Dates: Friday – Sunday, Oct. 23-25, 2009 The retreat will officially begin on Thursday night, October 22, with a “meet & greet” BBQ and bonfire. Classes start Friday morning and continue through Sunday late afternoon.

Location: the Hoblitzelle Camp and Conference Center in Midlothian, Texas, about 30 minutes south of Dallas.

Ages: 6 through adult

Classes: 90-minute classes in fiddle, flute, whistle, guitar (standard, dropped-D & DADGAD), piano, bodhran, harp, uilleann pipes, button accordion (C#/D & B/C), piano accordion, concertina, tenor banjo, bouzouki, mandolin and Gaelic singing. Enrichment classes teaching Irish music history or exploring Irish music today will also be offered. Additionally, workshops presenting music theory, use of ABCs (cyber notation), learning by ear, and basic sound system operation will be available. This year the retreat will introduce a special program for youth called “Kids Irish Music and Heritage Workshops.” These workshops are for elementary school-age children ages 6 to 10 and offers an introduction to Irish music, dance, history, language, and customs. It will include the following activities: games, arts and crafts, singing, instrumental instruction, learning simple Irish Gaelic phrases and songs, folk dancing, cooking, and storytelling. This is a highly-structured, educational program designed to teach Irish music but in a way that provides context for the music through cultural appreciation.

Teaching Staff: An exceptional lineup of instructors will teach including such great players as Manus McGuire (fiddle), Brian Conway (fiddle), Mickey Dunne (uilleann pipes), June McCormack (flute), Pat Egan (guitar), Michael Rooney (harp), Enda Scahill (tenor banjo), Brendan Dolan (piano) and Patty Furlong (button accordion). They will be joined by 22 other respected teachers from throughout the U.S.

Other Activities: Each evening there will be concerts by instructors and mini-concerts during meals with a “farewell” concert on Sunday evening. On the Saturday night program, there will be a “Texas Tune & Song Tussle” which features friendly competition among ensembles that form at the retreat vying for “O’Diddley Awards.” Sessions will be plentiful and organized by levels with some instructor-led and others not.

Costs: Tuition is $200 and just $120 for youth 18 and under and seniors 65 and older.

Lodging: A variety of lodging options on campus will be available from Thursday evening through Sunday night including cottages, motel rooms, dorm beds, RV spaces and tent camping.

Meals: Meals will be offered Thursday dinner through Monday breakfast.

Transportation: The retreat will offer a shuttle service to and from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport for $15 per trip per person. There is parking for personal vehicles at the camp.

Other Info: A limited number of scholarships are available. If you’re interested in attending, visit the retreat’s website or call the retreat office at (972) 238-8724 or email info at Online registration has now begun. Because there are caps on class sizes, early enrollment is best.


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