Ready for The Limerick Fling with IWAMD

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The Limerick Fling will feature more than 100 performers and is one of the
biggest events of the year for the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance.

by Eric FitzGerald
[email protected]

THIS unique concert has a huge number of musicians and dancers on stage. It promises to be a spectacular event with wonderful musicianship from all across the world, celebrating celtic roots music. Limerick Post spoke to director of the Academy, Sandra Joyce.
The Limerick Fling, featuring students, faculty and special guests from the IWAMD at UCH, 29 Oct
The Irish World Academy of Music & Dance is celebrating its 21st year in existence on the University of Limerick campus. The academy is situated at the County Clare side of the spectacular Living Bridge overlooking the River Shannon, providing an inspiring backdrop for study and creativity.
Director Sandra Joyce agrees that the location is perfect for studies.
“It is extremely inspiring and the building itself is beautiful with lovely light and great acoustics. The dance studios are very spectacular too. We are very blessed with all the facilities really.”
The academy has an international student body studying not only Irish music but also contemporary dance, classical string performance and choreography. The students come from South America particularly Argentina and Columbia to study Irish music. There is a Russian concertina player from Moscow, students from Mexico studying Irish Dancing and Malaysian students in Limerick to study contemporary dance. Mats Melin is a Swedish born traditional dancer and Researcher who imparts his vast knowledge of Scottish Traditional Dance, specialising in Cape Breton Step dancing
The concert of Irish traditional music, song and dance will feature musicians, singers and dancers from Irish World Academy programmes including the BA Irish Music and Dance, BA Voice and Dance, MA Irish Traditional Music Performance, MA Irish Traditional Dance Performance and many more.
The academy started out as the Irish World Music Centre when Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin came to the college from University College Cork. Today it has evolved into having about 20 courses running at the college.
“We have a lot of diverse programmes and the student body is diverse and international in flavour and that is what is reflected in this concert as well,” Sanda adds.
Special guests will include the Academy’s tutors and faculty. Chair of Music, Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin will perform both as a soloist and as an ensemble member.
The Irish traditional musicians, dancers and singers will also perform pieces from Cape Breton, Scandinavia and Scotland. This undergraduate performance is the result of a week of work with renowned Scottish concertina player and composer Simon Thoumire.
The Limerick Fling will include musicians from the Meitheal Summer School. The school is aimed at advanced level teenage traditional musicians and is a week of total immersion, which includes master classes and workshops in composition and musical arrangement.
The finest of Ireland’s young trad musicians assemble every year at the summer school and the centrepiece of the week is the 80-strong Meitheal Orchestra. For the past number of years some of Ireland’s leading composers, including Tom Doorley, Ernestine Healy, Mairearad Green, Luke Daniels, and Karen Tweed have been commissioned to write a piece of music for the orchestra. The suite for 2015 entitled ‘Meithealated Spirits’ was composed by lecturer, musician and composer, Dr Ryan Molloy and will be performed on the night.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of work into putting on a show like this and Sandra explains it the breadth and scope of the show that makes The Irish Fling a special experience.
“Traditional music is free much of the time in pubs around the country and it can be hard enough to attract an audience but there are so many singers and musicians on the stage, It is a great chance to witness something a bit different.”
The Limerick Fling happens at University Concert Hall this Thursday October 29.