Gaelic Roots Festival Planned

By Rosanne Lafiosca Pellegrini
Contributing Staff

The trill of penny whistles and the tap of step-dancers' heels will echo throughout Boston College next month, as the University continues its highly acclaimed showcase of the Celtic music tradition on campus during the 1999 Gaelic Roots Music, Song and Dance Summer School and Festival on June 20-26.

"This is the premier festival of its kind in North America," according to organizer and Irish Studies Music Programs Director Seamus Connolly, who is widely regarded as one of Ireland's greatest living fiddlers and was recently selected as one of Irish America magazine's "Top 100" Irish-Americans for 1999.

"This is the closest thing you can find to going to Ireland for a week," agreed one 1998 participant. Last year's festival was a sell-out event, drawing 300 enthusiasts - all seeking immersion in traditional Irish and Scottish music - from across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Finland.

The celebrated festival annually brings to campus some of the world's preeminent performers of Celtic music and dance to teach classes at all skill levels and to perform at capacity-crowd concerts. Joining a sterling roster of artists during the 1999 festival will be several special guests: fiddle legends Paddy Canny and Bobby Casey of County Clare; the popular musical group Dordán; and musician, lecturer and Telefís Éireann Producer Tony McMahon. Festival highlights include lectures, slow air workshops, an Irish language course, recitals, sessions, and a Boston Harbor cruise.

Continuing the rich tradition of previous years, the event will be capped by concerts featuring world-class master musicians, singers and dancers. The "Gaelic Roots Concert" will be held on June 24 at 8 p.m. in Robsham Theater. It will feature Casey, the popular musical group Dordán and celebrated accordionist Martin Connolly, brother of Seamus Connolly.

On June 26, the "Gaelic Roots Farewell Concert" will be held at 8 p.m. in Robsham Theater. It will feature a performance by Canny.

Ticket information for both concerts is available at ext. 2-0490.

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