Music Workshop Enrollment

Workshop(s) you want to attend:

Teachers / Workshops 2016

Workshop Dates: Saturday 29th , Sunday 30th and Monday 31st October 2016
Venue: The Convent, Queens Street, Gort, Co. Galway
Times: 10am – 1pm (registration for classes from 9am Saturday 29th October at the convent)
Please fill in the form to the right (or download, print out and send the PDF document below) to let us know your instrument of choice.
Included in cost of classes will be admission to concerts, talks and events over the weekend. Tutors will include Irelands top traditional musicians.
Cost for 3 days workshops and entry to all events - €50.00 : Saturday 29th , Sunday 30th and Monday 31st October 2016
Teacher Biographies (order of appearance):
Button Accordion: B/C - Damien O'Reilly
Button Accordion: C#/D - Conor Connolly
Tin Whistle: Joe Skelton
Concertina: Paddy Egan
Fiddle: Advanced - Brendan Mulkere
Guitar Accompaniment: Sinéad Egan
Fiddle: Intermediate - Claire Egan


Button Accordion: B/C - Damien O'Reilly

damien oreilly accordion cooley collins trad festival


Damien O'Reilly is an esteemed accordion player from county Clare. He learned music in his native Corofin in North Clare and this rhythmical style can be heard in his playing today. He was strongly influenced by the music recorded in the 70s and 80s such as De Danann, Noel Hill, Tony Linnane, Tony McMahon, The Bothy Band and many more. Growing up Damien learned much of his music from his brother Padraic who also had a major influence on him.

Damien is a much sought after tutor having taught at many of Ireland's leading festivals. He has toured much of Europe and completed an Irish tour with the Kilfenora Céilí band in 2013. In 2007 Damien was asked to join the band Cruinniu and recorded a debut album to critical acclaim. He is the musical director of the highly successful Corofin Traditional Festival.

Below is a clip of Damien from the Friday night concert at the John Dwyer festival in Waterford, October 2014.




Button Accordion: C#/D - Conor Connolly:


Conor is twenty two years of age and comes from the parish of Clarinbridge in South Co. Galway. He is currently completing a B.A in History and English in the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Coming from South Galway, Conor is influenced by the rich Irish Music tradition of that area particularly that of the Button Accordion which was popularised by the late Joe Cooley of Peterswell. Other big influences include Charlie Harris, Tony MacMahon and Andrew McNamara and the music of East Galway and Clare. He also holds great interest in music of the 1920s and 30s namely melodion player P.J Conlon and fiddle virtuoso James Morrison.

He has performed on broadcasters such as Galway Bay FM,Raidió na Gaeltachta and Clare FM. He attends many of the Traditional Music festivals around the country including, Scoil Samhradh Willie Clancy, Feakle International Music Festival, Cooley-Collins Traditional Music weekend and Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh.




Flute: Pádraic Keane

Tunes in the Church Artist


Uilleann piper Pádraic Keane hails from Maree, Co. Galway and was born into a great musical family in 1991. His father Tommy is a well known piper, originally from Waterford who was taught by the legendary piper Tommy Kearney. His mother Jacqueline McCarthy is a very respected concertina player and is the daughter of the late Tommy McCarthy from West Clare who was a multi-instrumentalist playing pipes, whistle and concertina. Jacqueline’s sister Marion also plays pipes. It is little wonder therefore, considering the love and prevalence of piping on both sides of the family, that Pádraic began learning the pipes at the age of eight under the guidance of his father. He also received tuition from many leading pipers at various summer schools including Robbie Hannan, Mick O’Brien, Emmett Gill, Jimmy O’Brien Moran, Seán McKeon, Brian McNamara and Ronan Browne.

Pádraic's piping comes from the style of Willie Clancy but other influences such as Seán McKiernan and Séamus Ennis are also discernable in his music. He in turn is now passing on his love for piping and has a number of fledgling pipers coming to him for tuition. He is also one of the piping tutors at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy held in Miltown Malbay each year.

In 2011 he was awarded Gradam Ceoil TG4 – Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana (TG4 Music Award - Young Musician of the Year). He has toured America (as soloist with The Irish Chamber Orchestra) performing Termōn - a piece for uilleann pipes and strings by Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin - which was commissioned for the tenth anniversary of 9/11. He has also toured with Ragús and worked with Galway's Irish language theatre group - An Taibhdhearc.

He is featured on "The Rolling Wave" - a CD of young pipers issued by Na Píobairí Uilleann in 2012. In 2014 he collaborated with the RTE Concert Orchestra by performing at a number of occasions.




Concertina: Paddy Egan

Paddy Egan Concertina

Image Copyright © Christy Hennessy Photography 2016


Paddy Egan comes from county Wicklow. He began learning Irish music when he was seven, and spent his early years listening to music of the local musicians in his family's pub. He took private lessons for over eight years from the late great Wexford concertina player, Larry Kinsella and Larry's style was a very strong influence on his music. He was regularly at the sessions in Gorey Co. Wexford where he first heard Tony Crehan and a host of musicians every week. Along with Tony and Larry, some of his influences in concertina playing along the way have included Niall Vallely and John Williams.

