Dublin Villager

Dublin Irish Festival

Academy classes provide in depth look at Irish arts

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The Dublin Irish Festival offers cultural and music areas, but academy classes will provide a more in-depth look at a few of the Irish arts.

The Dublin Irish Festival Academy will offer up seven different classes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Dublin Crowne Plaza Hotel.

With lessons from bodhran to fiddle, the DIF Academy serves up lessons in Irish music in an intimate setting.

Piano Accompaniment for Irish Music will be offered for the first time and taught by Denis Cary, a Newport County Tipperary musician, composer and arranger.

Dublin Events Manager Alison LeRoy said she got hooked up with Carey through a friend of a friend who picked up his piano books for Celtic music.

"Piano is not the first instrument you think of with Irish music," LeRoy said, adding festival organizers couldn't resist putting the offering into the list of classes.

Students for the class must bring a keyboard to play.

"I think it'll draw either accomplished piano players or someone who loves Irish music," LeRoy said.

All of the classes are taught by musicians who play at the festival, with the exception of academy favorite Michael Vignoles. Vignoles is a musician, but at the Dublin Irish Festival, he makes and sells bodhrans. His beginning bodhran class usually sells out.

"It's always the most popular class," LeRoy said of the class that teaches how to play the Irish drum. "You can walk in literally knowing nothing, but walk out being able to play."

Other classes offered at this year's DIF Academy include Tin Whistle with Kieran O'Hare, Irish two-row button accordion with Paul Brock and Irish Tenor Banjo with Garry O'Meara.

Classes on the fiddle will be taught by Liz Knowles and Manus McGuire.

Academy classes are $50 and include a one-day festival pass. Class size is limited and students must be 12 years old or older. For more information, look online at Dublin irishfestival.org/home-page/academy/.

The Dublin Irish Festival will run Aug. 2-4 at Coffman Park.

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