This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Irish Studies 2008 Irish Cultural Outreach Programs

Center for Irish Studies Fall 2008 Irish Cultural Outreach Series The University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies is pleased to announce its fall cultural outreach series. Events are first-come, first-served. All lectures are free; minimal charge for concerts. No RSVP; no tickets sold in advance. Parking is available for $2 in the Moran Center at West Alabama at Graustark. For more information, contact the Center Director, Lori Meghan Gallagher, J.D., at 713-525-3592 or Sponsors: Center for Irish Studies Cultural Outreach Forum and The Irish Society. Cultural Outreach Forum Members are listed below. Become a Cultural Outreach Forum Member and support these lectures, musical performances and other wonderful cultural events! Wednesday, September 24, 2008 James Fraher, Professional Photographer from Ireland Photographing in Ireland: A Photographer’s Journey 7:30 p.m. Cullen Hall, 4001 Mt. Vernon, UST Campus Free and open to the public Photographer James Fraher, who lives in Skreen, Co. Sligo, Ireland, will share his experiences of photographing in Ireland over the past 30 years. Lecture highlights include Fraher’s account of participating in book projects, A Day in the Life of Ireland, 1991, and Stories from a Sacred Landscape, by Irish archaeologist Caimin O’Brien, Mercier Press, 2006. (Caimin O’Brien spoke for our Cultural Outreach Program in March 2007.) From peat bogs to horse fairs, rag bushes to traditional music and grave slabs to artist interventions, all with a passion for tradition and a sense of place, this presentation is part of one photographer’s journey. James Fraher is a professional photographer and photographic educator. He holds a BA in photography and an MA in media communications. Fraher has used the media of photography, video and audio to document unique cultural aspects of people and places. His photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries in the United States, Ireland, Scotland and France. In 1996, he received the “Keeping the Blues Alive Award” presented by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, TN. Fraher and his company Bogfire have produced two traditional Irish music recordings of South Sligo musicians, One’s Own Place by flute player Kevin Henry, and Farewell to Evening Dances by singer and flute and whistle player Colm O’Donnell. Fraher’s photographs have appeared on over 150 music recording covers and publications, including Living Blues, Guitar Player, Downbeat, Juke Blues, Texas Highways and in The Blues, a documentary series produced by Martin Scorsese. He is the author of The Blues is a Feeling: Voices and Visions of African-American Blues Musicians, Face to Face Books, 1998. He is the photographer of two collaborative book projects with author Roger Wood, Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues, University of Texas Press, 2003, and Texas Zydeco, University of Texas Press, 2006. In 1991, Fraher was one of 82 photographers for A Day In The Life of Ireland, a book by Collins Publishers. Wednesday, October 8, 2008 Seán Tyrrell, Irish musician, singer and storyteller Cry of the Dreamer: The Amazing Story of Irish Hero John Boyle O’Reilly 7:30 p.m. Scanlan Room, Jerabeck Center, 4000 Mt. Vernon, UST Campus Free and open to the public Co-Sponsor: Irish American Cultural Institute Irish singer, musician and storyteller Seán Tyrrell will present the story of John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-1890) through song, music, poetry and other writings. O’Reilly was a visionary and a poet with the heart of a rebel, the courage of a freedom fighter, the commitment of a civil rights activist and the blood of a true born Irishman. He was persecuted, condemned and banished from Ireland to the Penal Colonies in Australia for his political beliefs and activities. He was the first to escape on an American whaling ship. His story crosses three continents and is one of imprisonment, persecution and escape. Tyrrell weaves O’Reilly’s story into a tapestry of traditional Irish music and song, part spoken word and part historical rendition. The presentation evokes a theatre in the round experience. You will be led across a dance-floor of words so lovely, so dire and so hopeful that there can be only one feeling when it is over: Awe. This riveting stage presentation brings this forgotten visionary-poet to life. Tyrrell’s passion for O’Reilly’s life, work and poetry permeates his stunning theatrical