Tuesday 16 July 2019

Celebrating 20 years of sweet music

Two decades of cultural excellence marked at Bruach na Carraige anniversary celebration

Bernadette O’ Shea, Sinead Guiney, Maurice O’ Keeffe, Ciara Hartnett and Emma O’ Shea performed at the Bruach na Carraige 20th anniversary party
Bernadette O’ Shea, Sinead Guiney, Maurice O’ Keeffe, Ciara Hartnett and Emma O’ Shea performed at the Bruach na Carraige 20th anniversary party

Sheila Fitzgerald

The wonderful legacy of two decades of music, song and dance was the theme at Bruach na Carraige Cultural and Heritage Centre in Rockchapel last Friday night (14th).

Mass was celebrated by Fr Denis Stritch PP and the full house attendance enjoyed a music session and rambling house until late. Jack Roche, who has oft been described as 'an outstanding custodian' of the centre, told the Corkman that although 20 years has passed, it seems like only a short time since Bruach na Carraige first opened it's doors in 1999. 

"There has been a lot of activity and enjoyment here over that time, " said Jack. 

"We have nurtured and encouraged young people to learn and explore traditional music, songs and dances. I've seen a lot of them pass through here and achieve so much musically," he added.

The Bruach na Carraige musicians, who are collectively known as Ceoltóirí Sliabh Luachra have appeared throughout Ireland and have also played at the European Parliament, in Scotland and Sweden.

"These are very high class performers who were all nurtured and encouraged here and we are very pleased about that" Jack said.

Jack has also been instrumental in researching, sourcing and recovering rare manuscripts of Sliabh Luachra music which had been lost in the mists of time.

"We have specialised in old Irish music and old Irish dances that had almost disappeared. We are recovering those bit by bit, we found a lot of stuff in the National Traditional Music Archive, music from this area prior to 1850 and we will continue to develop that", he explained. 

He went on to pay tribute to everyone who taught at the centre over the years and to those who maintain it. 

"We have RSS workers who help and Bridget Keating keeps the place in great shape, she was previously assisted by the late Ita Murphy and Kit Doody, they have all made a major contribution to this place" he added.

Jack said there was no doubt that Bruach na Carriage would continue to thrive as it enters it's third decade.

"We will continue to build on what we have already achieved" Jack Roche added. 

Meanwhile, the summer programme is all set to kick off with weekly seisiúns taking place every Tuesday night during the months of July and August. In addition a summer camp with Eimear and Sinèad Guiney will be held from July 15-26.

During the same week there will be traditional solo step dancing workshops hosted by Sarah and Maurice O'Keeffe. 

The Summer School featuring advanced traditional music workshops with Nickie and Ann McAuliffe will run from July 31 - August 2 and advanced traditional solo step dancing classes with Patrick O'Dea from August 19-23.