BANJO (TENOR) AND MANDOLIN
Belfast born, tenor banjo player Paul Conlon has been playing the traditional Irish music scene for over 20 years. He has toured with various traditional music outfits throughout Europe where he has gained great experience and developed his playing style. Paul is currently in his 4th year teaching tenor banjo and mandolin with the Belfast Trad Society along with Aiden Walsh from Tubercurry, Co Sligo. Together they teach four levels of abilities ranging from total beginner to advanced levels, so there will be a class tailored to suit you. If you find that a class doesn’t suit your level of ability then you can simply move up or down even after signup.
Aiden Walsh, originally from Tubercurry in Co. Sligo, is by now a long-time resident of Belfast. He is well known for his distinct, driving style and is much sought after as a teacher and performer.
Gavin has been teaching the bodhrán with BelfastTrad for over 20 years. He is a patient and encouraging teacher.
Now entering his second year as button accordion tutor with the society, Sean is a talented player and an excellent and popular teacher from Co.Tyrone. A three-time Ulster Fleadh winner, he brings experience of performing at the highest level to his teaching.
Tom has been associated with the society since its inception and continues to teach all abilities on the concertina with us.
Lorraine O' Brien
Steeped in the concertina tradition of her native Co. Clare, Lorraine began her musical education under the guidance of the legendary teacher, Frank Custy. With further tuition from such greats as Dympna O’Sullivan and Noel Hill, Lorraine has developed into one of the leading concertina players in her own right. She holds a B.A. Music from Trinity College, Dublin and M.A. Music Therapy from the University of Limerick. Lorraine is a regular tutor at the Willie Clancy Summer School, Miltown Malbay, Co.Clare.
Lower Intermediate and Advanced Levels
Born in Belfast, Conor has enjoyed a varied musical upbringing, including lessons with Séan Maguire, Ruadhraí O'Kane, James Byrne and Paul O'Shaughnessy. He spent much of his teenage life learning the music of southwest Donegal before reading music at Queen's University. There he studied under Martin Dowling and graduated with a PhD on the music of John Doherty in 2013. Conor has been teaching with the society since 2005. He plays with the band Craobh Rua and recently released a critically duet album with the Dublin fiddler Danny Diamond entitled 'North'.
Beginner and Upper Intermediate Levels
Kevin is a vastly experienced teacher and has been praised by our auditors for his progressive teaching methods, especially with beginner students. A long term tutor with Belfast Met, Kevin also teaches performance workshop courses at Queen's University and holds a Masters in Music Technology from the same institution. Kevin's creative work combines his experience of fiddle music - especially the styles of Donegal and Sliabh Luachra - with contemporary electronica and dub-step.
Davy is one of the most significant flute players of his generation, known not only here, but on the European continent for his dynamic and powerful style. He has travelled regularly to Britanny and formed a strong playing partnership with the Breton flute player Jean Michelle Veillon. Davy is equally well-known for his humour and teaching ability and he is respected as one of Belfast's finest musical sons.
An expert across a range of guitar styles, Jim was a relative later comer to traditional music before becoming an integral part of the Belfast session scene in the late 1990s. His high energy style, coupled with a fine singing voice that sees him at home across a range of musical genres, has led to him becoming a firm fixture with the band Craobh Rua in the last decade.
As well being a graduate of Queen's University with a Bachelor Degree of Music in 2012, Ciara holds an Associate Teaching Diploma with the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She has extensive experience as a music tutor and first began teaching in 2007. Since then she has acted as a substitute teacher for the Meath Harp Academy (formally the Meath Harp School), and holds the position of resident harp teacher for both the Andersonstown Traditional and Contemporary Music School and the Ulster College of Music.
SINGING & TIN WHISTLE
Introduction to Traditional Singing, Upper Intermediate and Advanced Tin Whistle
Born in Chicago, Christine has been living in Belfast since 1994. She learned her music from like-minded musicians living in the midwest in the 1980s, travelling to Ireland as often as possible. She has been performing and teaching in the USA, Ireland, and Europe ever since. Her influences are primarily the flute and fiddle players of South Sligo and the the singers from the Ulster tradition.
Christine has been teaching with BelfastTrad since 2003 and is currently the Society's administrator and teaches tin whistle & Singing
Traditional Singing Circle
Maurice Leyden is a folk-song collector, singer, broadcaster and writer with a passion for Ulster folk-song. Originally from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, his first book ‘Belfast, City of Song’ (Brandon) explores the traditional songs of the city which has been his home for many years. His research for the Belfast book revealed a wealth of children’s songs and street lore and Maurice’s second book ‘Boys and Girls Come out to Play’ (Appletree) presents a rich collection children’s singing games. Both books are complemented by recordings of selected songs. Mauruce has recently released his latest CD, The Tern and the Swallow.
TIN WHISTLE & SET DANCING
Beginner Level (no experience)
Tim is a dancer, accordion player and Tin whistler. From Belfast, he is known throughout the continent for his gentle good humour. Tim regularly teaches set dancing around Ireland and plays a key role in the delivery of dance tuition for Belfast Trad. He doubles as our beginners' tin whistle tutor.
Beginner and Intermediate Level
Tom Clarke is well-known in piping circles. He has been teaching the pipes for many years now and is very skilled in explaining the intricacies of this ancient and beautiful instrument. While the pipes are not the easiest instrument to learn, their music has been an essential component of Irish music for over 300 years. unparalleled. Tom also organises the annual Belfast Piping Tíonol, held every March. In 2005 Tom was honoured to receive an award from Na Píobairí Uilleann in recognition and appreciation of over 30 years of dedicated teaching on the uilleann pipes.
SEAN NÓS DANCE
Johnathan McCloy has been dancing for six years and in that time has won most of the sean-nós dancing competitions in Ireland, the most recent of which was the sean-nós dancing competition at the Oireachtas na Samhna. Recently he has joined other dancers in the collection and revival of sean-nós dancing from the north of Ireland.