Tuesday, April 09, 2013

CCE National Convention 2013 and Spring is here!!!

Haley and Rose playing in a session.
This weekend was the annual CCE National Convention. As I told a number of people at the hotel who asked me what was going on, "Comhaltas is an organization that promotes Irish music, dance, and culture. Once a year, members of the organization come from all over the country  to celebrate their culture, have workshopsin music and dance, and meet together." Clear, concise and to the point.

Haley had orchestra Friday night so I drove the kids down to Washington D.C. early Saturday morning. Haley took fiddle workshops while Dylan took workshops in banjo and bouzouki during the day. Between workshops, the kids ate the lunch I'd packed then played session-style with a small group of young people who gathered waiting for the next workshop to start.

After the workshops, we ran into the above session upstairs and Haley saw her fiddle teacher's sister, Rose, playing so joined in. (We love these conventions because there are almost always people playing together somewhere.) I took that picture with Haley's iPad and it is really cool how it focused in on Haley and Rose even from across the room!

She played for about an hour then the man who records video for comhaltas.ie who we'd run into when we first arrived at the hotel found us and asked the kids to play some tunes for him. They set up in the hotel lobby and played a number of sets for him to record. The last National Convention we attended was the one in Parsippany when Haley was 7 years old. It was the first time he recorded her. Here's a link to that video. We also saw him in Cavan, Ireland this past August where he recorded her again (though he spelled her name wrong and put the wrong age LOL).

When they finished recording, the kids were famished (and so was I). We had some dinner then went up to the hotel room to relax for about an hour before heading out for the night. The gala for the convention was starting when we went back downstairs so most people were going to that but they found their friends, Jayne and Bram, who are always up for some tunes and playing in a corner of the lobby together for a few hours. 

During their playing, a young man with a viola dropped by and added some accompaniment to their tunes and a boy with a tin whistle stopped to play a set or two. When they got tired of playing by themselves and the gala was finished they walked around to find more musicians to play with, stopped by different sessions to play, walked a bit, then stopped again. Dylan excused himself to bed around 11pm...early mornings are not his cup of tea but Haley was determined to get all the music in she could. She stayed up playing until 1am, then I finally talked her into going to bed. (I was tired and having a hard time keeping my eyes open.)

We left the hotel in the morning and on the way home, Haley and Dylan said they wanted to go to Plough and the Stars in Philly for the Sunday night session. I had had a good night of sleep and their Daddy, who had stayed home and painted the house while we were away, was excited to go. So we drove home, Haley practiced violin while Dylan did homework, then we went to the Plough. Sometimes I don't think they can get enough Irish music. 

I think we may have brought spring home with us from D.C.!!!! Yesterday was a perfect 75 degrees! Out came the shorts. Daddy continued his house painting. I raked the strawberries...though I think they have seen better days and next year we will have to plant new ones. Haley and I took a run after her classes and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Newt went fishing and caught a huge pike. Dylan washed and detailed my car....I love him so much!!! 

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