Thursday, May 14, 2015

MidAtlantic Fleadh 2015 in Pictures...

This past weekend was the 2015 MidAtlantic Fleadh, one of Haley's favorite weekends of the year. The following picture essay will show you why she has so much fun there! This weekend we arrived Thursday night. Haley took a singing workshop on Friday while I volunteered.

She hung out with her good friends, Emily and Livia, laughing at some videos after dinner….

She recorded for Willie Fogarty of Willie has been recording Haley every time we see him since he first heard her play at a MidAtlantic Fleadh when she was seven years old. This year she recorded a couple sets with her friend Jayne, who placed 1st in Under 18 solo fiddle this year, recorded a set by herself, and recorded a couple sets with her duet (and Méara Meara bandmate) Keegan, who took 1st in under 18 uilleann pipes, uilleann pipe slow airs, and tin whistle slow airs…yes, he's an amazing musician!

Friday night there were sessions late into the night….

Sessions with Keegan and Haley's CD producer John Whelan.
Sessions with uilleann pipers, Joey and Patrick (also the kids trio/duet coach) 
Sessions with Jeanne, Patrick, and Aaron.
 Saturday was solo competition day! There were 34 fiddlers in Haley's age group for solo fiddle. The competition took 3.5 hours. Haley placed 1st in under 15 solo fiddle (yes, she has finally aged out of under 12…we figured out she has owned the under 12 solo fiddle trophy for half her life so far). She also took 2nd in fiddle slow airs…her friend, Joanna took 1st playing a couple lovely slow airs!

Haley with teacher, Brian Conway!

She watched some of her friends' competitions and went swimming with her friends then in the evening we ordered Chinese takeout and the kids rehearsed for their trio and duet competitions. Haley helped her duet/trio coach, Patrick, figure out how to use his new iPhone….

In return, he gave her an uilleann pipes lesson…Haley's reaction when she first got sound out of those pipes…priceless!!

After rehearsals it was off to Saturday night sessions until the wee morning hours. Saturday night the session consisted of all young teens with the occasional adult sitting in…so much fun watching them interact and make music together!

Sunday morning was duet and trio competition day. Haley and Keegan took 2nd in under 18 duets.

The Converse Trio took 1st in under 18 Trios…there was some great competition in both events (I have no idea how judges even decide).

After the competitions and a bit of socializing, Haley and I drove to White Plains for a Pride of New York Mother's Day concert…we never get tired of hearing them!

Haley shared her trophy with the composer of her Fleadh jig, Billy…

Here's a little video of Haley practicing her jig for the Fleadh a couple months ago. She changed the key from the original key…she was playing it in 5 different keys at one point trying to decide which she liked best. She had added in quite a few more variations by competition time but this will give you an idea of what it sounded like. It's great little jig…

We spent the night in White Plains Sunday night then drove home Monday morning. On the ride home, a friend contacted us to let us know Haley and Dylan's track on earned the #1 spot on their Top 20 Traditional Tracks for April 2015. We were home for 30 minutes before driving to Philly for a violin lesson then to the Monday night session with Dylan…because four days of Irish music is just not enough.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Nice Review!

Almost exactly four years ago, a man in Chicago named Bill Margeson wrote a blog ( that included a bit about Haley. I stumbled upon that post a year or so later by accident while searching for a different article.

When the kids released their CD, I thought Mr. Margeson might like to have a listen so I contacted him for an address and sent one off. He and his partner, Imelda, began playing tunes from the album on their Sunday afternoon radio program broadcast worldwide on at 1pm EST. Haley, Dylan, and I have listened in for the past two weeks.

Today he posted a nice review of the album on his blog Margeson on the Music. Here it is…

Haley spent the weekend with sort of a split personality.

Friday night, she and Dylan were fiddling tunes at a multicultural festival in the town next to us then yesterday, her fiddle became a violin as she performed the first movement of the Mozart Concerto in D Major and a couple short duets with her classical violin teacher.