The web site for the O'Neill-Malcom Branch of
CCÉ Musical Arts and Dance Week
2013 CCÉ Musical Arts and Dance (MAD) Week
Are you mad for trad? Are you a violinist, a fiddler, a guitarist or a flutist wanting to explore and learn more about traditional Irish music? Are you an accomplished step dancer who wants a break from competition and are ready for the fun of sean-nos (old-style) dancing or set dancing? Want to learn traditional Irish button accordion, uilleann pipes, or whistle from one of the best traditional Irish instrumentalists and teachers?
The O’Neill-Malcom Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE), the local Washington metro branch of the Irish-based organization charged with promoting Irish culture, and Mitch Fanning (Director) are pleased to invite you to participate in CCE Musical Arts & Dance Week 2013. Now in its seventh year, CCE MAD Week will again feature an exceptional faculty in all areas of study: Bodhran: Myron Bretholz and Jesse Winch; Button Accordion: Billy McComiskey; Ceili Band: Jesse Winch; Cello: Valerie Thompson; Crafts: Sandy Hoar; Flute/Whistle: Kevin Crawford, Laura Byrne, Tina Eck & Karen Ashbrook; Fiddle: Kevin Burke, Brendan Mulvihill, Rose Flanagan, Eamon Coyne, Cleek Schrey, Joe & Graham DeZarn, Robert Spates, Dylan Foley, Donna Long; Guitar: Josh Dukes & Zan McLeod; Celtic Harp: Sue Richards; Piano: Donna Long; Singing & Songwriting: Robbie O’Connell; Set Dancing & Sean-Nós (old-style) Step Dancing: Shannon Dunne, Brían Ó hAirt (Brian Hart), Matthew Olwell; Tenor Banjo: Keith Carr; Uilleann Pipes: Cillian Vallely. Please see faculty bios!
The Faculty Concert Finale from MAD Week 2012
“The CCÉ Camp Week was an opportunity to experience traditional Irish music at its best. Under the guidance of enthusiastic masters, campers of all ages were challenged and nurtured. What grew from this effort was a mutual respect that broke through all barriers. No matter their background, no matter their age, each individual was offered the opportunity to step into this tradition, and to help it grow.”
—Meg Ortel, CCÉ MAD Week Participant, 2010
CCÉ MAD Week instrumental and dance classes are designed to offer registrants of all ages and levels of ability a unique opportunity to improve their playing and dancing in a fun-filled, challenging, and safe learning environment.
Instrumentalists will be taught traditionally—in group classes, arranged according to ability and experience with traditional Irish music. Each class will convene twice daily for ninety minutes. Each class will learn a variety of tunes—hornpipes, jigs, reels, polkas, mazurkas, barndances, airs, and highlands among others. The tunes in each class are not only fun to play, but great ear training exercises as well, helping students improve their ear, technique, and memory skills. Each instrumentalist will also receive a private half-hour lesson with one of our teaching staff during the week.
In addition to class and private instruction, instrumental students will have an opportunity to play in traditional Irish sessions, hear faculty performances throughout the week, and perform at the concluding ceili and concert on Friday night.
All full time or half-day registrants - instrumentalists and dancers - are encouraged to participate in lunchtime (11:30 - 1:30 PM M - F) elective classes described here.
CCÉ MAD Week is pleased to feature the fiddling and class teaching of Kevin Burke, Brendan Mulvihill, Rose Flanagan, Dylan Foley, Robert Spates, Eamon Coyne, Graham and Joe DeZarn, and Donna Long for the entire week.
Fiddle classes are designed to accommodate beginning, intermediate and advanced fiddlers and violinists of all ages and levels of experience. We hope to have sufficient enrollment and age distribution to offer two classes for each level - one for those under sixteen years of age and another for those seventeen and over. The beginning fiddle class for CCÉ MAD Week is best suited for the student who has studied the violin or fiddle for 8 months to a year, not a complete beginner. If you have substantially completed Book I of the Suzuki or Mark O’Connor methods or can play well in the keys of A, D and G, have a good ear, sense of rhythm and tempo, then you are well-prepared for a great week! The intermediate class is designed for violinists or fiddlers with two to four years experience. The advanced class is for fiddlers with four or more years experience.
