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Blas Summer School of Irish Traditional Music & Dance returns

The Blas Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance returns to the Irish World Academy at the University of Limerick for the 22nd successive year this June 25th – July 6th, 2018. Pictured at the first day of the Summer school are Blas students: Cairenn Keegan and Ian OÕConnor with Blas Director Ernestine Healy and founding Director of the Irish World Academy at the University of Limerick Micheal O’Suilleabhain (centre). Picture: Sean Curtin Fusionshooters.

Blas Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance returns

Blas, directed by Pamela Cotter, has firmly established itself as one of Ireland’s most prestigious summer schools, drawing students from all over the world to spend two weeks in the picturesque surrounds of the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, gaining access to the expertise of some of Ireland’s finest artists.

The Blas International Summer School will be officially launched on Monday 25th June by Professor Helen Kelly-Holmes, Executive Dean and Chair in Applied Languages, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at 5.15pm in the Foyer of the Irish World Academy building.

Students attending the course will benefit from the wisdom and tutelage of eminent figures of the traditional world such as Bríd Harper, John Carty, Siobhán Peoples, Matt Molloy, Kevin Crawford, Arty McGlynn, Ryan Molloy, Jim Higgins, Mel Mercier, Karan Casey, Sandra Joyce, Tony O’Connell, Michelle Mulcahy, Derek Hickey, Lauren Smyth, James Greenan, and many more.

Apart from tuition and master classes, Blas students can expect a whole range of activities including daily lectures on Irish traditional music and dance topics, Irish language classes, nightly music sessions, céilithe, field-trips and above all, the opportunity to share tunes and steps with leading Irish traditional musicians and dancers.

The Blas series of public events are also immensely popular each year. Blas is proud to announce the evening performances this year will include world-renowned performers Bríd Harper & Tony O’Connell on Thurs 28th June at 8 pm in Theatre 1 of the Irish World Academy and Matt Molloy, John Carty & Arty McGlynn on Wed 4th July at 9 pm in Upstairs at Dolans. Blas wishes to foster a deeper connection with Limerick City, which is why we are bringing the latter concert into Dolans. It is our hope that this will widen access and participation, and in turn, 5 pm help raise the profile of Limerick City as a hub for the traditional arts.

The annual Francis Roche Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain and Mick McCabe on Wed 27th June, 5 pm in Theatre 2 entitled “From Jigs to Jacobites—Set Dances as a Historical Record”. This lecture will be followed by the launch of the book Recall: From Jigs to Jacobites by Dr. Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain and Mick McCabe, in the foyer of the Irish World Academy (free admission).

The Blas Bilingual Interview will take place on Fri 29th June at 5pm in Theatre 2 and features RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Áine Hensey interviewing former RTÉ Director-General Cathal Goan about his career in music and Irish culture (free admission).

A series of free lunchtime concerts will also run daily at 1.15pm-2pm from Tues 26th June to Thurs 5th July in Theatre 2 of the Irish World Academy.


For more stories on the Blas Summer School, go here.

For further information on the Blas Summer School, go here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.