presentation. Tyrrell originally is from the West of Ireland. He emigrated to New York in 1968. He joined the Greenwich Village folk music scene before moving to San Francisco in the early 1970s, where he gained a reputation as an exceptional Irish singer. In the late 1970s, Tyrrell returned to Ireland. With a growing reputation, he was invited to “guest” on several recordings, including two albums with the former Moving Hearts uileann piper, Davy Spillane. On the heels of his successful recordings with Davy Spillane, Tyrrell embarked on his first solo project, Cry of A Dreamer, recorded on his own label Longwalk Music. The album, released in April 1994, was greeted with great critical acclaim and was voted Best Folk Album of the Year by both Folk Roots and Hotpress magazine. Tyrrell began touring extensively in Ireland, England, Europe and the USA, performing at major festivals and concert halls. In 1999, he released his much anticipated second solo effort, The Orchard. This album also was met with critical acclaim, as Tyrrell was voted Best Overall Folk Act and the album was voted Best Folk Album by readers of Irish Music magazine. Recently, Tyrrell has contributed music and songs to such projects as “A Necklace of Wren,” a film documentary on the life and poetry of Michael Hartnett, whose poem Billy Mulvihill Tyrrell set to music on The Orchard. Tyrrell has toured with Tommy Peoples, Kevin Glackin, Ronan Brown, Davy Spillane, Three for the Ditch, Paddy Keenan, Little John Nee and poet Mary O’Malley. Wednesday, October 15, 2008 Dr. David Gleeson, a native of Ireland and Associate Professor of History, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina Another Fight for Independence: Irish Rebels in the American South 7:30 p.m. Cullen Hall, 4001 Mt. Vernon, UST Campus Free and open to the public Irish immigrants actively participated in the Confederacy during the Civil War. Thousands served in the Confederate Army while others worked on the home front. The Irish Confederate record was, however, a mixed one, leaving the status of Irish Confederates as southerners ambiguous. Confederate complaints about foreigners filling the Union Army and Republican appeals to immigrants in the South exacerbated distrust of the Irish. Ultimately, it took Irish opposition to Radical Reconstruction and their participation in the commemoration of the War to repair their image among white southerners. The Irish were accustomed to failed struggles for independence, having seen their own national aspirations disappointed on numerous occasions. Therefore, they were to embrace the new struggle developing around them. Throughout the region, and in various forms, the Irish in the South remembered their Confederate activity in a positive light and thus sealed their place as integrated members of the “New South.” Dr. David T. Gleeson, a native of Ireland, is an associate professor of history at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. He teaches southern and Irish American history. He is also a co-director of a Carolina Low Country Program. His first book The Irish in the South, 1815-1877, published by the University of North Carolina Press, won the 2002 Donald Murphy Prize from the American Conference for Irish Studies. He is currently working on his new book The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America. Friday, November 14, 2008 Annual Irish Gala 6:30 p.m.: Silent Auction Dinner and Program thereafter Houstonian Hotel, 111 North Post Oak Lane, Houston Honorees: Alayne Kane and Honorary Consul General of Ireland John B. Kane Chairs: Dorothy and Ray LeBlanc Benefiting the Center for Irish Studies Individual Tickets: $250 Tables: $2,500, $3,500, $5,000 and $7,500 Gather with the Friends of the University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies for the 2008 Annual Irish Gala celebrating honorees Alayne and Honorary Consul General of Ireland John B. Kane, who are Ambassador Members of the University of St. Thomas Cultural Outreach Forum and Friends of the Center for Irish Studies and the University. Honorary Consul General Kane also serves on the Center for Irish Studies Advisory Board. Gala chairs are Dorothy and Ray LeBlanc. Tables of 10 range from $2,500 to $7,500 and individual tickets sell for $250. Funds raised support the UST Center for Irish Studies academic, cultural and study abroad programs. For reservations and more information, contact Abigail Schleuse at 713-525-3173 or Sunday, December 7, 2008 A Celtic Christmas Celtic Balladeer Danny O’Flaherty and Others 