CCÉ MAD Week is pleased to offer a variety of classes for students of all levels and experience with Irish flute and tin whistle.
M-F, 10:00-11:30 AM and 1:30-3:00 p.m
CCÉ MAD Week Uilleann Pipe class is designed for intermediate to advanced pipers who have minimum of two years of experience with the instrument. Cillian Vallely will lead two classes each day from 10-11:30 AM and 1:30-3 PM Classes will be taught traditionally—by ear—with phrases/sub-phrases demonstrated and repeated at slow and moderate tempos.
M-F, 10:00-11:30 AM and 1:30-3:00 PM
CCÉ MAD Week guitar classes are designed for guitarists who are accomplished players in standard or other tunings. DADGAD is a popular alternative tuning among traditional Irish guitarists. It’s not too difficult to pick up, especially if the student is accomplished using standard tuning. Classes will be taught traditionally—by ear. All students will be able to re-enforce what they learn in class by participating in morning and lunch hour trad sessions. Josh Dukes, All Ireland champion in guitar accompaniment in Tullamore in 2009, will be leading morning classes this summer and legendary guitarist and teacher Zan McLeod will leading afternoon classes.
Wednesday 7/10 only - 10:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00-3:00 PM
CCÉ MAD Week button accordion class is designed for intermediate and advanced students of the instrument. Students should have a working knowledge of the keyboard, basic scales, bass notes, chords, and arpeggios. Class teacher Billy McComiskey will teach tunes traditionally, breaking them down into easy-to-learn sections at slow and moderate tempos. Ornamentation and bass accompaniment options will be demonstrated and discussed, as well as alternate fingerings and styles of play. Button accordion classes will take place on Wednesday, 7/10 from 10:00-12:00 PM and 1:00-3:00 PM Tuition is $50 per class or $80 for both.
Learn to play bodhran - Irish drum - from one the best! Jesse Winch, founding member of Celtic Thunder, will be leading this morning-only class in which participants will learn basic and advanced beat and rhythm patterns for all traditional Irish dance tune types. Bring your own drum and tipper or use one that will be provided by the House of Musical Traditions. If you want to learn how to play the bodhran, don’t miss this opportunity to study with a masterful player and teacher and CCE Mid-Atlantic Region Hall of Fame Inductee.
Keith Carr is a multi-instrumentalist who performs as half of the Irish traditional music duo "Lilt" (with Tina Eck). He plays the tenor banjo, and is also proficient on ten-string cittern (bouzouki) and mandolin. His musical background includes many years as a performing guitarist, plus extensive classical training in trumpet and piano.
In addition to performing, he teaches bouzouki, banjo, and mandolin, and is on the faculty of the Washington Conservatory of Music program at Glen Echo Park. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and the University of Oregon, and earned bachelor's and graduate degrees in geography. On a career sabbatical, he is on the staff of the House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park, MD, where he is the “Irish music guy”. He lives in Falls Church, VA.
In cello class with Valerie Thompson students will explore the role of the cello in traditional music by learning tunes from all of their angles-melody, harmony, countermelody and groove. We will utilize repertoire that showcases the cello's expressive qualities and it's versatility as a rhythmic instrument. The exploration of phrasing and ornamentation combined with accompaniment strategies and rhythmic techniques such as "chopping" will provide students with several opportunities to utilize the cello in a creative and fun setting. This course is appropriate for those with some amount of cello experience but there no need to have played traditional music before. M-F, 10:00-11:30 AM and 1:30-3:00 PM and Saturday Workshops, 10:30-12:00 PM and 1:00-2:30 PM.
