"Northern Lights and Southern Stars"

A Celebration of Traditional Song presented by The Clare Festival of Traditional Singing (Féile Amhránaíochta and Chláir)

at The Bellbridge House Hotel, Spanish Point, Co. Clare. November 7th – 9th 2003

Programme of Events

Friday, November 7th
8.00 p.m.

9.00 p.m. Lecture

Opening Reception

Kind Friends and Companions!
Frank Harte, TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year recalls the many great individuals he has encountered in a lifetime of collecting and singing song.

Saturday, November 8th
11.00 a.m.


12.00 noon Launch


4.00 p.m. Singing & Storytelling



8.00 p.m. Concert

A Hidden Ulster: People and Traditions
Padraigín Ní Uallacháin gives a bi-lingual talk on the rich song-tradition of Oriel, a region which straddles the borders of southeast Ulster and north Leinster.

Songs of a Hidden Ulster
Padraigín Ní Uallacháin’s long-awaited major study on the songs of Oriel complete with CD will be launched.

Two for the Road
Len Graham and John Campbell, two internationally renowned masters of the arts of traditional singing and storytelling in performance.

Traditional Singing & Storytelling
Nonie Lynch
Len Graham
Padraigín Ní Uallacháin
Ollie Conway
John Campbell
Kitty Hayes
Frank Harte
Nan Tom Teamín de Búrca
Patrick Lynch
M.C. Róisín White

Sunday November 9th
1.00 p.m.
Singing Session
Mary Fahey’s Pub,
Ennis Road, Miltown Malbay

Singers and Speakers

Nonie Lynch. A woman with great spirit and zest belying the fact that she is 93 years of age. From Mount Scott, Mullagh, Nonie has been singing for most of her life.

Padraigín Ní Uallacháin. Singer and scholar, from an Irish speaking family, Padraigín has long been researching and performing the songs of Oriel and South Ulster. Her book, Songs of a Hidden Ulster, has been awaited with great anticipation by lovers of traditional song throughout Ireland.

Ollie Conway of Mullagh is known far and wide as an enthusiastic singer, raconteur and magnificent set and solo dancer.

John Campbell of Mullaghbawn, Co. Armagh is probably the most skilful storyteller performing publicly today. He specialises in traditional stories with a humorous slant. John is also a singer and has collected folklore from the Department of Irish Folklore in University College Dublin.

Kitty Hayes is a celebrated concertina player from Shanaway, Miltown Malbay, whose CD, A Touch of Clare, received rave reviews when it came out a couple of years ago. Listeners to the album may not be aware that she is also an extremely fine traditional singer with a fine collection of old songs.

Frank Harte. As the recipient of this year’s TG4 ‘Traditional Singer of the Year’ award, Frank has achieved overnight success after half a century of singing! Architect, broadcaster, historian, song collector, singer and quintessential Dubliner, Frank has probably the largest active repertoire of any singer in Ireland today. He has me many great singers in his time and in Spanish Point will share his memories of these tradition bearers and sing the songs they passed on to him.

Nan Tom Teamín de Búrca is from Ruisín Na Mainiach in Conamara. She won her first sean nós singing competition when she was 14 and gathered many more awards and high recognition over the years, including winning the prestigious Corn Uí Riada on two occasions. As they say, she did not lick it off the ground, her mother also being a noted singer and her father a cousin of the great Sorcha Ní Ghuairim.

Patrick Lynch of Mount Scott is a son of Nonie Lynch and neighbour and friend of the legendary late Junior Crehan. He has a very extensive and diverse repertoire of recitations, humorous, tragic, political, thoughtful and melodramatic. His declamatory style insures that once you hear Patrick you will not forget him. He has been invited to perform in places as diverse as the Góilín Singers Club and The Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Nevada.

Len Graham is another of the great singer-collectors with an international reputation. A native of Antrim he has been living in South Armagh for many years now with his wife Padraigín Ní Uallacháin. He has an enormous output of published recordings to date. Working solo or in a team with Padraigín or John Campbell he has performed all over Europe and North America.

Róisín White. Although born in Co. Down, Róisín has lived most of her life in Armagh. A singer in both Irish and English she is in enormous demand every year in Britain, North America and Europe to perform and to teach. She spends as much time as she can in Miltown Malbay and has a home there. A member of the Committee of the Festival she has acted as MC for the concert for many years.

Weekend Ticket €15
Lectures/Recitals €3.00
Concert €8.00

Grant aided by The Arts Council (An Chomhairle Ealaíon)
Member of the Forum for Music in Ireland.

The Clare Festival of Traditional Singing has been running since 1990. Up to now all events have been held in Ennistymon. This year the festival is trying a new format. It breaks away from having a static base and hopes to move the festival around the county intermittently, Spanish Point and Miltown Malbay being the chosen venues for 2003. As always there will be a variety of singers from Clare and throughout the country, but this year we are starting a policy of putting a slight emphasis on a particular region, in this case the Oriel/Armagh tradition. Other regions will be brought into focus in future years.

Tom Munnelly, Fintra Beg, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare.
Tel/Fax 065-7084365 (email: munnelly@eircom.net)

The Bellbridge House Hotel, Spanish Point, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare.
Tel: 065-7084038

The aim of the Clare Festival of Traditional Singing is to celebrate and promote the appreciation of unaccompanied traditional singing.
As well as the formal programme there will be impromptu informal singing sessions all weekend.

Back to Events Calendar 2003