PAUL CURRY/JIM SEERY BRANCH
of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann
An Irish Culture Organization promoting the music, song, dance, and language of Ireland
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Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Newsletter
Promoting the music, song, dance, and language of Ireland
Irelands premier cultural movement since 1951 with 400 branches around the world
The material in this newsletter is copyright 1995. We welcome this information to be distributed in the spirit of Comhaltas -- to enhance the Irish heritage -- but please give credit to the source: Comhaltas Newsletter, Seery/Curry Branch, Third Qtr '95.
A Chairde Gael
I trust that all our members had a nice summer and that you are looking forward to the new fall season of activities when we can be together for friendship, music, and dance. We have a busy schedule for the fall and we need lots of help from our members. Remember, our great branch is only strong because of our wonderful membership. We value your opinion and if you have any ideas or suggestions, please do not hesitate to call me. Our aim as a Comhaltas branch is to promote and preserve Irish culture any way we can.
The 1995 C.C.E. Annual concert tour this year will perform at East Catholic High School in Manchester, CT on Friday, October 13, at 8 PM. Two very generous members, Debbie Thompson and Bob Carbery, came forward to chair this event. Let's do our part by helping them with ticket sales and volunteering to help at the concert.
Our branch was represented at the Annual Convention meetings in Tarrytown by the branch secretary and the chairperson. We had one of the largest contingents present at the convention. As you will see from the newest issue of the Treoir Magazine, our branch got a lot of coverage. Labhras O Murchu forwarded to me a copy of the R.T.E. video that was made at the convention. We will show this video at the Northeast Regional Meeting to be held at the I.A.C.C. in New Haven, CT on November 11, 1995.
Again as we begin a new year at C.C.E., I am asking for your help and cooperation to help keep the Curry-Seery Branch the best it can be.
Beannachtaí Naoimh Pádraig oraibh go léir.
Mise le meas
Remember to teach your children your heritage; otherwise, someone else may teach them theirs.
Comhaltas Calendar of Events
Sunday -- September 10
Friday -- September 15
Weekend -- September 23
Weekend -- September 29
Friday -- October 13
Sunday -- October 15
Sunday -- October 22
Sunday -- October 29 at 2:30 PM
Sunday -- November 5
Saturday -- November 11
Please contact the editor with any upcoming events for publication in the newsletter.
Classes and Lessons
Music Lessons -- Monday -- 7:30 P.M.
Music Lessons -- Tuesday -- 7:00 P.M.
Irish Language Classes -- Wednesday -- 7:30 P.M.
Music Lessons -- Thursday -- 8:00 P.M.
Irish Language Lessons -- Thursday -- 7:00 P.M.
Irish Singing Group -- Thursday -- 7:15 P.M.
Ceili & Set Dance -- Friday -- 9:00 P.M.
Welcome to Our New Members!
Cead Mile Failte
Gerard & Suzanne Colligan
For Newsletter Articles, Suggestions, or Comments:
THE GREAT HUNGER COMMEMORATIVE PAGE
The following article is taken from The Illustrated London News, October 18, 1845.
Lyrics to an Irish Song written by Peter Jones about the effects of the Famine on his family. One-hundred and thirty years after his great grandfather left the small village of Kilkelly in Co. Mayo, Peter Jones found a bundle of letters sent to him by his father in Ireland. The letters tell of family news, births, death, sales of land and bad harvests. They remind the son, that he is loved, missed and remembered by his family in Ireland. The final letter informs him that his father, whom he has not seen for 30 years, has died, the last link with home is broken. Peter Jones used these letters to make this song.
Recorded by Moloney, O'Connell & Keane on "Kilkelly" (1988)
Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 60, my dear and loving son John
Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 70, dear and loving son John
Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 80, dear Michael and John, my sons
Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 90, my dear and loving son John
Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 92, my dear brother John
* The "trouble" referred to in verse two is probably the Fenian rising of 1867.
A Connecticut resident was very impressed with the Irish dancing she saw demonstrated in Wisconsin's massive Milwaukee Irish Fest this year. She decided to go to the Meridan Festival where she heard the Mountain Laurel Ceili Band. The dancers that attended the ceili warmly invited her to join in on the dances and they walked her through the steps. Through these positive experiences she had at Irish festivals, she is interested in becoming a member of Comhaltas to learn more about Irish dancing.
