Haley was signed up for two fiddle workshops on Friday with band members from Bru Boru who were the visiting entertainment for the gala dinner over the weekend. She and her friend, Alex, enjoyed the two fiddlers giving the workshops. The fiddlers had completely different styles of playing and teaching. The kids met a couple nice fiddlers from Chicago around Haley's age also attending the workshops.
Between the workshops, Haley and her friend Alanna decided to rehearse for the under 18 duet competition they decided to do together a couple weeks ago while at a session together. They had practiced the tunes individually, but it was their first chance to practice together. While they practiced in a corner of the hotel, the man who records video for Comhaltas heard them and asked them to play for him and they spent about 90 minutes playing while he recorded them together and separately. When they finished we fed them a little lunch then went to their afternoon workshops.
Swimming was the next order of business. Since the Fleadh has been held in this hotel, all the kids look forward to swimming together whenever they aren't playing music. There are many kids we only see once or twice a year but each year they play together like they see each other all the time. Haley and Alex played in the pool with their new friends from Chicago until suppertime. We caught up with Haley's friends, Emily and Livia, for ordered in pizza. The girls enjoyed pretending they were having room service. Dinner was followed by lots of music in sessions with various combinations of musicians until bedtime. We didn't stay up too late on Friday night because competitions started first thing in the morning.
Saturday was a very busy day. Haley had two competitions and she had a list of friends whose competitions she didn't want to miss. We did a lot of running around then sitting to listen. Haley's first competition was solo fiddle. There were around 20 competitors so it was a long competition. Each competitor plays two tunes in different styles. Haley had a lot of friends in her age group and it was fun to hear how they've improved over the past year!
We went from Haley's competition to the over 18 fiddle competition to watch some older friends compete then while looking for her friend, Sofia, we ran into John Whelan playing for some people in the lobby. He asked Haley to join him for some tunes which she would never tune down. They played tune after tune. Now and then an elderly man jumped up on a table to dance. Fun!
The afternoon was a blur. Haley competed in under 12 slow airs, she played in pop up sessions in the lobby, and we watched friends' competitions until about 6:30pm. Haley ended the day with her 6th straight under 12 solo fiddle championship and a 1st in slow airs.
|Haley, Sofia, Grace, and John Whelan enjoying some tunes.|
I had a bit of a headache all day so was happy when it was time to head to the pool for more swimming and I was able to sit and relax. While the kids finished swimming, we parents ordered food then we gathered them up to eat a late supper.
|Haley, Alex, Keegan, and their trio coach Patrick|
|The Converse Trio and their coach Patrick|
|Watching the duets.|
|Haley and her friends from the Delaware Valley branch of the CCE and their trophies.|
|Dinner on the way home….our Fuddrucker's tradition.|