The perfect time to learn traditional Irish music in Portlaoise

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

The perfect time to learn traditional Irish music in Portlaoise

Young members of Comhaltas Portlaoise enjoy a session

It’s time to seek a pastime for the long dark evenings and if you want to learn to play music, then Comhaltas Portlaoise has the perfect opportunity.

The group held a recent information evening in St Francis School but more members can still join.

For students, traditional Irish music classes can be a weekly outing and a rest from studies while many perform their music in their schools.

PJ Phelan is the Chairperson.

“The great advantage is that we have a year round programme of activities where members have opportunities to play at sessions, fleadhs, concerts, community events and occasional parties,” he said.

Portlaoise Comhaltas music groups have up to 20 members in each and in the past year they enjoyed Laois, Leinster and All-Ireland fleadhs, played at the seven weekly sessions at Kavanagh’s and at the Summerhill schools Fete.

To ease the financial outlay, the club managed to obtain a number of harps, pipes and other instruments which can be used for a trial period of a year or more.

Hundreds of adults and children have taken part in classes at Portlaoise since the branch was formed in 2009.

“All have gained from developing concentration, memory and team working abilities – valuable life skills. Many have excelled with their chosen instrument at state exams and even All-Ireland level at Sligo, Ennis, Drogheda and elsewhere,” said Mr Phelan.

Expert teachers attract members from a wide radius.

Classes take place on Tuesday and Fridays. Email tolearnmusic@gmail.com