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Roscommon Flute Players in Donegal, 2007

Roscommon Flute Players in Donegal, 2007

Although the wooden concert flute is now widely played in Irish traditional music, before its late-20th-century revival it was much associated with the counties of north Connaught, Roscommon among them, and its tradition is still strong there. The reasons for this association are still obscure; it may simply be that sufficient instruments were in circulation for influential musicians to set a tradition in motion.

A group of five Co Roscommon flute players gave a recital as part of the programme of the 2007–2008 Scoil Gheimhridh Frankie Kennedy in Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal, and recordings from the recital made by Irish Traditional Music Archive staff are presented here, courtesy of the performers. The players are, in order, Patsy Hanley from Kilrooskey; Tommy Guihan from Keadue; Catherine McEvoy, born in Birmingham of Roscommon parentage; John Wynne from Kilteevan; and John Kelly from Fivemiletown. They first play solo and then in relay, finishing in ensemble. Also in shot is Donegal fiddle player and singer Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh who introduced the musicians.

With thanks to the five players for permission to present their music, and to the organisers of the Frankie Kennedy Winter School for facilitating ITMA in making the field recording.

NC & TH, 1 June 2014