Donegal Fiddle Week tunes up for online with full roster of classes, talks and concerts

The 35th Donegal Fiddle Week will be the most unusual of the lot

Donegal Fiddle Week tunes up for online  with full roster of classes, talks and concerts

This year's Donegal Fiddle Week will be different than previous years but will still have plenty to offer music lovers

Donegal fiddling is going virtual this August as the annual Fiddle Week is being held online.

Rab Cherry of the Donegal fiddle organisation Cairdeas na bhFidléirí said they’ve taken the decision not to hold physically-attended events in Glencolmcille in the first week of August. However they’re planning a big virtual programme.

He said: “We decided that we couldn’t go ahead in the usual way because of what’s needed for public health, and our desire to protect the community, all our musicians and supporters. But we’re intending to have a full roster of classes, talks and concerts online.”

This will be the 35th Donegal Fiddle Week and will be the most unusual of the lot. But Rab is confident it can still be a success.

“We arranged seven fiddle classes online on Zoom for World Fiddle Day recently, involving about forty fiddlers in total. Those classes worked very well. We’ve also had a series of Donegal fiddle concerts online which have drawn big audiences. 

“With the lockdown over the past few weeks many people have been accessing music and also music classes online, so we think there will be a good response. Donegal fiddlers are found all over the world these days and the online classes are an opportunity for everyone to learn the Donegal style and tunes, whether you’re in Ardara, Alaska or Australia.”

Fiddle Week is still being planned, but it looks like there will be the usual schedule of classes from Monday 3rd August to Friday 7th, probably running from 10am till noon and from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

There will be online concerts on theTuesday and Friday, and a talk on Wednesday. It seems there will even be the usual dancing classes on the Thursday. The Friday afternoon will feature a talk with a well-established Donegal fiddler from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

Anyone interested in taking a class during the online Fiddle Week should check out the fiddle video lessons on the Cairdeas site donegalfiddlemusic.ie  

Rab said: “Anyone who can learn even one of the simple tunes featured in those lessons should benefit from the classes during Fiddle Week. Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be able to have a class for complete beginners as that throws up particular difficulties online.

“We will need people to apply for the classes as soon as possible so we can get an idea of numbers and arrange teachers. If we don’t know the student we might ask for a recording of them playing so we can pick the best class for them.”

As usual Cairdeas na bhFidléirí are particularly looking forward to having fiddle students from across Donegal. 

Anyone interested in attending the virtual Donegal Fiddle Week classes, or in finding out more about the week, should email info@donegalfiddlemusic.ie

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