Portglenone CCE Christmas and New Year Session 2008

30 December 2008
Portglenone Comhaltas Branch held a very successful New Year Session in the newly refurbished Wild Duck Inn on Tuesday 30th December. A large crowd was in attendance from early on as the young musicians kicked off proceedings at 8.00pm under the guidance of Branch PRO, Kieran Convery, who was ably assisted by Harry O’Neill. The young cohort of local junior Irish Traditional musicians where joined by the junior musicians from Cushendall, Ballycastle and Loughgiel. Kieran has been working closely with Kieran Dempsey from the Cushendall CCE branch and together they have produced a standard set of tunes for all young musicians in the County Antrim area to learn and eventually play together.

The Portglenone CCE New Year session was the first time the young musicians from the different areas had met up since the Cushendall Fleadh where they played together at the opening concert on the Friday night which was a fantastic occasion where over seventy young musicians graced the stage of Cushendall's Parish Hall. The idea of linking together up for the fleadh first came to mind last Easter and already the young musicians are working hard for this years fleadh in Ballycastle and interest is staggering.

A superb supper was laid on and served by the Wild Duck Inn staff at 10pm. By this time the visiting musicians had arrived, some travelling long distances from the likes of Coalisland, Cookstown, Dromore, Armagh, Letterkenny, Pomeroy, Derry City, Co. Meath, Ballycastle, Loughgiel and of course Cushendall which we are very grateful for doing so.

After the supper, the visiting musicians along with the local branch members and other local visitors began playing into the wee small hours with a vast array of tunes, both traditional and modern. Of course there were a few traditional and modern songs sung throughout the night by various artists, which added to the occasion.

Once again we would like to thank Ciaran Bradley and The Wild Duck Inn staff for the use of their fantastic newly refurbished premises for the session. Special thanks to our branch Chairman, Eamonn Graham, for being compere for the evening and encouraging all the musicians and singers to do the occasional solo piece. Most of all, we would like to thank all those who supported the session and participated in an evening of fine musicianship, especially those who travelled long distances.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the tutors and pupils for a successful first term of the 2008/2009 year at our classes on Monday nights. Special mention goes to the Principal of St. Mary's Primary School, Mrs B. Milner, for the use of the classrooms and Assembly Hall for these classes. Finally, a big thank you goes to the school caretaker, Brendan, who looks after the classrooms and opens and locks up every Monday night.
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