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The jigs and the reels: Rothe House and Kilkenny TradFest 2024

With St Patrick’s Day fast approaching, Rothe House is gearing up once again to host a range of workshops on traditional music and singing!

Kilkenny TradFest 2024 marks the 11th year of the festival and organisers say it looks set to be the best one yet!

The line-up is packed with both young blood and seasoned legends of the traditional music scene.

Rothe House is delighted to be playing its part with workshops taking place over three of the four days of the festival, which runs from the 15th to the 18th of March this year.

Sean Nós Singing Workshop

Friday, March 15th @ 12pm.

Join renowned and award-winning singer, Nell Ní Chróinín, on a journey through the singing technique, which is the pillar of all Irish traditional and popular music.

Long before the influx of sophisticated musical instruments from Europe, or even the written word, the oral culture of this island transmitted our stories, lullabies, laments, genealogies, and epic tales through the medium of song. This tradition is alive and well today and this workshop is open to everyone. All you need bring is your voice.

Tickets for Nell’s workshop can be purchased via the Kilkenny TradFest website by clicking here.

Try the Pipes Workshop

Saturday, March 16th @ 10am.


Open to ages 10 – 18 years.  Uilleann pipes will be made available on the day. 

Music Generation Kilkenny, in partnership with Na Píobairí Uilleann, is offering a free uilleann pipes taster session to young people. What a great opportunity to listen to some accomplished uilleann pipers as well as trying out the instrument with the assistance of an experienced player.

Master Uilleann pipers from Na Píobairí Uilleann and the Kilkenny Pipers Club will facilitate this taster session.

To reserve a place for your child, click here.

Bodhrán Workshop

Saturday, March 16th @ 12pm.

Find your rhythm on this most ancient and simple of Irish traditional instruments.

Local Legend Tommy Lanigan knows the ins and outs, ups and downs of this Celtic drum like few others. No better man to guide you on the fundamental techniques of the Bodhrán.

This class is open to beginners and those with some experience.

Bodhráns will be provided but you are very welcome to bring your own.

Tickets for Tommy’s workshop can be purchased by clicking here.

Trad Guitar Introduction

Saturday, 16th March @ 2pm.

Ever wondered how the greats of Irish music transformed this Spanish instrument into a powerful part of the traditional sound?

Michael McCague will guide you on the fundamentals of trad guitar, and with the use of some special shapes and tunings, help you to transform your playing style. Michael is a native of County Monaghan, and a member of the well-known, musical McCague Family.

Tickets for Michael’s workshop can be purchased by clicking here.

Uilleann Pipes Masterclass

Monday, March 18th @ 12pm.

If you’re looking to take your playing to the next level, or even just get a feel for the instrument, this masterclass with local piper Mick Foley is for you.

Mick is a familiar name to any music lover in Kilkenny for his proficiency and virtuosity on instruments ranging from uilleann pipes to guitar and whistles. He has toured Europe and Asia with various trad groups.

Tickets for Mick’s workshop can be purchased by clicking here.

Bouzouki Workshop

Monday, March 18th @ 2pm.

Learn about and try your hand at this unique instrument with Oisín MacCinnéide; a well-known local multi-instrumentalist who recently released his first solo album ‘The Orchard’.

He is a hugely respected name within the community of traditional music and has performed at numerous festivals and venues throughout the country.

This workshop is open to all, however some prior experience on a stringed instrument is recommended.

Tickets for Oisín’s workshop can be purchased by clicking here.

For full programme details of this year’s Kilkenny TradFest, visit their website here.


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