In our area alone -- from the Stonehill College Festival, Fairfield Festival, North Haven Festival, Glastonbury Festival, and the newcomer Meridan Festival as well as the Feis competitions and concerts -- we are blessed with a wonderful assortment of entertainment and culture throughout the summer. Although this season's summer Irish Festivals are mostly behind us now, there are exceptions. A couple of the late-in-the-season festivals are well worth noting.
Danbury will be getting their feet wet this year with their first Irish Festival. Among the talent that will be there will be our local musicians with Music In The Glen as well as the popular Cherish The Ladies. This festival will be held on the weekend of September 24th. Details can be obtained from the Danbury AOH.
The other upcoming festival is not as much a festival as an extravaganza of Irish culture. Boston College is sponsoring GAELIC ROOTS II, a weekend filled with Irish workshops, performances, dances, and lectures on their campus in Chestnut Hill outside of Boston. This is a massive gathering of many of the talented and traditional Irish musicians. An active role is being taken by Comhaltas members in the Boston branch including their Chairperson, Larry Reynolds, and high-profile member Seamus Connolly, the Music Coordinator at Boston College. For advanced registration (before Sept. 20) or more information, call (617) 552-0490.
Festivals are an excellent way for our Irish culture to be displayed and encouraged. The purpose of our Comhaltas organization is to promote traditional Irish music, dance, and language. Our wonderful and varied selection of festivals and feis' are a tool that we, as members of Comhaltas, can demonstrate our rich heritage to individuals coming to enjoy these summer festivals.
One of the topics of our next CCE meeting on September 10 will be discussions on our festivals and how Comhaltas members can utilize them to promote our Irish Heritage. Your ideas will be welcomed.
MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
CCE MEMBER IN THE PHILADELPHIA FOLK FESTIVAL
The 34th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival was held on the weekend of August 25 - 27. As always the festival had an impressive list including Bo Diddley, Tom Rush, Robin & Linda Williams, and many more. Again this year, our Comhaltas member, Roger Sprung was listed in the lineup.
It is wonderful to see our members get recognition for their talent. Roger Sprung, in spite of his busy schedule, still finds time to sit in on some of our Comhaltas sessiuns to maintain the strong Irish influence that is heard in his "Celtic-Bluegrass" style. Roger's group, the Progressive Bluegrassers, has released albums on his own label, Showcase Records.
CCE MEMBER PERFORMS AT WOLFTRAP
A Comhaltas member was in a concert at Wolf Trap in Washington, DC this past March. Josephine McNamara, winner of the All-Ireland championship for singing in the late 50's and early 60's, was invited to perform at the St. Patrick's Day Concert on March 17th.
The two other groups that also performed for the St. Patrick's Day concert were Reeltime, a "turbocharged traditional Irish group", and Joe Shannon, the talented traditional uileann pipes player from County Mayo by way of Chicago.
Josephine McNamara's performance at Wolf Trap is one of the many ways she shows the true meaning of Comhaltas by keeping her Irish heritage alive through her love for traditional ballads of Ireland. Her dedication to the education of Irish culture was apparent when she ran workshops for Irish singing at the Comhaltas North American Convention in Tarrytown this year.
HIBERNIAN OF THE YEAR
Jackie Reilly was recently named Hibernian of the Year at the Waterbury AOH club and was honored at a gala party in the AOH hall. Jackie has been a member of Comhaltas for many years and has been past President of the Ladies Division AOH. Both Jackie and her husband, Brian, are active in Irish circles. Mayor Mike Bergin presented Jackie with an award. Gov. Roland could not attend but sent a proclamation as well as Rep. Tom Conway and members of the General Assembly. Francis "Pop" Doolan, the AOH President, was the master of ceremonies for the presentation.
MAYOR FOR THE DAY
Dottie "McDonald" Arnauskas, a long-time member of Comhaltas, was recently honored in Waterbury as the "Mayor for a Day" on Saint Patrick's Day. The fire department Bagpipe Band escorted the dignitaries to the Church of the Immaculate Conception for mass. The procession then went over to the City Hall for the raising of the American & Irish flags where a speaking program was held. Dot was honored by Mayor Bergin, Gov. Roland, members of the General Assembly, and Congressman Gary Franks. This was followed by a reception hosted by Mayor Bergin. There were about 500 people in attendance. CCE member & past president, Mike Meehan, was the master of ceremonies.
