Those lucky enough to have attended the sell out annual Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh concert in Halla na Feothanaigh couldn’t believe their luck when, half way through the show, the surprise guest of the evening was announced by host, Niamh Ní Bhaoill, one of the School’s directors. After an gasp of astonishment from the crowd, Christy Moore took to the stage and stole the hearts of one and all with his heartfelt performance, starting off with a great rendition of St. Brendan and his Albatross. Organisers, Niamh & Breanndán Begley, had kept Christy’s appearance an absolute secret so the audience were completely taken aback. Young Cork fiddler, Bréanainn Ó Mathúna who gave an outstanding performance in the concert himself, made a special request backstage to Christy for the song Lisdoonvarna. Christy happily obliged, performing the song with a couple of modifications to suit the occasion, for example, instead of the line ‘If it’s music you want, you go to Clare’, with perfect dramatic timing, much to the delight of the crowd Christy sang, ‘If it’s music you want, you go to… the Kingdom’. Liam O’Connor, Dublin fiddler who came on stage immediately after Christy’s fiery performance quipped that it was a very harsh punishment, to make him follow Christy just because Dublin had beaten Kerry in the last all-Ireland!
Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh 2012 was a huge success with packed halls and public houses, music and song from morning ‘til night, classes in over 20 venues and numbers in attendance increasing again this year. There was a fantastic atmosphere of music and celebration all around Corca Dhuibhne, from Dún Chaoin to Feothanach and of course, in the hub of Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh’s activities, Baile an Fheirtéaraigh. The support of local business and funding from the Arts Council and other organisations made these all events possible. Sincere thanks must go to the over 30 local volunteers who gave freely of their time, energy and resources to help make the 8th Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh what it was, a fantastic celebration of our culture, heritage and language, through music, dance and song.