4 to 6:30 p.m. Jones Hall, 3910 Yoakum, UST Campus Cost: $10 for adults Students free with student ID (any school) The cast of A Celtic Christmas will once again celebrate the true Christmas spirit of the Celtic Nations of Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Brittany, Galicia, and the Isle of Man in a one-day only concert. The show will tell the tales of the charming and unique yuletide customs that evolved over the centuries in the nations of the Celts. In December of 1990, Danny O’Flaherty teamed with Welsh harpist, Robin James Jones to present the first Celtic Christmas show. The performance explored old Christmas favorites and songs of the Celtic Nations. It quickly became a holiday favorite at O’Flaherty’s Irish Channel Pub in New Orleans. Over the years, the program has evolved through cast member changes. In 1995, Janet Shea and Michael Cahill joined the cast. The duo worked with Danny O’Flaherty to revamp the production into a concert presentation of stories, dances and songs. Hurricane Katrina put A Celtic Christmas on hold for the first time in fifteen years, but, like the city where it was established, it will return this year to delight audiences once again. Come join cast members Danny O’Flaherty, Janet Shea, Michael Cahill and Misha Kachkachishvili as you slip back in time and savor the yuletide season as it has been celebrated for centuries among the Celtic countries. The cast of A Celtic Christmas will bring the precious ancient gifts of music, song, dance and especially the gift of storytelling to the University of St. Thomas. Four UST Students Study Free In Ireland This summer, through the generosity of the Innisfree International College & Conference Centre and its benefactors, four UST students studied for two weeks on all-expense paid scholarships in Lough Gill, Sligo, Ireland. The IIC&CC covered the tuition, accommodation, food and local transportation. The Center for Irish Studies awarded each student a $1,000 Bishop McCarthy Scholarship for Study Abroad in Ireland to cover their airfare. The students were Matilde DeLeon, Jessica Langridge, Stephanie Rivera and Susana Svojsik. All of these students responded that these scholarships answered a prayer of a lifetime: to study abroad. This program provided the students with a wide range of cultural and social activities that allowed the students to experience contemporary Irish life and view some of Ireland’s most beautiful scenery. The students took courses in Early History of Ireland, the Archaeological Heritage of Ireland, Irish History—Act of Union to Modern Ireland, Irish Literature and Irish Culture and Traditions. They will receive credit for these courses through UST and the National University of Ireland at Galway. The students stated that one of the most interesting aspects of the program was that they learned about Irish historical and archaeological sites one day and visited those sites the next day. They visited Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, one of the largest such tombs in Ireland, the Carrowkeel hill top passage tomb and Knocknarea, believed locally to be the burial place of the legendary Queen Maeve of Connaught. They also retraced the footsteps of Irish poet and playwright, W.B. Yeats, as they visited Parke’s Castle, a 17th century fortified manor house, the Lower Rosses, an area close to Yeats’ heart, and the enchanting Glencar Lake and Waterfall, which inspired Yeats to write his poem “The Stolen Child”. The students came home full of enthusiasm for Ireland and their study abroad experience. They described the experience as “wonderful,” “life-changing” and “once- in-a life time”. Matilde DeLeon added: “What made the experience special was the people. We were treated with such hospitality and kindness. The scenery was spectacular, but the culture and its people are what made Ireland so awe-inspiring.” The Center for Irish Studies and the students wish to thank Bishop McCarthy and others who have donated to the Bishop McCarthy Scholarship and who made this experience possible. We also would especially like to thank Jeremiah Lynch, the IIC&CC professors, staff and everyone involved for making this summer abroad experience such a success. Call for Study Abroad Scholarship Assistance In summer 2009, the Center for Irish Studies intends to lead another study abroad trip to Ireland. We plan to take 20 students and two faculty members. Each year, through the Bishop McCarthy Scholarships for Study Abroad in Ireland, the Center for Irish Studies offers scholarships to each of the