Achieving excellence in the harp and pipes!

Community news: Listowel

They are so important that one is already recognised as a unique cultural heritage symbols by UNESCO, with plans to grant similar status to the other in train.

Partly that's on the back of what these musical instruments mean to the people of Ireland - they are part of our very soul.

Unfortunately, the only drawback when it comes to the harp and the uileann pipes is the expense they represent for parents of their prospective players.

Enter Listowel and Duagh Comhaltas in a brilliant new initiative aiming to give every musical-minded youngster the chance to practice and play these fantastic instruments.

"Listowel Duagh Comhaltas is excited to announce we are embarking on a new program to become a Centre of Excellence in educating students on Uillean pipes and Irish harp," chairperson Eugene Moriarty said this week.

"The Branch is partaking in a musical initiative which will allow students in Duagh, Knockanure and the Listowel areas not only the chance to see and hear these instruments, but to experience them hands-on.

"Thanks to a generous grant from Eir Grid, young musicians will now have the opportunity to access them," Mr Moriarty added.

Classes in all trad musical arts will be offered on Saturdays by some serious trad talents, including Timmy Flaherty (Uillean Pipes, Banjo and Mandolin), Matt Dean (Flute and Tin Whistle), Sean Abeyta (Fiddle), Eugene Moriarty (Bodhrán), Neilius Mackessey and Conor Moriarty (Accordion), Aine Enright (Harp), Group Ensembles, and Dancing. There is also free Comhrá (Irish) instruction for members. Classes resume this Saturday, August 31, between 11am and 3pm at The Seanchaí, with 2019 Comhaltas Gradam Saoil Lifetime Achievement Award winner Anne McAuliffe back on Wednesdays to give classes.

Pre-registration is required for the Saturday classes, taking place on Thursday, August 29, from 5pm until 6.30pm.