Happy to report that the Society will be performing at the Ards Guitar Festival again this year for the first time in a while.
We are sorry to inform you that it will not be possible to proceed with the Bangor guitar weekend at the end of August (29th / 30th). The venue, Hamilton Halls, is not going to be open until September at the earliest, and the committee is not in a position to find another venue. In fact, the general view of the committee is that postponement until more suitable times ahead is the correct action at this time.
I hope everybody is well and still enjoying plenty of guitar activities, albeit in the midst of social distancing, etc. Just a reminder – there is an active society WhatsApp group, founded during lockdown. All sorts of things get discussed – fingernails, strings, performance practice, gardening, poetry….. even molecular virology! If you want to join the group, please contact the secretary. Only recognised members will be able to join.
Dear Members and Associates,
I don’t think anybody will be surprised to learn that we are going to have to cancel our forthcoming meetings on account of this virus proliferation.
The committee has agreed the following:
Sunday 5th April: Portstewart meeting – cancelled
Sunday 3rd May (originally planned for Sunday 10th May): AGM – cancelled. Until we can rearrange the AGM, the committee has agreed to continue in a caretaker capacity.
Sunday 14th June: Regular meeting – to be decided later, but unlikely to go ahead
Sunday 28th June or Sunday 4th July: Barbecue – to be decided later, but unlikely to go ahead
Also – Wednesday 1st April: Ards Guitar festival – cancelled; ensemble rehearsals – cancelled.
At this stage we intend to proceed with the Bangor guitar weekend at the end of August, so if you have not done so, please contact Keith or any other member of the committee, to register your interest.
Best wishes to you and yours. Keep well and keep playing your guitar!
This year the CGSNI are supporting a weekend guitar festival in Bangor, Co. Down over the late August Bank Holiday weekend, 29th and 30th August (please see the flier below). The artists will be American guitarist Valerie Hartzell, Sean Woods and Brian Keenan. Please let me know you would be interested in attending this event.
(on behalf of the Committee).
For anyone visiting the North Coast this Summer, there are a couple of events of note coming up:
Music at Mussenden Temple
Our member Damien O’Connor will be performing on Sunday 18th August 12noon to 2pm. Link
Keith and Robbie will be performing at Warke’s Deli on the Promenade, Portstewart on Saturday 27th July 4pm till 5pm.
Guitar weekend in Derry
The programme is shown below. If you wish to come it’s not too late; please contact secretary.cgsni (at) gmail.com!
CGSNI DERRY MEETING
Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin
37 Great James Street
L/Derry BT48 7DF
Sean Woods and Isabel Martinez
Sat 24th Aug
9am Access to Building
10 – 10.15am Welcome and housekeeping
10.15- 11am Technical workshops Sean/Isabel
11.15- 12noon Technical workshop Sean/Isabel
12noon- 1 pm Cluster Groups Split into three groups and with Sean and Isabel circulating between the groups
1pm – 2 pm Lunch Break
2pm – 4pm Ensemble (Sean)
4.15pm Members recital
5 pm Close
7.30 Concert performance by Isabel Martinez in the DDCF Church, Northland Road.
Sunday 25th Aug
9am Access to Building
10am Sean/Isabel Masterclasses (2 x 30min)
11.15-12.15 Masterclasses (2 x 30min)
12.15-1pm Cluster Groups
1pm Lunch Break
2pm – 4pm Ensemble (see below)
4.15pm Members recital
5 pm Close and disperse
There are two pieces for the Ensemble:
- Faure Pavane (transcribed by Ed Mitchell)
- “The Tree on the Moor” Gary Ryan (written for the 2012 City of Derry Guitar Festival)
Our next meeting at the Ulster College of Music is on Sunday 9th June 2019 at 3.00pm. Assuming a large number attending we shall arrange cluster groups before a regular members’ recital.
Before that meeting (as already mentioned) the society ensemble is performing at Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor this Friday 7th June at 7.30pm. Those members (and friends and family) not involved in the performance are very welcome to attend, and we are hoping that some may be inspired to join the ensemble next season!
Plans for a barbeque at the end of June are still in development, so more on this later.
The new committee for 2019-20 will be meeting in late July to plan next season’s programme. However, just to remind you – the CGSNI Derry Guitar weekend is on again this year, with a similar format to last year, but including a professional recital this time. The dates are Sat 24th – Sun 25th August. That’s the August Bank Holiday weekend. No doubt there will be more from Keith about the festival soon, but in the meantime please make a note in your diary of the dates.
The Society will be performing in support of Gary Ryan at this year’s Ards Guitar Festival on Wednesday 3rd April at 8pm in the Queen’s Hall in Newtownards. This is sure to be a great recital, so make sure you book your tickets now to avoid disappointment. Gary will also be hosting a guitar workshop on Thursday the 4th of April at 11am.
More information and tickets can be found at the Ards Guitar Festival Website
Robbie and Keith met with Sean Woods on Tuesday to discuss what can be done this year in terms of a self-funded festival. The dates would be 24th and 25th August, the Bank Holiday weekend. Sean has some money set aside from a private business donor which could be used to bring over a professional guitarist. Both Carlos Bonell and Matthew McAllister have offered to support the Festival and Sean is optimistic that one of them would come and give a recital as well as teach. Otherwise the format would be similar to last year i.e. technical teaching, cluster groups with professional guitarists in attendance, ensemble, members recital.
Sean will also contact the same venue we used last year (Irish Language Centre, Great James Street) to confirm that we can get the same premises at the same price.
Once again, the cost of the festival would depend on the number of participants but if we can achieve similar numbers to last year the fee for the weekend would be £60. This should cover at least the hire of the premises and Sean’s fee.
Please let the Secretary (Keith – email secretary.cgsni gmail.com) know whether you would be interested in attending. If we can get a reasonable number of commitments at this stage then Sean can contact a professional musician to attend the festival. It goes without saying that the more support the festival can get, the stronger it will be.
Hi folks – friendly reminder that the annual BBQ is taking place this weekend on the 1st of July. All are welcome – please contact the secretary for directions and more information.
Also, the L-Derry guitar weekend will take place in the Cultural Centre at 37, Great James Street in the city (http://culturlann.org/) Sat 25th and Sunday 26th of August. Sean has negotiated the use of this venue for the full weekend so we should have access to a range of rooms between 9am and 5pm each day. I have suggested to Sean that the we begin each day formally at around 10am in order to allow people to travel for just one day if they so wish. Also we can finish both days with a members’ recital so that everyone gets an opportunity to perform at some stage during the event. Sean will construct a programme around this framework and this will include a short recital by Sean himself of pieces which he can still play in spite of the focal dystonia. The cost of the weekend will be £40 per head (£20 for one day only). Of this £25 will be for Sean’s fee and £15 for the room hire with the balance being being paid from CGSNI funds.
Although the response has been excellent, and there are 16 people interested in attending all or part of the weekend, there is still time to register an interest with Keith. This should be a great event and we hope you can attend and support it!
Our next meeting will take place this coming Sunday 8th April in the usual spot of Ulster College of Music at 3pm. This is a regular meeting and we’ll also have the Ensemble playing in preparation for their performance at the Ards Guitar Festival, which happen the following Wednesday.
Hope to see you all there,