The deadline for entries to the fourth annual Battle of the Bands competition, hosted by the Mullahoran branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, is approaching and will close this Friday.
The competition, which focuses on traditional Irish entertainment, has a prize fund of up to €1,500.
The competition is the highlight in the CCÉ branch's Trad Fest weekend, which takes place from Friday, March 2 to Sunday, March 4, and is jam packed with seisiúns, workshops, ceol agus craic.
Branch chairperson Sylvia Galligan explained that the event is about encouraging young people in the traditional arts. “Our young people regularly attend music lessons and practise tirelessly and this event is about helping them to learn to play together, building up their confidence, giving them experience in terms of performing for a live audience and also having good fun, which is most important. It is a social event, with great entertainment guaranteed and prizes for the best acts,” she said.
A number of Irish's top traditional musicians and performers will also be in attendance.
The Trad Fest weekend will kick off on Friday, March 2, with a session trail including local musicians and special guests. The event will open with a Session in Micsin's Bar in Kilcogy from 8:30.
The Crover House Hotel in Mountnugent will be the venue for workshops and master classes on Saturday afternoon, March 3, all of which will be taken by All-Ireland Fleadh champions. Workshops will be held on banjo, fiddle, flute and whistle. Special guests for the weekend will lead the masterclasses and/or be an adjudicator for the Battle of the Bands competition. Garry Shannon (brother of Sharon Shannon) flute player and co-ordinator of Meitheal Residential Summer School will take the flute workshop. Currently a member of the Kilfenora Céilí Band, Garry has recorded two solo albums. The banjo and mandolin workshops will be presided over by Monaghan man, George McAdam, a member of the Blackwater Céilí Band; while his bandmate James McCaffrey, from Tyrone will take whistle. Multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Tadhg Mulligan will take the fiddle workshops. The Dundalk man took place in the Comhaltas Tour of Ireland Concert in 2017. Another special guest, Dave Sheridan, flute player from Leitrim and a member of the Garadice band will be one of the adjudicators of the Battle of the Bands competition.
The workshops with tutors will take place from 3-5pm, before the Battle of the Bands gets underway at 6pm, also in the Crover (doors at 5:30pm). Admission is €5pp.
Battle of the Bands
There are two categories in the Battle of the Band competition – U13 and U19. The prizes in the Junior category are: 1st, €150; 2nd, €100 and 3rd, €50. The senior prizes, meanwhile, are: 1st, €500, a CD recording voucher and a trophy; 2nd, €250 and 3rd, €100. The entry fee is €30 for U13 and €40 for U19s. In addition, a scholarship of €350 for Meitheal Summer School will be awarded to the overall best musician.
Entries will close at noon on February 23. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for application forms and rules or check Facebook. Bookings for workshops will also be taken.
Wrap up Session
The Trad Fest weekend will come to a close on Sunday, March 3, with a Session Finale in the Crover House Hotel with special guests from 3pm. All welcome.