Traditional Irish music will take the stage at the University of Montana in Missoula and at Montana Tech in Butte this February and March.
UM’s Irish Studies Program and the UM School of Music, in partnership with the Friends of Irish Studies, will present “A Springtime of Irish Music and Song” Feb. 6-7, Feb. 20-21, March 6-7 and March 20-21.
“This series brings to Montana the most well-known custodians of Ireland’s music and song tradition,” UM Irish Studies Program Director Traolach Ó Ríordáin said. “As in previous years, our visitors come from those families who passed on the tradition from generation to generation.”
The concert series is part of the Traditional Music and Song of Ireland music course at UM that will be taught by Éilis Keegan during the spring semester. Keegan is an accomplished musician, a champion Irish fiddler and a Fulbright Irish language teaching assistant at UM.
The course she will teach originally was designed by UM music professor Patrick Williams, but modified by Keegan to include instruction in the tin whistle. Learning the tin whistle will introduce students to the fundamentals of Irish traditional music. Students who either play melodic instruments or sing also are encouraged to take the course.
Students will get the chance to play with visiting musicians, including button accordion player Danny O’Mahony; concertina, flute player and sean-nós singer Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin; Irish fiddle player James Kelly; and lead vocalist of Irish rock band the Hothouse Flowers, Liam Ó Maonlaí.
The series includes four performances, each from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The schedule follows:
"Button Accordion," Danny O’Mahony
- Friday, Feb. 6, Montana Tech Library and Auditorium, Butte
- Saturday, Feb. 7, UM Music Recital Hall, Missoula
"Flute, Concertina and Song," Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin
- Friday, Feb. 20, Montana Tech Library and Auditorium, Butte
- Saturday, Feb. 21, UM Music Recital Hall, Missoula
"Fiddle," James Kelly
- Friday, March 6, Montana Tech Library and Auditorium – Butte
- Saturday, March 7, UM Music Recital Hall – Missoula
Whistle, Bodhran and Song – Liam Ó Maonlaí
- Friday, March 20, Montana Tech Library and Auditorium – Butte
- Saturday, March 21, UM Music Recital Hall – Missoula
Tickets to each performance cost $15 or $10 for Friends of Irish Studies members. A ticket to all four performances is $45. Tickets can be purchased online at friendsofirishstudies.com, at Rockin’ Rudy’s in Missoula, and at Cavanaugh’s County Celtic or Granite Mountain Bank in Butte.