TUTORS : fiddle, concertina, set dancing

Fiddle :  Manus McGuire

Concertina : Tim Collins

Set Dancing : Marie Mcmahon


We are delighted to have Tim Collins, who is widely acclaimed as one of the great anglo concertina players and tutors of modern times. Based in Crusheen where he runs his own concertina school, he is a member of the famed Kilfenora Céilí Band since 1994, and he has toured and recorded extensively with the band over the last twenty-two years.

He is founding co-director of Consairtín: The National Concertina Convention and is also founding director of the ground breaking Irish Concertina Ensemble (ICE), the first of its kind in Ireland.

In recent times, his reputation as a music composer has come to the fore of his artistic practice. Among his most recent work is An Pocaire Gaoithe – a suite that celebrated Clare County of Culture.

He has also collaborated with visual artist Dr Deirdre O’Mahony, writing the music for her recent film-based art work First Citizens Speak.

His most recent compositional work is part of an on-going collaborative project with academic Nessa Cronin, contemporary dancer/choreographer Ríonach Ní Néill and visual artist Deirdre O’Mahony. Working with NUI Galway’s Tim Robinson Archive, the trio – collectively called The Performing Landscapes Collective -premiered their work Artists in the Archive in June 2016 in NUI Galway.

In addition to his music career, Tim holds a PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway where he works part-time as a post-doctoral researcher in the Centre for Landscape Studies. His primary research interest is exploring the complex connections between music and landscape, thus combining his academic and artistic background.


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Manus McGuire is an Irish fiddle player who has for many years been involved in performing, recording, teaching and in more recent times, composition. Originally from Sligo and now resident in East Clare, he grew up in a rich musical environment in the North West of Ireland and together with his brother Seamus, he was ideally placed to carry on a fiddle tradition made legend by Michael Coleman, James Morrison, Paddy Killoran and Lad O’Berne. As a recording artist, he has recorded solo fiddle albums, duo fiddle albums with his brother Seamus, and a number of CDs with bands Buttons and Bows, Moving Cloud, and Brock McGuire Band. He is honoured to have won a number of prestigious fiddle awards such as the 2006 Male Irish Traditional Musician of the year in the U.S. by the Irish American News in Chicago. As well as performing with ‘Buttons and Bows’ and with Canadian singer/song-writer, Emily Flack, these days he is involved in teaching fiddle both at intermediate and advanced levels. In 2006, he was Voted Male Irish Traditional Musician of the year in the U.S. by the Irish American News in Chicago. He received the Bravo Award from Trad Magazine (France) in 2007. He won the prestigious national Fiddle contest, Fiddler of Dooney in his native Sligo in 1970.


Marie McMahon, who founded Blossom Harp Festival together with Lizzie, will be our set dancing workshop teacher again this year for our 4th Blossom Harp Festival in Tuamgraney. Marie has been teaching for 12 years or more. Last year she thought at two international festivals. The Feakle International Music festival in Co Clare and the Rencontres Internationales de Harpes Celtiques festival in Dinan, France. She has given workshops to people from all corners of the globe and thoroughly enjoys what she does. It’s her specialty to get all levels of dancers to dance together. As she says herself, ‘everyone can dance to varying degrees, as long as your enjoying yourself your dancing’! Join her at 7.30pm just before our ceili on Friday 12th April where you can learn the steps or a new set. All levels as well as beginners welcome. And on beginners workshop on Saturday!

irish harp festival set dancing fiddle harpexhibition

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