The Irish piano class will focus mainly on playing back up for Irish tunes. Donna will discuss the six basic chords that are used to accompany a tune and their endless combinations. Donna will lead discussion and exploration of the path of a tune and how to listen to the places of emphasis which gives each tune its own distinction and the different elements that make good backing for tunes; including chords, rhythms, baselines and spaces. There will be further discussion of some of the patterns and similarities that are common throughout tunes that will make learning easier.
In addition, if time permits, Donna will also give some instruction on playing melody; If you are interested in playing melody, please let Donna know in advance so she can determine how many students are interested. Students must have some prior piano experience and be able to play scales. Please bring a tape recorder and note paper and electronic piano if you have one. There will be handouts of tunes and information about chords and playing melody. Questions? Email Donna.
Students will learn key elements of Connemara dancing, and traditional 8 bar phrases and steps. Students will learn how to understand the tunes themselves, and how to highlight using steps thus gaining confidence in their improvisations!
Please wear clothing you can move in, and a hard/leather soled shoe that makes noise on a wood floor.
Beginning level: Open to all
Intermediate/Advanced: minimum of 2 years Irish or percussive dance experience required.
For questions about placement or age requirement, email MAD Week Dance Director, Shannon Dunne.
"Sets" are danced by eight people in a formation similar to that of American square dancing usually consisting of three to six figures with a short pause between each. The music these figures are usually danced to can include reels, jigs, hornpipes, polkas or sometimes the occasional fling.
Beginning students will learn valuable skills that will provide a foundation for any social dance, specifically Irish set: how to find the groove of the dance, participate in the figure, and punctuate that groove with moments of battering.
Advanced students will spend the week honing their ability to use their feet as instruments while participating in the figure with the upper parts of the body. Students will learn the basic building blocks of battering, how to interchange/improvise with those basics, ways to make your battering energize/connect the music and dance and techniques for seamless battering.
Singing and Song-writing (M-F, 10:00-11:30 AM)
Have you ever wanted to write a song but did not know where to begin? This workshop with Robbie O’Connell will cover the stages of song writing from the initial idea to the finished song.
We will explore the various steps along the way to completing a song and discuss the tips and tricks for increasing your creativity and becoming a songwriter. Whether you have already written songs or you are just starting, this class will save you many hours of toil by bringing you through the complete process from beginning to end.
Bring a recorder, a notebook and an instrument. If songs are your passion, this is the class for you.
We will look at guitar accompaniment in regular and alternate tunings. We will show you how to find the best key for you and explore the various options for accompaniment. What makes one singer's version of a song the definitive version? We will analyze the techniques that make a song great.
We will see how introductions and links are put together and how they can dress up a song and give it a unique style. We will trace the evolution of a song from a book or a field recording to performance on stage. We will discuss how a spoken introduction can set up a song.
Bring a recorder, a notebook and an instrument. If songs are your passion, this is the class for you.
Daily Lunchtime Elective Classes and Workshops are available to full-time and part-time registrants at no extra charge as an added value to your registration. Workshops may be paid for and attended separately by those who cannot join us for the entire week.
To enhance your experience of traditional Irish culture, music and dance, CCÉ MAD Week offers the following classes as lunchtime electives. Full-day and half-day registrants are encouraged to participate in any and all electives as your time and schedule permits. All are great ways round out your day. Don’t forget to eat lunch too!
CCÉ MAD Week is pleased to offer a ceili band class for advanced instrumentalists. The class will be led by Jesse Winch, expert drummer and founding member of Celtic Thunder, the critically acclaimed band that helped popularize Irish music from the ‘70s through the Millennium.
Jesse started the ceili band program at Elkins, and continues to play for various ceilis with a number of bands in the local area. We’re lucky to have him with us this year to share his experience with the class and provide an overview of ceili protocols, dance types, tempo requirements for dance figures as well a hands-on tutoring session for kit drummers interested in learning ceili drumming styles.
