Thursday, September 15, 2016

Summer Catch-up Post

This summer was a whirlwind of travel, music, and friends. The only complaint I have is that it went by too quickly!!

When we weren't traveling, I was making up patients. Not much time for anything but cleaning up and re-packing. I didn't get any time to blog but thanks to Facebook posts, I can catch up.

The MidAtlantic Fleadh was held late this year. Haley spent her 14th birthday playing tunes with friends the night before competitions. Her friend, Keegan, baked her a delicious cake! The next day Haley took 1st in Under 15 solo fiddle and fiddle slow airs then Sunday she and Keegan took 2nd in Under 18 duets. Keegan was ill so they did not get to compete in the trio competition they had planned with John Whelan.

Haley with her trophies.
Great Fleadh session!!

After the Fleadh weekend, I worked 1.5 days then Haley and I flew to Ashland, Oregon. 

Back in February, Haley was invited by Bill Whelan to perform some of his Riverdance compositions  and compositions by Johan DeMeij with a wind orchestra at a summer college called American Band College. They flew us out, put us up in a hotel, and Haley spent a couple days in rehearsals before the parade and show for the town on July 4th complete with fireworks.

Haley was excited to see former Studio2Stage choreographer Chris was dancing for the show!

She was honored to meet and play with these musicians from Portland and Seattle.
Composer Johan DeMeij conducted the orchestra. He was wonderful to work with- very positive and encouraging!
The morning after the concert, Haley and I flew home. We had two days to wash clothes and re-pack plus I worked eight hours both days then it was time to head to North Carolina for Swannanoa Gathering. On our way, we stopped for a couple days to see Haley's bluegrass fiddler friend, Kitty. We've had a visit each year for the past three years. Haley loves to spend time with Kitty because they  have a lot in common and enjoy each other's company. Kitty invited Haley to join her Old Time band for a local dance. Haley learned the tunes during an afternoon band rehearsal then played along that evening.

Haley and Kitty playing some gypsy jazz together.

Old Time dance in Virginia.

Haley and Kitty
Dylan's band, Poor Man's Gambit, had gigs so we were to pick him up at the airport in Asheville, NC when we arrived. This year at Swannanoa Gathering Dylan volunteered with the sound engineer and Haley volunteered as a "fiddle slave" for Alan's guitar and session classes. At the Welcome meeting the first night of camp, Haley was thrilled when Liz Carroll suggested they perform the "Conn" tunes they wrote for each other at the staff concert on Monday night. (Last year, while sitting on the wall at a huge session, Liz kept asking "Who has the conn?" to find out who was starting the next tune set. Haley thought that was funny and Liz and Haley decided to write tunes about it. Liz sent Haley a tune called "Who Has the Conn?" and Haley wrote back a tune called, "I Have the Conn.") 

It was probably the highlight of Haley's year to be able to perform her own composition with Liz Carroll and John Doyle!!

Swannanoa was amazing as always! There were concerts and sessions galore. Haley and I enjoyed evenings in the staff house listening to stories of concerts and life as a musician.

Fiddle vs. Flute
 Haley found herself in a "strange" situation as a fiddler who decided Kevin's class sounded way too fun to miss. She bought a flute last year and took his flute class this year. When "war" broke out between the flutilla and fiddles, she was a double agent.

Kevin and Haley sporting their flotilla shirts.
Haley with her guitar master, Alan.
Haley and Dylan performed their own compositions at the student showcase.
Swannanoa is a home coming and the people there are family to us. We have known many of the people there for years and they have watched Haley grow up. Each year we meet new friends as well. Because the kids were doing their own volunteer work this year, I had a relaxing week of free time. I read books, took walks, and listened to lots of music! It was wonderful to not drive for a week!!

The weekend after Swannanoa, Haley and Dylan had Studio2Stage. I had my own work to do running errands for the camp but I stayed with our friends, Mike and Norine, while Haley and Dylan stayed on campus. Each day I was given my assignments and at some point during the day, I was able to peek in on the kids or bring them good food.

Haley is right in the middle of the back row on that poster!
Haley and Dylan taking a break during a long rehearsal.
The band minus Anton.

The dancers and musicians worked hard all week putting together a full-scale dance show production.  The musicians wrote a new song...Adam wrote the lyrics and the others composed the music. They arranged a new band set that included some new compositions as well. Haley also had fun doing some v-logging for the musicians during the week. 

