Cuireann Cairdeas na bhFidléirí i láthair
Donegal Fiddlers Glenties Gathering – Donegal Fiddlers Concert
Share This Event:
Cuireann Cairdeas na bhFidléirí i láthair
Donegal Fiddlers Glenties Gathering - Donegal Fiddlers Concert
Showcasing performances by some of the younger generation of Donegal fiddle players – Neil Kennedy, Nia Byrne, Conor Caldwell, Megan Nic Fhionnghaile, Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, Melanie Houton and Aidan O’Donnell.
Neil Kennedy is a 16 year old fiddle player from Meenderryhirk, Dungloe. He has learned from Theresa Kavanagh, Denise Boyle, Tara Connaghan, Martin McGinley, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Brid Harper, Zoe Conway, Nollaig Casey and the late Jimmy Campbell and from the fiddle music of many of his heroes, not least Tommy Peoples whose tunes he often plays. Neil was a finalist in this year’s Fiddler of London competition and won first prize in the 15-18 yrs. category at the Ulster Fleadh at Dromore.
Nia Byrne is a young fiddler and singer from Gaoth Dobhair. She has learned her fiddling from her mother Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, her cousin Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and her father Dermot Byrne. She has listened and learnt a lot of her music from the Campbells of Glenties, Dermot McLaughlin, Liam O’Connor and Clare Friel to mention but a few. Nia has toured along with her mother with Altan in the USA and Australia. Her composition, Port Nia, can be heard on Altan’s latest album, The Gap of Dreams.
Conor Caldwell is a fiddler and music researcher from Belfast. He has been learning Donegal fiddle music since his early teens, studying especially the styles of John Doherty and Con Cassidy. He has forged a formidable playing partnership with Danny Diamond through which the duo explore their shared love of forgotten and over-looked tunes. Conor is a Lecturer in Music at Queen’s University, Belfast and teaches regularly for Cairdeas na bhFidiléiri, as well as with Glengormley School of Traditional Music.
Megan Nic Fhionnghaile is a fiddle player from Gaoth Dobhair. Growing up, she was surrounded with songs and music from her area – her great grandad, Joe Jack, being a well known fiddle player and her grandmother and her siblings being singers. In 2019 she was the Ulster Champion in Senior Fiddle. So far this year, Megan has graduated with a BA Degree in Irish Music from the University of Limerick and has toured the UK with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.
Ciarán Ó Maonaigh is a fiddler, film maker and television director from Gaoth Dobhair. An early recipient of TG4’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award, Ciarán performs in duet with his wife as Caitlín & Ciarán, as a solo performer and as member of the acclaimed trio, Fidil. Growing up, he was heavily influenced by his extended family – his grandfather and teacher Francie Mooney, as well Altan members Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Frankie Kennedy. In television, Ciarán works mostly in the field of music documentary making. He has directed the last five series of ‘Sé Mo Laoch for Aniar TV, Sibéal Teo and TG4 and his film tribute to John Doherty, Ar Leirg na Gaoithe, won the Celtic Media Award for Best Arts Documentary in 2013.
Melanie Houton is a fiddle player from Glengad, Inishowen. She has won numerous Fleadh competitions at county, provincial and national level and was recipient of the prestigious Senior Oireachtas Fiddle title in 2009. She has performed at many festivals and events at home and abroad including Celtic Connections, Earagail Arts Festival, the Fiddlers Farm Weekend in the Netherlands and recently at the SSK Folklore Festival in Lithuania. Melanie is a member of the Sí Fiddlers ensemble of 13 female Donegal fiddlers and has just released a debut duo album, A Snapshot In Time, with her sister Paula.
Aidan O’Donnell is a tremendous fiddle player from Dunkineely. The 2010 TG4 Young Traditional Musician of the Year is also a member of the Donegal fiddle trio, Fidil, with Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and Damien McGeehan. Aidan was awarded a Ph. D. from Ulster University in 2020 for his doctorial thesis, Tuning In, an exploration of tuning practices and pitch inflections apparent in the fiddle tradition of Donegal.