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Carter for Ballygar Festival

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Ballygar Festival headline act Nathan Carter

Country music star Nathan Carter will be the headline act at the 70th annual Ballygar Carnival, which takes place this Bank Holiday weekend.

Carter will play at the Mattie McDonagh Centre on Friday night, with tickets costing €15, which will be available on the door.

The gig gets underway at 11.30pm, and support on the night will be from rising star Aine Crehan, who is a native of the parish.

The festival gets underway this Thursday night with a carnival parish night featuring storyteller Vincent Pierce, as well as sean nos dancing and music from trad group The Bize from Athlone. All of that happens in the Mattie McDonagh Centre, and it will be followed on the night by Crystal Swing. Tickets cost €10 and will be available on the door, and there will be food and refreshments available on the night.

Saturday night will see the centre host a disco with Djs Steven Cooper and Rory Lynam; while on Sunday The Wolfe Tones are the headline act, with tickets costing €15 (available on the door) to see a band celebrating 51 years in the music industry.

The music side of the carnival will be brought to a close on Monday night with Robert Mizzell and his band taking to the stage of the Mattie McDonagh Centre, with tickets against costing €15.

There is plenty of entertainment apart from that list of gigs, with one of the festival highlights set to be the Ballygar Truckin event.

Last year’s truck reversing competition raised €18,000 for charities Console, the Galway Hospice Foundation, Western Alzheimer’s and Irish Sudden Infant Death Association; and the previous year raised more than €16,000 for charity.

This year’s competition takes place from noon, and entertainment will be provided throughout the day with live music, face-painting, barbecue and lots more.

Monday will be Heritage & Fair Day and will feature a number of free family attractions, such as puppet shows throughout the day from Julie Rose McCormack Puppet Theatre and on-street music, which begins at 1pm.

There will also be modelling jumping clay demonstrations available for children – a charge may apply to this per hour. Trad group Cara Ceol will play at 3pm and will be followed an hour later by The Big Ideas band; and by Crossfire at 6pm.

There will also be stilt walkers, unicyclists, jugglers and Balloon modelling, as well as sheep dog trial demonstrations in the Niall Walsh pitch by renowned dog trainer Eamon Egan; and a visit from Kiltimagh Pet Farm.

There will also be the usual food stalls, a pig-on-the-spit, crepes and butter making, as well as craft and jewellery stalls, knitwear, wood crafts, painting, sculpture and basket-weaving demonstrations.

For the more easy-going carnival-goer, there will be a nature walk and treasure trail in the forest with NUI Galway ecologist Elaine O’Riordan on Tuesday August 4, beginning at 1pm.

CITY TRIBUNE

Folk duo launch What Will Be Will Be

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Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce.

Folk duo Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce are launching their new album What Will We Be, a  blend of folk, Americana and acoustic music, this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in An Taibhdhearc.

The success of their well-received 2020 release Taobh le Taobh, as well as recent successes at the Pan Celtic and Oireachtas Song Contests, spurred the duo on to record this new album which represents many years of collaboration and musical development.

It features Niall and Pádraic on vocals, harmonies, and acoustic guitars, Maidhc Ó hÉanaigh on double bass and Neil Fitzgibbon on fiddle. The catchy title track, What Will We Be, features contributions from percussionist Jim Higgins (The Stunning, Christy Moore, Paul Brady) and haunting, driving melodies on vocals, guitar, and fiddle.

Themes of love and hope are woven through Come Away with Me which features interplay between piano and fiddle as well as rich vocal harmonies.

People, places, and broken dreams are celebrated and lamented on Martin and Tom, Guitar Gold, Memories of You and Achill Island. The influence of David Henry Thoreau’s novel Walden features on the tracks Simple and Wise and Walden, with the beauty of nature, escape and simple pleasures at their core.

The album moves from minimalistic folk ballads such as Galway Ghost to swirling, string-laden arrangements on the song Neptune, both of which are influenced by maritime tales from Galway. Much of the work on this album was supported by the Arts Council, including work with musical arranger Eoin Corcoran and the string ensemble Treo.

The album will be launched this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in an Taibhdhearc. Tickets €22, plus booking fee at Eventbrite.ie.

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CITY TRIBUNE

All roads lead to Dunmore as town tunes up County Fleadh

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Most of the competitions for young musicians will take place this Saturday in Dunmore Community School. All the competitions are open to the public.

Dunmore is the place to be this weekend for lovers of traditional music, as the Galway County Fleadh will take place there from this Friday, May 19, to Sunday, May 23.

It is 10 years since Dunmore last hosted a fleadh and the local Comhaltas branch, which has re-formed since Covid, is looking forward to facilitating this gathering of music, song, dance and craic.

The official Opening Concert will take place in Dunmore Town Hall this Friday at 8pm with the acclaimed Mulcahy family from Limerick. Mick, Louise and Michelle are well known throughout the country, thanks to their live performances, television appearances and numerous CDs. They were the winners of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Grúpa Ceoil Award for 2023.  Tickets for their concert can be purchased on the door and a great night of music is promised.

Two days of competitions will kick off this Saturday at the town’s Community School, with more than 1,500 competitors taking part. Participants will be hoping to qualify for the Connacht Fleadh 2023, which will be held in Ballina, County Mayo, from June 23 to July 2.

Competitions for those aged Under 10, Under 12 and Under 15 will be held in a large variety of instruments on Saturday, as well as in singing and Comhrá Gaeilge. Sunday’s competitions will be for the Under 18 and Over 18 ages groups, as well as in dancing.

On both days a large entry is expected for Grúpaí Cheoil and Céilí Band competitions across all age groups.

Seventeen Comhaltas branches from across Galway will have participants in this weekend’s competitions, which will result in a large number of visitors to the Dunmore area.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the competitions, which offer a great opportunity to hear and see the talent on display. There will be sessions in local pubs over the weekend as well and everybody is welcome to attend these.

For more information on the County Fleadh, go to www.galwaycomhaltas.ie.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Piano concert rescheduled for Tuesday

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Pianist Cédric Pescia.

Music for Galway’s concert with renowned Swiss pianist Cédric Pescia which had been due to take place on April 27 but which had to be deferred, will now take place next Tuesday, May 23, at 8pm, in the Emily Anderson Concert Hall at the University of Galway.

This concert of German classics with Bach at its core, will brings the Bach element of Music for Galway’s 41st season to an end.

This world-class pianist who won the famous Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition, has a repertoire that spans many eras from baroque to contemporary and he is widely known for his elaborate programmes. Cédric Pescia describes music as  ‘language and movement at the same time’.

Audiences will have a chance to experience his soft, clear touch as he performs a programme for solo piano that will include classics such as Schumann’s popular Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), a suite of nine short pieces, and the penultimate of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, No. 31.  These pieces will be interspersed with French Suites by Bach.

■ Ticket for Cédric Pescia’s concert are available at www.musicforgalway.ie, or by phone 091 705962 and on the door on the night. They cost €20/€18. The price for fulltime students of all ages is €6 while MfG Friends can avail of the friends’ rate of €16.

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