New Documentary on Willie Clancy Summer School to be Premiered Online This Weekend

Uilleann piper Mick O’Brien performing at the Willie Clancy Summer School in the 1990s (Photo: Peter Laban, courtesy of the Irish Traditional Music Archive)

New Documentary on Willie Clancy Summer School to be Premiered Online This Weekend

Programme features rare footage of Clancy performing at home in 1965.

This Saturday 18 July, the Irish Traditional Music Archive will stream a special reflective documentary on Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy. Due to the summer school being cancelled this year as a result of the pandemic, the archive has been presenting a range of performances from its collections over the past two weeks. The documentary on Saturday will conclude the online series.

The film, titled Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy – A Reflection, will explore topics such as Willie Clancy’s personal philosophy of music and how this has influenced the ethos of the summer school; the growth of the school since 1973; the role of families in passing on the tradition at the school; the social life around the event; what the future holds for the school, and more.

It will also include rare footage filmed in 1965 of Willie Clancy playing the uilleann pipes in his house in Miltown Malbay, as well as previously unheard audio recordings of Clancy playing the concert flute and lilting.

The documentary draws on the work of photographers such as Tony Kearns, Jacques Nutan, Peter Laban and Colm Keating, and also features archival footage of Micho Russell, Tommy Peoples and John Kelly, as well as interviews and performances from musicians Edel Fox, Paddy Glackin, Noel Hill, Siobhán Peoples, The Friel Sisters, Louise and Michelle Mulcahy, Cormac Begley and Brían Mac Gloinn.

The documentary will have its premiere online at 8pm on and on ITMA’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

On Friday 17 July at 3pm, Paddy Glackin and Cathal Goan will also host a Zoom meeting in which they will look back at some of the highlights over the last 30 years of their week-long class at the school, Dúchas an Cheoil / The Scope of Irish Music. To join the meeting, see here.

Watch a trailer for the documentary below. Listen back to some of the concerts from the school here.

Published on 16 July 2020

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