Irish Music and Dance

FSU Irish Ensemble: Rainbow Concert, March 2012

From 2010-2015, I directed the FSU Irish Music Ensemble, an ensemble of Florida State University’s College of Music that learned and performed Irish traditional music and dance. Students learned tunes and songs performed on fiddle, viola, cello, guitar, bass guitar, piano, harp, whistles, flute, banjo, mandolin and voice, in addition to learning sean-nós, soft-shoe step dance, and ceili dance styles. In my teaching for FSU, I made use of social media, archival sound recordings from the Internet Archive and the Irish Traditional Music Archive, made recordings of tunes for the students, and provided a limited number of commercial recordings within our Blackboard course website.

Former students have competed in the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil music competitions in several categories, formed Irish traditional music bands, gathered a respectable Tallahassee-based following, and assisted with the teaching of the ensemble.

FSU Irish Ensemble in Dress Rehearsal. Photo credit Dani Adomaitis.

My teaching goals centered around inspiring learning beyond our ensemble and encouraging students to become a part of the local traditional music scene. I invited local bands to perform for the ensemble and facilitated world-renowned Irish fiddler James Kelly’s performance with the ensemble for the 2011 Rainbow Concert of World Music at FSU’s College of Music.

For information about private or group lessons in traditional Irish music, contact me here.