As well as being a long-time member of Comhaltas, Dot has been past president of the Irish American Club, and a member of the AOH. She was described by Dick Mulligan, President of the Irish American Club, as "Mrs. Irish of Waterbury".
Each November starts a new year for Comhaltas. Instead of a New Years Party this November 1st, each member can celebrate by sending in dues for the 1996 membership.
As a branch of Comhaltas we have a lot to celebrate. We have an ever-growing list of members who realize that our Irish culture -- rich in traditional music, dance, and language -- will remain alive because we are willing to continue to share this culture with others. We now have 198 members and Chairperson, Joan Kennedy, although delighted with each and every member, has promised a special surprise to the milestone two-hundredth member to join! She said the surprise will vary depending on whether the two-hundredth member is a new member or a not-to-prompt renewal. We'll have to wait and see.
More reason to celebrate! The dues for this year are still the same as last year; only $12 for individuals and $8 for spouse or each additional family member.
Even MORE reason to celebrate! Now it is easier than ever to pay your dues! A pre-addressed envelope has been included with this newsletter. Just enclose a check or money order to "Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann", put a stamp on the envelope, and mail it. If you prefer to show-off your own special envelope, the CCE secretary, Andrea, said she will be delighted to see your membership dues arriving in your own special envelope! Just mail it to:
Andrea Hogan, Secretary
ANNUAL COMHALTAS CONCERT TOUR
Dr. Tomás 'O Canainn on the uilleann pipes from University College, Cork.
Frank from Derry.
Patty Fallon: Fear a' Tí of Roscommon will again bless us with his wonderful wit and
The 1995 Annual C.C.E. Concert Tour will include stops in Mineola; twice in New York; Boston; Manchester; Montreal; Ottawa; Toronto; Pennsylvania; Cleveland; Detroit; Chicago; Tallahassee; Panama City, FL; Pensacola; and St Louis.
This year's North American Tour will make its Connecticut stopover on Friday, October 13th at East Catholic High School, 115 New State Road, Manchester, CT.
The concert will begin at 8 PM. During the intermission there will be tapes for sale of the current concert tour and an information table for Comhaltas Members. This table will have application forms for new members and renewal slips for current members. This concert will be a great opportunity to encourage others to become members of Comhaltas. If you wish to volunteer to help at these tables, call Bob Carbery at (413) 584-7028 or Debbie Thompson at (203) 665-9013. The concert committee, headed by Bob Carbery and Debbie Thompson, has been working diligently to put the concert together and your help will be appreciated.
The concert committee has requested that anyone with access to church or club bulletin boards, radio bulletins, or other means to promote the annual event contact them or see them at the upcoming meeting in New Haven to arrange to pick up some promotional material.
Many people are working very hard to make this concert a huge success and any extra tickets that our membership can sell will be greatly appreciated. In this copy of the newsletter two tickets have been enclosed. Please help by selling these two tickets and then delight the committee by calling for more. For tickets or info (or to volunteer as a helper!) call Bob Carbery at (413) 584-7028 or Debbie Thompson at (203) 665-9013.
As a special bonus for all ticket holders an invitation has been extended to come to the Irish American Home in Glastonbury after the concert for refreshments and more music and dancing.
Our Best Wishes
-- To Helen Meehan, we hope you're back on the dance floor soon!
-- To Sean Canning on the death of his mother.
Irish Radio Programs
Echoes Of Ireland
Music Of Ireland
Music of Erin
Healy's Irish Program
Ceol Na Gael
Thistle & Shamrock
WEAR YOUR COLORS !!!!
Wear your CCE Curry-Seery Branch logo on these polo shirts in your choice of colors and in sizes to fit everyone. At only $23.00 these make a nice gift idea with All Hallowed Day right around the corner followed by Christmas. Joan Kennedy is in charge of sales and has generously offered to sell larger quantities at two for $46.00 or three for $69.00! To order, complete the following information and mail it with your check made out to "CCE" to:
Joan Kennedy, 41 Peck Lane, Bethany, CT 06524
POLO SHIRT OFFER
Size: small, medium, large, x-large
Color: white, blue, green, maroon, yellow, black
Treorai na Gaeilge: Joan Kennedy
Delegates: Deborah Thompson, Con Murphy, Helen Meehan . . .
Send comments or story ideas to Jim Smith, the newsletter editor.