Participants in this ceili band class will become the core of the band that will accompany the Greater Washington Ceili Club (GWCC) at their regularly schedule ceili at the Frost Center in Rockville on Thursday evening, July 11.
Explore the staggering breadth of music created in the pre-commercial era of Irish music, with forays into Appalachian music, Irish-America, and beyond before so much of it became homogenized by the recording industry. Cleek will introduce you to some of the more eccentric and kooky musical characters across regions and styles. Itinerant Irish fiddlers with three heads? Old-time musicians in West Virginia who learned their music from horses and bats? Come find out....M-F: 11:30-12:30 PM; and/or Sat., 10:30-12:00 PMand 1:00-2:30 PM.
A Workshop for Violinists by Robert Spates
Saturday Only, 10:30-12:00 PM; 1:00-2:30 PM.
This workshop is designed for professional and amateur adult violinists who couldn't join the MADness for a whole week but want to learn as much as they can about trad Irish fiddle as an alternative style of play. Robert Spates will lead this workshop, and he'll make sure you not only learn a few tunes and tune types, but will provide you with resources and an overview of the local session landscape. If you can't be at MAD Week, be sure to have yourself a MAD few hours with Bob on Saturday.
We are very lucky to have the very talented Brían Ó hAirt (Brian Hart) with us this summer. Brian will lead a concertina class as a lunch-time elective. Those of you who have been hoping to sharpen your skills on concertina will learn much from this masterful player. M-F, 12:30-1:30 PM.
Sandy Hoar will be leading fun-filled classes in Celtic crafts each day from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sandy will have some interesting and engaging Celtic arts & crafts activities for kids and adults alike. The projects are not only fun, but you’ll learn things about Irish culture and produce works of art that you’ll be proud to take home! Great fun for all.
Daily, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm - Daily schedule TBA
We’re happy to report that Myron Bretholz will lead this ever-popular lunchtime elective class again this year. Myron brings his considerable performance expertise, teaching acumen, and unique style to the study of Irish drumming. Bring your own drum or use one that House of Musical Traditions provides for you with the hope that you’ll buy it by the end of the week. You’ll learn beat patterns and accents for a variety of dance tunes. You’ll accompany tunes on CD as well as live musicians. Great fun!
M-F, 12:30-1:30 PM
CCÉ MAD Week will again offer a song circle for those ready, willing, and able to exercise and stretch their vocal chords with a few Irish ballads. Singing is a rich musical tradition in Ireland. It's a rare session in Ireland that doesn't feature a few good songs from local balladeers and talented singers. Share a song or learn another. You’ll be working with Robbie O’Connell, one of the best in the world. Singer’s Circle is available as a mid-day elective to all full and half time registrants and to external audiences as a separate workshop. Please see registration form for workshop registration and fees.
|March 30||Early Registration Deadline|
|July 8-12||CCÉ MAD Week 2013 (M-F, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM)|
|July 10||Public Faculty Concert, (7:30 pm - Cedar Lane Unitarian)
|July 11||CCÉ MAD Week Student Ceili Band provides music at Greater Washington Ceili Club Location TBA|
|July 12||4:00 - 6:00 PM Student Showcase Cedar Lane Unitarian Church 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD|
|9:00 - 10:00||Daily Orientation, Tuning, Session(s)|
|10:00 - 11:30||Instrumental and Dance Classes|
|11:30 -1:30||Lunch, playground activities; Traditional sessions; private lesson; personal practice; intro to Irish set dance and Sean-nós dancing; Celtic crafts; Intro to bodhran (Irish drumming) Ceili band; singing/song circle;|
|1:30 - 3:00||Instrumental and Dance Classes|
|3:00 - 3:45||Faculty Recitals|
|4:00 - 6:00||Aftercare (extra $100 for week or $25/day)|
A public faculty concert will take place Wednesday 7/10 at 7:30 PM., at Cedar Lane Unitarian Church. Faculty recitals Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, 3-4 pm). Student recital on Wednesday, 3:00-4:00 PM with final graduation concert on Friday afternoon at 3:00 PM at Cedar Lane. These events are open to family members.
