Consairtín 2024 to Premiere New Traditional Music Suite

Donnchadh Mac Aodha

Consairtín 2024 to Premiere New Traditional Music Suite

'Idir Dhá Thost' will be performed at Glór in Ennis on Saturday 6 April; classes, workshops, concerts and talks to take place from 4 to 7 April.

Consairtín, the national concertina convention, which is now in its 11th year, will take place this weekend in Ennis, Co. Clare, from 4 to 7 April.

Among the events is the premiere of a new suite of music written by Louth composer and multi-instrumentalist Donnchadh Mac Aodha.

Idir Dhá Thost is a work for traditional music ensemble and will feature Garry Shannon (flute), Francis Cunningham (concertina), Therese McInerney (fiddle), Sinéad Heagney (viola), Lexie Boatright (harp) and Mac Aodha on piano.

Mac Aodha is the inaugural recipient of the Consairtín Composition Bursary, which is an award presented in association with the Music Department of University College Cork. The Dundalk musician, who plays harp, flute and piano, is currently a Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar at UCC and a third-year student of music and Irish. He was recently awarded the Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award by the Clarsach Society and the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, and also won prizes for composition at the West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival and New Ross Piano Festival. Last August, Mac Aodha was a resident composer at the Ostrava Days new music festival in the Czech Republic where his string quartet I had no time to hate, because was performed by Quartetto Prometeo.

The performance of Idir Dhá Thost, which has been composed with mentorship from Consairtín co-director and concertina player Tim Collins, will take place at Glór on Saturday 6 April at 8pm. The concert will also feature performances from Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson; Dónal Murphy, Greta Curtin, Jessie Healy and Eoin Murphy; and the Clare group Ragaireacht who were finalists in the Gael Linn Siansa competition.

Classes, workshops and sessions
Consairtín, a celebration of the concertina in Irish traditional music, will be officially launched on Thursday evening (4 April) by Liam O’Connor, Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive, at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis. This will be followed by a tribute to the Miltown Malbay concertina player Kitty Hayes (1928–2008) by
broadcaster and Consairtín co-director Áine Hensey and musician Éabha Breathnach.

On Friday evening, there will be a performance at the Old Ground by The High Seas group, which includes Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and Cathal Ó Curráin, and the concert will also include a celebration of young concertina players.

The tutors for the daily concertina classes, which take place from 10am to 1pm, include Mary MacNamara, Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh, Ernestine Healy, Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Edel Fox, Francis Cunningham, Lorraine O’Brien, Clara Mannion, Liam O’Brien, Katie O’Sullivan, Conor O’Loughlin, Niamh Dalton, Sinéad Mulqueen, Sorcha Curtin, Jamie Strappe, Aidan Quigney, Caoilfhionn Ní Fhrighil and Colm Browne. 

There will also be a number of specialist workshops including a class focusing on harp tunes for the concertina with Lexie Boatright, an instrument maintenance tutorial with Seán Ó Fearghail, a class on polkas and slides with Greta Curtin, a workshop on piano and concertina by Paul Chesham, Irish-language classes, an open session for young players, and a series of ‘Ceol sa Chlann’ family performances at St Columba’s Church. Each evening there will also be sessions in Fawl’s Railway Bar.

For full details on all events, visit

Published on 3 April 2024

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