Updated February 16 th
The inaugural Dr John Stafford Festival – a weekend of Traditional Music and Gaeilge takes place in Elphin from February 17th to 19th.
The Festival is named after Dr John Stafford of Portobello House, Elphin, who was life long friend and patron of the legendary harpist Turlough O’Carolan. While staying at Portobello House during a bout of illness Turlough O’Carolan composed the well known “O’Carolan’s Receipt to Stafford” as a thank you.
The Festival will feature Workshops, Ceilis, Feisanna and the first ever Fliúiteadóir Ros Comáin – which aims to have the same standing at the renowned “Fiddler of Dooney” competition. The weekend begins with Music Sessions in the local Pubs at 10pm and they will continue nightly at the same time. The workshops will be held in Elphin Community College on Saturday. Registration will be held at 10.30am with Classes at 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm. Among the guest tutors and musicians at this year’s festival will be 2016 All-Ireland Senior Button Accordion Champion Vinny Murphy, 2016 “Fiddler of Dooney” Jason McGuinness and 2015 All-Ireland Flute Champion Cein Sweeney will be the Whistle and Flute tutor. The workshops will conclude with the Tutor Recital 4.15pm
As well as the music there will be an opportunity for people wishing to improve their Gaeilge. “Is Maith liom mo theanga” a program is focused at Junior and Leaving Certificate students who will face their Oral Irish examinations shortly. The tutor is Jacinta Ní Chonghaile who has also stared in Ros na Rún.
The Junior Under 18) and Senior Fliúiteadóir Ros Comáin competitions will be held on Saturday evening in An Bothar Rua. The Junior Competition gets under way at 5.30pm and the Senior Competition follows at 6:30pm
On Sunday the Dr. John Stafford Music Feis for young aspiring musicians will be held in Elphin Community College. There will be competitions for Tin whistle, Fiddle, Button Accordion, Concertina, any other instrument and Solo Singing in under 10,12,15,18 age categories. Duet and trio competitions will be held at under 12,15 and under 18. Meanwhile the Flute competitions in the Feis will be contested at under 10,12 and under 15 age categories.
For more information on any of the above contact the Dr John Stafford Festival Committee on 086 052 6459 or 086 386 8271 or email [email protected]