are taught along with enrichment classes pertaining to music history, session etiquette, music arrangements, learning resources, and more. A number of the instructors are internationally-acclaimed performers and teachers many of whom are brought over from Ireland.

DANCE NOTE: Pat Murphy (the author of several books on set dancing and maybe the most well-known and highly-regarded set dancing teacher active in the world today) will be one of the instructors at the retreat.

Pat Murphy is an accordion player and renowned Set Dancing Master from Upperchurch, County Tipperary. His first contact with set dancing happened in his own home where his father Jack played the accordion, and often the Ballycommon and Castle sets were danced. In the early 1980’s Pat got actively involved in teaching and reviving sets. With his wonderful demeanor and teaching style, his reputation soon spread, and he was invited to teach set dancing all over the world. He has lead workshops in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Russia and practically every country in Europe.

He is the author of four books on Set Dancing: “Toss the Feathers”, "The Flowing Tide", "Apples in Winter" and “Tabhair Dom Do Lámh" and has produced several DVDs containing set and two-hand dance instruction. Pat is passionate about spreading the dances and ensuring that they are not lost again, as happened in previous times.

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