Monday, July 19, 2010

Swannanoa Gathering 2010

Last week, I took Haley and Dylan to Swannanoa Gathering's Celtic Week at Warren Wilson College near Asheville, North Carolina. We enjoyed a week full of Irish music and dancing, meeting new people, and visiting with old friends from last year. We were blown away by some amazing performances given by the performer/teachers in attendance. I love the sense of community at Swannanoa. The people are so warm and friendly.

Haley took an advanced fiddle class with Kevin Burke and visited Martin Hayes advanced fiddle class one day. She also took a class in ceili dancing.

Dylan took a mandolin class and two guitar with Eamon O'Leary and the other with Lunasa guitarist Donough Hennessy.

Fiddler Manus McGuire stopped to share a few tunes with Haley one afternoon. He asked her what she wanted to play and she said, "Do you know Mason's Apron in 8 parts?" He didn't know the same parts but did know the tune and followed along with her. While they were playing, Paddy Keenan (who played in the Bothy Band with Kevin Burke) stopped and recorded Haley and Manus playing then asked Haley to play a tune on her own which he recorded. She played "The Dawn" and Zac jokingly asked her if she could play something a little harder. She innocently replied, "I don't know any hard tunes."
Haley asked to try Alex's concertina. She really wants one of her own...not exactly in our budget. This concertina was made by a guy who has a 6 year waiting list and cost over $8 grand.

The kids played sessions all week. They stumbled upon Zac Leger and his friend Julian playing in this gazebo so stopped to join them. They played late into the night most nights until midnight or 1am. Paddy Keenan invited Haley to play with a group of performers late one night..."Haley, oh Haley, come play a tune with us!"

The above photos are from slow jam sessions which were held every afternoon at 6pm and were led by different performers each evening. Tunes were played at a slower pace so those just learning their instrument could play along or those who already play could learn new tunes. Haley is sitting next to Martin Hayes for one and her teacher from home, Brian Conway in another. I don't have as many photos of Dylan because he made many new friends and hung out with a group of young teens all week. He only checked in with me when necessary. He was well respected for his guitar playing skills and sought after as an accompanist all week. The last two pics are of Dylan and Haley performing in the Student Showcase the last night of camp and Haley playing with Zac and Julian after the showcase.

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