In 2006, he travelled to Gort to research for his MA in Ethnomusicology where he met with the likes of local great Des Mulkere, the mighty Joe Carey and Paddy Fitzpatrick from Mayo. He has been to the festival nearly every year since. Recently in 2012, he co-directed a Vinyl/DVD/CD album of music and revelry at Whelan's pub in nearby Shanaglish with "Derreen/Beagh/San Francisco" legend Vincey Keehan. Nights In Shanaglish is supported online at this link:

Paddy is currently researching in UCC, Cork for his PhD where he is studying the manuscript scores and musical projects in the Seán Ó Riada special collection. He is also a regular musician in the thriving session scene throughout the city. 

Below is a clip of Paddy performing at the Cooley Collins fundraiser at the Lady Gregory Hotel, August 2016.




Banjo: Brian McGrath


Originally from Brookborough, Co. Fermanagh, Brian McGrath is one of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians. A master on both piano and banjo, he has featured on over 200 albums to date, working with some of the biggest names in Irish traditional music including Frankie Gavin, Noel Hill, John Carty, Matt Molloy and Dolores Keane to name but a few. A member of the renowned traditional group De Danann, Brian is currently resident in Galway, where he is an established member of the city’s musical community..






Bodhrán: Johnny Ringo McDonagh


A true innovator among bodhránai and traditional musicians the world over, Johnny invented several groundbreaking techniques that actually extended the musical vocabulary of the instrument, such as the backslide and playing on the rim. He can also lay claim to being the first to play a bodhrán with a brush, as well as originating the idea for a tunable bodhrán.


Johnny is an original member of the legendary De Danann and has an outstanding recording reputation, having backed premier solo Irish music acts from Eileen Ivers to Mary Bergin, as well as Thin Lizzy's legendary Phil Lynot and the creator of Tubular Bells' Mike Oldfield. Johnny is now the leader of trad group Arcady.


Quite simply, there can be no-one better to learn the true art of the Bodhrán from than Johnny.




Fiddle: Advanced - Brendan Mulkere


Originally from Crusheen in North Clare although currently living in London, Brendan Mulkere is renowned as a fiddle player as well as his contribution to the Irish Traditional Music scene in London where his focus was passing on the tradition to the Irish in England as well as anybody who holds an interest in Irish Traditional Music.

Many great names went through his hands and were inspired by him including John Carty, John Blake, Lamond Gillespe and others.  He taught a number of instruments including fiddle, accordion, banjo etc. His dedication, perseverance and passion for the music and the manner in which he taught it to so many people from London and beyond will be hard to repeat.  He still teaches and is now director of the traditional Irish Music Programme at the Irish Cultural Centre in London.

Brendan has received many awards for his contribution to traditional music and was honoured at the Fleadh Nua in Ennis in 2013. Here is a clip of the Thatch Céili Band, two time Senior All-Ireland winners with Brendan at the helm.





Guitar Accompaniment: Sinéad Egan


Singer – Songwriter & much sought after accompanist in the traditional music circuit.

At an early age Sinead began to learn guitar and piano, often attempting to copy those she heard and saw on radio or TV. Listening to her mum's vinyl collection of artists such as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sade, Joni Mitchell, Beverley Craven and Tracy Chapman.... Influences abundant, she absorbed the inspirations towards fully acknowledging the beauty of how music and words respond to each other to create something passionate, powerful and timeless. Further down the line she was able to consolidate her knowledge of guitar with lessons from Clive Carroll. Her natural abilities have since been nurtured by the sensitive musicality of her muse and close friend Kieran Mulkere alongside fine fellow family musicians. Sinead has since accompanied and supported various virtuous creative’s as Tommy Peoples, Dolores Keane, Mary Coughlan, The Furey Brothers and Damien Dempsey; exercising her admirable command of rhythm and metre on guitar and with voice and accompanies Irish traditional music on guitar and piano.

Most recently she’s performed and recorded with Boy George and George Clinton on an album also featuring Sinead OʼConnor. Retaining a family tradition of Folk and Country and writing songs within that genre, she also incorporates Jazz, Soul and the Blues seamlessly to arrive at a unique blend that we associate with her today. In the midst of devising her first solo album, Sinead’s desire is to carry the listener on a journey through seasons, common experience and an honest, organic account of human relations.




Fiddle: Intermediate - Claire Egan (Fiddle)


London born, County Clare based fiddle player Claire Egan was born into a family of musicians and artists from the West of Ireland and has been immersed in the music from listening to the recordings of the Master musicians from the 1920's as well as the wealth of great musicians from Ireland living in London such as Bobby Casey, Brian Rooney, John Carty and many others.

Claire went on to win several competitions as well as other prizes and awards including the Young Artists Award from the Irish Youth Foundation to assist with her studies including a Masters at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Her music is regularly heard on BBC radio, RTE, RnaG, and International broadcasts.




Tin Whistle: Joe Skelton