There is one free lunch (pizza on Wednesday) for all registrants. All other days please patronize “Doug the Food Dude”, a gourmet food truck who will be on site during lunch hours
Classes and graduation concert will take place at Cedar Lane Unitarian Church 9601Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD
Are you from out of town? Please let us know if you’re interested in special rates at a nearby Marriott hotel. Depending on the number of out of town registrants, transportation to and from the hotel can be arranged.
Tuition for CCE MAD Week 2013 is $425.
Registration forms, including Safety/Medical/Emergency Information line items must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian in order for a minor to participate!
The O’Neil-Malcolm Branch of CCÉ is pleased to announce that some funds are available from last year to help registrants in need of financial assistance. For application requirements, please check the appropriate box on the registration form and information will be sent to you. Additional financial assistance is also available through two scholarship funds established last year:
Lisa Dale Memorial Scholarship Fund
Gordon Todd Dale generously established this fund in loving memory of his wife, a long-time MAD Week fiddler. Passionate about life, her family, and traditional Irish music, Lisa will always be with us in spirit.
Mike Rafferty Memorial Scholarship Fund
Mike Rafferty, the legendary traditional Irish flutist from Ballinakill, East-Galway passed away September 13, 2011. Mike was teacher and mentor to many, and in 2009 received the National Heritage Fellowship “Lifetime Achievement” Award from the National Endowment for the Arts for his contribution to traditional Irish music. The O’Neill-Malcom Branch of CCÉ established this fund in his honor.
If it is within your means and willingness to support the work of CCÉ MAD Week, please consider making your tax deductible contribution to either or both of these funds. Please designate to which fund you wish to contribute. A receipt and note of thanks will be sent to you for your tax records. Thank you in advance for your support of CCÉ MAD Week through these scholarship funds!
Download the CCÉ MAD Week 2013 Registration Form. You can print and send with your check to Mitch Fanning at the address listed below... or
Register now online and pay via PayPal. No PayPal account necessary.
Go here for Bios and info about our guest artists.
Download a complete full-color brochure with all the information about the 2013 CCÉ MAD Week.
Click here for an article about CCÉ MAD Week that appeared in last month's Treoir magazine, the official publication of CCÉ headquarters in Dublin.
2012 MAD Week Faculty Concert
Now available on DVD -$20.00
Return the Registration form and appropriate payment to:
Mitch Fanning, Director
CCÉ MAD(for Trad) Week 2010
9824 Rosensteel Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Questions? Please email or call Mitch Fanning: 301.565.3657
Cancellations for medical emergencies after the above deadlines will be considered on an individual basis and will require a physician's signed letter.
CCE MAD Week, or its contractors, may photograph or videotape classes and events during CCE MAD Week. By attending CCE MAD Week, attendees understand and agree to allow their image to be used by the O’Neil Malcom Branch of CCE in publications, on the website and in marketing or promotional materials. Images may also be shared with the media. Attendance at CCE MAD Week waives the O’Neil Malcom Branch of CCE from liability resulting from their uses.
In the unlikely event the O’Neil Malcom Branch of CCE finds it necessary to cancel the entire Week, 100 percent of the registration fees paid will be refunded. The O’Neil Malcom Branch of CCE assumes no liability for any penalty fees on transportation tickets, deposits for hotel accommodations or any other fees, charges, penalties, or other incidental costs that a registrant might incur as a consequence of this event being canceled.
Calendar / Officers and Board Members / Dance Schedule / CCÉ Music Session / Irish Language / Comhaltas Irish Dand Festival / Irish Folk Festival /
For questions relating to this website, please contact the Máistir Líonra (Webmaster)