The 16th Blas International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance was recently launched at the University of Limerick. The Summer School will take place at the Irish World Academy, UL and runs from June 25th - July 6th 2012.
Speaking at the launch, Aodán O'Dubhghaill, Director of RTÉ Lyric FM said; “Students attending the course at the University’s Irish World Academy will benefit from the wisdom and tutelage of eminent figures of the Traditional World such as Dennis Cahill, Dónal Lunny, Steve Cooney, Martin Hayes, Siobhán Peoples, John Carty & Matt Cranitch, Kevin Crawford, Tom Doorley, Derek Hickey, Danny O Mahony, Colin Dunne, Noirín Ní Riain, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Sandra Joyce & Seamus Begley and Jim Higgins, to name but a few.”
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.
Blas Director, Ernestine Healy said; “Blas 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.”
The Blas Summer School benefits from the Paul Brady Blas Bursary launched in 2010. This Bursary has provided €20,000 in endowment funds over the past three years, offering approximately 25 places for deserving musicians, singers & dancers on the Blas programme. Brady, said that “he was delighted to be associated with the Irish World Academy, and hoped the scholarships would enable students who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to access the expertise of some of our finest traditional musicians, singers and dancers”.
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.