students who study in Ireland. With $40,000 as a target for 2009, we request your assistance in raising these scholarships to help our students defray the cost of their airfare and other expenses. Several years ago, the Center created a scholarship fund in honor of Bishop McCarthy, who is a member of the Center for Irish Studies Advisory Board, a UST alumni and a beloved member of our Irish community. Please help us reach our goals and honor Bishop McCarthy! The Center for Irish Studies Welcomes Irish Language Professor Aoife Ní Ghloinn The Center for Irish Studies is pleased to announce the arrival of its new Irish language professor, Aoife Ní Ghloinn (pronounced E-fa Nee Glynn). Thanks to a grant from the Irish Government, Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the University of St. Thomas has employed Professor Ní Ghloinn as a Visiting Scholar to teach the Irish language, culture and music. Prof. Ní Ghloinn hails from Carlow, about an hour south of Dublin. She comes from a bilingual family; both of her parents are Irish speakers. Her father is from Tipperary and her mother is from Donegal. In 2005, she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Irish language and music from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, graduating top of both of her classes and receiving academic awards for her scholarly achievements. This academic success led to a scholarship from the Northern Ireland Department of Education and Learning to pursue her studies at Queen’s University Belfast, where she received a Master’s degree, with distinction, in Irish and Celtic Studies. Prof. Ní Ghloinn is also an accomplished musician. She plays the piano, fiddle and guitar, and loves to sing. Prof. Ní Ghloinn has spent the last number of years teaching both English and Irish as second languages, at all levels from elementary school to third level institutions. She is very excited to join us and is looking forward to sharing her love for the Irish language, music and culture with students, young and old, at UST. Fall 2008 Irish Studies Courses Our fall courses start on August 25th! These courses are open for audit. Irish Language Courses Irish I, Mondays, Wednesdays, 3:10 to 4:25 p.m. Irish II, Tuesdays, Thursdays, 3:35 to 4:50 p.m. Intermediate Irish, Tuesday, 5:30 to 8:15 p.m. Professor Aoife Ní Ghloinn; Malloy Hall 023 on the UST Campus Modern Irish Literature Mondays, Wednesdays, 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Dr. Janet Lowery; Room: Strake 204 Celtic Spirituality Mondays, Wednesdays, 1:40 to 2:55 p.m. Sr. Madeleine Grace; Room: Strake 106 Irish American Experience Tuesdays, Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Lori Meghan Gallagher, J.D.; Room: Tiller Hall 116 2008 Cultural Outreach Forum Ambassador Alayne and Honorary Consul General of Ireland John B. Kane Colleen and George McCullough ExxonMobil Foundation Moran Resources Company, LP Sally and William T. Slick Consul Freebird Partners L.P. Donor Laurie and Dr. Patrick Cook Delia and Chris Cowles/The Shell Oil Foundation Dr. Lida Dahm and Karl Dahm Michael Devine Dr. Charlene Dykman and Dr. Charles Davis Mr. and Mrs. Thomas R. Fox Ann and Tom Hoar Eileen Miggins Hohlt and John Hohlt Jeani and Tom Horan Olivia Howlett Dr. Nancy Jircik Mary Louise Keegan Colin Kennedy Betty and Mike Long Gayle and Robert Longmire Mary Lynch Norma and Dr. Joseph McFadden Michele Malloy Mary and Nugent Myrick Claire Navarre Kathy and Joe Ridley Rev. Ben H. Shawhan Mr. and Mrs. Peter Slot The Shell Oil Company Foundation Dr. Pauline Ward and Britt Crist Anita and Charles Weiner Sponsor (Governmental and Nonprofit Organizations) Irish Government Department of Foreign Affairs Save the Date for other Irish events: Celtic Thunder Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 8 p.m. Reliant Arena, 8400 Kirby Drive The Houston Society for the Performing Arts is pleased to offer the Friends of the Center for Irish Studies and The Irish Society discounted tickets to their Spring 2009 Irish events: The Chieftains and Sir James Galway. To purchase tickets, log on at with the special password irishvip. The ChieftainsWednesday, February 25, 8 p.m.Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, downtown Houston Sir James Galway, fluteChristopher O’Riley, pianoWednesday, March 4, 2009, 8 p.m.Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, downtown Houston Come See Us! Physical address: Center for Irish Studies University of St. Thomas 4110 Mt. Vernon Houston, TX 77006
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