Thursday night was Oscar's Night. 

Haley photo-bombing the boys.

The musicians all cleaned up and looking glamorous!
On Friday morning the entire camp traveled into New York City to do a dance flash mob in Times Square. It was raining in the morning but by the time we got off the subway in the city, the sun was shining and their number went off without a hitch.

Haley and Gerlisa
S2S photo op with the naked cowboy.
Haley and Sully waiting for the dancing to begin.
On Sunday, they performed two shows. Everyone did an awesome job! 

The band from behind the screen.
Pre-show band photo

Haley and Gerlisa...two beauties!
Haley and her roomie, Emily!
 The next four photos were taken by Matt Ferrara ( during the show...

The weekend after Studio2Stage we had a small fundraiser for Haley and Keegan's trip to Ireland for the All Ireland Fleadh. We are so grateful for the South Jersey and Philly area Irish community for their help in getting these kids of ours to Ireland. Ed and Bonnie Quigley organized the venue and the help. John and Jackie Kelly organized the chance auction. There were too many others helping with food, decorating, and dancing to name everyone without worrying about forgetting someone important...Thank you!!!

A week later it was off to Ireland for us. Keegan, Lynette, Haley, and I traveled together. We flew into Shannon for the first time. At the airport in Philly, our flight was delayed but amazingly, Billy and Annie McComisky were on our flight and Billy, Haley, and Keegan played tunes in the airport while we waited...great way to begin a trip to Ireland!! 

We were very blessed to have Bob Singer open his home to us. He has a nice little cottage right on the ocean at Caharrush Point. What an amazing view! Around that ledge out there are the Cliffs of Moher.

We spent our first day catching up on sleep after our sleepless night flying then Haley and Bob had some tunes in his home while the young artists, Iva and Teresa, from the Czech Republic drew. That evening Bob took us to a session in a tiny little pub.

Photo by Bob Singer.

Photo by Bob Singer

The next day we went off to Ennis to have a look around, get forms we needed for competition day, and have the kids play some music.

Busking on the streets of Ennis.

Competition Friday was very busy! Haley had solo fiddle and duets with Keegan at the same time. She and Keegan were supposed to go 7th but since no one was in the room when the competition began, except them, they ended up playing 1st. Then Haley went back to the room for fiddle thinking she could watch for awhile before playing (she was supposed to be 13th) but they called her name as soon as she walked in the room because no one was in there either. She played 2nd or 3rd. She had the same thing happen right after solo fiddle. Everyone was in the room for the results of fiddle then they all left. She stayed because she wanted to listen to all the slow airs. She was supposed to go 15th but ended up having to go 1st in there as well. She played amazingly well and she took 2nd in both Under 15 solo fiddle and slow airs!! She and Keegan didn't place but played their best. Happy day!

Haley all alone in fiddle slow air competition...thanks to Bob Singer for photo.
The next day, Saturday, we watched Keegan compete then sat through the Under 18 solo fiddle. There was some wonderful fiddling and Haley's friend, Patrick, from Georgia placed 1st and her friend, Senan, took 3rd. Saturday night, Haley was super-excited to get to play a session with Colin Farrell. She had missed him at Swannanoa this year. It took a bit of work as the first few pubs we tried to get into were jammed full of people but they eventually found a place to play. The next morning Colin messaged Haley for another quick session before he left Ennis! We met up with our virtual friends, Caitriona and her mother, Roisin, and made the friends in real life!

Haley and Keegan were recorded playing for Fleadh TV on Sunday.

That evening we went back to Miltown Malbay for a session at Friel's Pub. Haley thought it hilarious to find out that she went all the way to Miltown Malbay in Ireland and Cherish the Ladies were the hosts of the session. The music was great and Haley knew all the tunes that way. She didn't want to leave so it was a late night.

Monday morning we left Bob and Caharrush Point. Haley and Keegan spent the morning recording for Clare FM radio with Andy Lamy and friends then we drove to visit friends of Keegan and Lynette for our last few days. It was nice to get away from the bustle (and rain) of Ennis.

Tuesday we drove into Killaloe. What a beautiful town!!

Best pub meal ever in this place!!
 Wednesday morning it was off to Shannon airport and back to the USA for us!! Also an end to our travels...for a couple months at least. (wink, wink)