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Clare's Florence Fahy to teach at Friday Harbor 2010

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This is my first posting to concertina.net and I confess to being only a fiddle player, but I love the concertina. You might know about my Friday Harbor Irish Music camp, which has been happening every March for the last nine years, on San Juan island a couple of hours north of Seattle.

 

We've had some great concertina teachers over the years, including Gearoid O'hAllmhurain and John Williams, and I'm writing now to let you know a little about this year's teacher, Florence Fahy. She's not well-known here in the States and in fact I only met her by chance while doing some concerts in Phoenix, where she now lives. She's the kind of excellent traditional player that you rarely encounter outside of Ireland, as she's not a member of a touring band and doesn't generally promote herself as a performer. She comes from northern County Clare, close to Belharbour where Chris Droney lives, and grew up in the very heart of that rich musical tradition. Her father, Martin Fahy, is a noted concertina player as well. She's taught quite a bit both in Ireland and in America and is pretty articulate about how she plays and how she learned.

 

I love her playing and feel it's right there in the groove with the music of some of the older Clare musicians I've been fortunate to meet; a great young player committed to a traditional style of playing.

 

Please have a look at the camp website, http://www.fridayharborirish.com , and let me know if you have any questions about the classes.

 

Best wishes,

Randal Bays

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Pleased to have the membership of Mr. Bays, whose concerts I have much enjoyed on several occasions.

 

No harm in adding the dates here; March 8-13 2010. I'll include this in the 2010 summer school list when I do it around New Year's.

 

Ken

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Thanks very much Ken, I should have put those dates in the post. It's interesting reading these forums for an instrument other than my own; there seems to be a good "atmosphere" and the discussion is more articulate than on some other groups.

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Randal,

 

Remembering where those concerts were, let's see. West Whately in Massachusetts a few years ago, where the bats come out of the old meetinghouse roof at intermission as you are served watermelon (Doug Crieghton of the Button Box put me on to that, Daithe S. performed with you) and a couple of the regular visits to Jenny Thompson's house concert in Indianapolis (do miss that, along with the Indy sessions).

 

Ken (one of the schoolmarms who watches over all who post here) :ph34r:

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Randal,

 

I looked at the website, and it looks very interesting. I did not notice a breakdown in levels for Florence's classes. Will she include teaching for beginners in her classes? Does she teach all levels at once?

 

Thanks,

Jeff

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I am sorry that I can't attend but I would like to put a plug in for Florence Fahy. I have seen her play, mostly at Winkles (now gone) in Kinvara. She is a typically excellent County Clare player with great rhythm, phrasing, and quite enough ornaments. She played with her father Martin, also an exellent concertina player. The two of them blended great together. Martin is still playing in Kinvara. I saw him ealier this year at Connolly's. Connolly's is a small hidden gem at the quay in Kinvara. I saw Tim Collins there in April this year, and Claire Keville and Jackie Daly last month. If you are in the Galway/Clare area, I recommend it for great music. Alan

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Randal,

 

I looked at the website, and it looks very interesting. I did not notice a breakdown in levels for Florence's classes. Will she include teaching for beginners in her classes? Does she teach all levels at once?

 

Thanks,

Jeff

 

I can't speak for Randal, but I can offer some personal perspective on past Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp concertina classes. I've attended one year with John Williams instructing and four years with Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin instructing.

 

Typically there are two 90-minute concertina classes per day and most concertina students attend both classes. Since the Friday Harbor camp offers instruction on variety of instruments, one does have other choices and it's possible to take up to three different classes per day, depending on the teaching schedule, the instrument(s) you play and how devoted you are to them. In past years the concertina classes have been roughly sequential in their content flow (the second of the day continues where the first left off), but accommodation was made for those that only attended one of the classes per day. I would assume that it will be that way with Florence, but thats a guess only. As to class makeup, a typical concertina class group has been a mix of six to ten people, usually one or two new (or near new) players and the rest semi- to well- experienced. The past instructors have always been quite good about making sure the new players aren't left behind.

 

I've never met Florence but did recently exchange messages with her; she mentioned that she is a 'by ear' advocate for learning the instrument but intends to offer sheet music as well. Again, I'm not speaking for the Camp, Randal or Florence, rather just offering my personal perspective based on past attendance and sharing some comments she made to me. By the way, as Randal mentioned she currently lives in the Phoenix area and is available for lessons, though she will be moving east sometime in the near future.

 

Here's a photo of the 2009 Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp concertina class. To be clear, the camp will be held in a different location in 2010 so the website comments regarding the grounds and structures won't be applicable for that event, though the manner of instruction and flow of events should be similar.

 

(Edited to correct a spelling error missed when first posted)

Edited by Bruce McCaskey

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Here's a photo of the 2009 Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp concertina class. To be clear, the camp will be held in a different location in 2010 so the website comments regarding the grounds and structures won't be applicable for that event, though the manner of instruction and flow of events should be similar.

 

I'm pretty sure I'll go this year, too many interesting things to miss it out. I didn't know there was a third, secret Kane sister!

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I'm happy to recommend both Friday Harbor Music Camp and Florence Fahey. I went to the camp some years ago and I enjoyed it very much.

I played with Florence about ten years ago. She and her father were playing in Linnane's, in New Queue. She is a lovely person and a fine player.

I have no doubt that she'll be a great addition to the camp.

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Just a few days to go (people arrive March 7th) and there are still a few openings in the concertina classes. This is your chance to combine an ocean cruise (a one-hour ferry boat ride actually) with a week of Irish music at a Inn in an island harbor setting. The music camp group will pretty much have the Roche Harbor Inn and vicinity to themselves so it'll be good times with a group of 70 or more Irish music enthusiasts.

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Arghhh I can't make it this year, I tried my best but couldn't manage. I hope you guys have lot of fun, and I'm sure you will.

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I took Florence' class at Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp 2010. She is a wonderful teacher. This is the first time that I have actually learned some tunes by ear. She expanded my use of the C row on the right hand and I developed a better sense of how the rhythm of the piece creates its "swing". She taught ornaments and showed how even simple ornaments can produce a complex sound.

 

All the instructors were fabulous this year. The sessions at night were not to be missed.

 

I also took the pennywhisle class which I enjoyed immensely and it helped with learning tunes.

 

Yvonne

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Az, it's a good thing you didn't go to FH. You'd have fallen in love with her and then where would you be?

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