Craic agus Ceol with Comhaltas in Portalington, County Laois!

Enjoy and experience traditional Irish music at its best in

Portalington from Sunday 29th May until Sunday 5th June 2011

23rd May 2011 Traditional Irish music is a legacy that has never died; it is still growing, taught, and appreciated all over the world. It is this legacy that will be celebrated throughout the upcoming Laois County Fleadh which takes place from Sunday 29th May until Sunday 5th June.

The Laois Fleadh 2011 will be hosted this year by the Portarlington Branch CCE and it is hoped that it is a successful and memorable event for all involved. It is 25 years since Portarlington hosted the Fleadh Cheoil. The weekend of festivities will consist of enthralling traditional music sessions with musicians of all ages and instruments of all sizes. With competitions for every age group, as well as solo, duet, trio and céilί competitions, the music and fun is non-stop.

Fleadh events will commence on Sunday 29th May with a session in Portarlington Community Centre commencing at 7.00pm; all musicians, singers & dancers are very welcome.

The official opening of the fleadh will take place in the Portarlington Golf Club on Friday night the 3rd June at 9.00pm, followed by a session; all musicians, singers and dancers in the County are invited to participate.

The county fleadh competitions will commence on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June and will be held in two venues, on the Saturday in the Community Centre for ceili bands, groupie cheoil groups & drums. On Sunday, Coláiste Íosagáin is the venue for all solo, duets, trio, singing and dancing competitions. Members of the public are very welcome to attend at both venues, over the weekend, where a most enjoyable musical experience is guaranteed.

These competitions are the first step on the way to compete in the premier of traditional showcases in the All Ireland Fleadh in August 2011. The expectations are high for this year’s competitors where the judges choosing the winners for each category and competition will not have an easy task.

One of the highlights of the weekend is the marching band competition. The marching bands will leave from the Courthouse with the Saint Joseph’s Band leading off at 1.00pm followed by Saint Patrick’s Primary School marching band at 1.30pm and finished by the Ratheniska Marching Band, at 2.00pm. All three bands will perform in the square as part of their competition.

The county fleadh activities will culminate with a live broadcast from Midland Radio 3 “Coppers & Brass” from Coláiste Íosagáin from 6.00pm till 8.00pm, all musicians & singers are very welcome to take part. The day’s activity will end with music sessions in various hostelries throughout the town.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is the largest group involved in the preservation and promotion of Irish traditional music. 2011 is the 60th anniversary of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, and its organising branches will put on special events to celebrate the anniversary. They are a non-profit cultural movement with hundreds of local branches around the world who have been working for the cause of Irish music since the middle of the last century (1951).

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