Blas, directed by Ernestine Healy, has firmly established itself as one of Ireland’s most prestigious summer schools, drawing students from all over the world to spend two weeks gaining access to the expertise of some of Ireland’s finest artists.
Apart from tuition and master classes, Blas students can expect a whole range of activities including lectures on Irish Traditional music topics, field-trips, sessions, Irish Language classes (facilitated through the Aonad na Gaeilge) lunchtime and evening concerts, céilís, and above all, the opportunity to share tunes with some of Ireland’s leading traditional musicians.
The summer school will be launched this year by Aodán O’Dubhghaill, Director of RTÉ lyric fm, on Monday 25th June at 5.30p.m. Following on from this, a number of public events will take place throughout the summer school, based at the Irish World Academy on the university campus.
On Tuesday 26th June at 5pm, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Nell Ní Chróinín and Eamonn Costello come together for a discussion entitled ‘Irish Language Singers in a Contemporary Context’.
Performer, composer, academic and teacher, Dr. Mel Mercier, will deliver this year’s Francis Roche Memorial Lecture. Entitled ‘Making Music Together: Father and Son Duets’, the lecture will take place on Thursday June 28th at 5pm in the Tower Theatre at the Irish World Academy.
The Blas public concerts are hugely popular and include Iarla Ó Lionáird, Steve Cooney, Tom Doorley, Derek Hickey & guests on Wednesday June 27th and Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, Seamus Begley, Michelle Mulcahy & guests on Wednesday July 4th. A series of free lunchtime concerts will also run daily at 1.15p.m. from Tuesday 26th June to Thursday July 5th. Tickets for the concerts are available on www.uch.ie or by contacting the box office at 061-331549.
Tutors for Blas 2012 include Dennis Cahill, Dónal Lunny, Steve Cooney, Aileen Dillane, Alan Colfer, Ciaran Coughlan & Francis Ward (accompaniment), Martin Hayes, Siobhán Peoples, John Carty & Matt Cranitch (fiddle), Niall Keegan, Kevin Crawford, Tom Doorley, Garry Shannon & Majella Bartley (flute), Derek Hickey, Danny O Mahony & Sean Óg Graham (Box), Colin Dunne, Catherine Foley, Mats Melin and Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain, Breandán de Gallaí & Michael Ryan (dance), Noirín Ní Riain, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Sandra Joyce & Seamus Begley (song), and Jim Higgins & Mel Mercier (bodhrán).
For further information on the Blas Summer School, see www.blas.ie or contact Ernestine Healy, Director, Blas Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance, Irish World Academy, University of Limerick.
Email: Ernestine.Healy@ul.ie or by Phone: 061 202653.