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Aralt and Dennis

Patrick Oourceau at House Concert





Welcome to the Home of Irish Dance, Language and Music
in Kingston, Ontario.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann
Harp of Tara Branch

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is a non-political, non-sectarian cultural organization founded in Ireland in 1951 to preserve and promote the music, culture and arts of Ireland. CCE now has branches throughout the world. The title of the organization translates into English as "The Society of Irish Musicians." It is referred to as "Comhaltas"or "CCÉ" for simplicity. About Comhaltas

In Kingston, Comhaltas is represented by the Harp of Tara Branch. Founded in 1978, the Branch sponsors an active program of Irish Language, Irish Social Dance, and Music, as well as a monthly Céilí and Siamsa, and Special Events. A brief listing of upcoming events, with links, is Here

Our events are open to all, all ages, and there is no charge for many of our activities.

New members are always welcome. Online Membership Form     Online payment

For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle,
And the merry love to dance:

From "The Fiddler of Dooney" by W.B.Yeats

Upcoming Events Listing

Monthly Irish Céilí Dance
Saturday, March 11, 7:00 – 10:00 École Cathedral School, (Johnson & Barrie)

Great live music with Saskia Tomkins (Fiddle) and Steafan Hannigan (Many instruments).
The Irish social dances are easy to learn and enjoy. No partner required; dancers range in age from 3 to 83, and you don't need to be Irish to enjoy the music and dance of Ireland. Snacks will be served at the break as well.

Admission $12 for Adults ($10 for CCE members), $7 for students, Children under 12 are free.

For further information, check the “Harp of Tara” web page, phone (613) 379-5578, or e-mail stephenandjulie@bell.net

Siamsa/Song Circle
Sunday, February 19, 2:00pm - 5. RCHA (193 Ontario)

All Welcome, all ages, for an informal social. Reels and jigs, songs, harping, tunes, and poems at the monthly music social. Relaxed and informal, the most family friendly of the regular Irish events. No charge.
The RCHA has an elevator, making it more accessible.

More info at Siamsa or contact Paul at pgillespie2@cogeco.ca >

House Concert: Jackie Daly and Matt Cranitch
Sunday March 12 2017, 7 pm
202 Main St Barriefield.

$20 advance, $25 late

Jackie Daly (accordion, De Danann, Patrick Street, Buttons and Bows, Arcady, Reel Union and Kinvara) and Matt Cranitch (fiddle) More at: Special Events

The Tuesday Night Regular Session. Sir John's Public House
Tuesdays 8:30 - 11 or 12. 343 King Street East (near Market Square)

Some of the best traditional Irish music in town, and Sir John's serves great fun with a fine selection of beers. check it out

The Tuesday Night Slow Session is for now at 202 Main Street Barriefield Directions

The Slow Session runs from 5:30 to 8:30

Weekly Set Dancing

Weekly set dance socials, every Thursday. Contact Julie and Stephen for more information

Kingston Irish Session Tune Book see Music.

Weekly Sessions, see Music.

Weekly Dance Classes, see Dance

Weekly Language Classes.

An 'intermediate' class has been ongoing every Thursday, but it's not too late to join in. Contact Paul
A beginners class will be starting up on Wednesdays, starting early October
If you're interested, contact Ruth

View a movie taken at the Gaeltacht Opening Ceremonies, June 16, 2007 Courtesy of Allyson Reid Bowering  Gaeltacht Opening

For a complete listing of upcoming events in Kingston and the area, check the Events Calendar

Harp of Tara would gratefully wish to acknowledge the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which provided us with a grant in 2009. This enabled us to purchase a sound system for our céilís, educational materials for our language and music programs, and has enabled us to engage in some much-needed long-term planning.

Tara is the mysterious hilltop castle that was home to Irish high kings. It actually existed somewhere in what is now County Meath from very ancient times well before the time of Saint Patrick (432) until its destruction probably in the sixth century, but in any case well before the death of High King Brian Boru on the battlefields of Clontarf (1014). In the poem, written while Ireland was still under an unwelcome British rule, Thomas Moore lets Tara symbolize the seat of Irish government and the rule of Ireland.

The harp, the traditional musical instrument of Ireland, symbolizes the Irish people, culture and spirit

The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls

by Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
The harp that once through Tara's halls
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls
As if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory's thrill is o'er,
And hearts that once beat high for praise,
Now feel that pulse no more!

No more to chiefs and ladies bright
The harp of Tara swells;
The chord alone that breaks at night,
Its tale of ruin tells.
Thus Freedom now so seldom wakes,
The only throb she gives
Is when some heart indignant breaks,
To show that still she lives.

Top of Page

A Selection of Events and Activities
sponsored by Harp of Tara

House Concerts and Music Workshops

Past House Concerts and associated workshops include:

Harp of Tara 25th Anniversary Celebration, 2003 Workshops, Sessions, Concert and Ceili
Uilleann Pipes Reed-Making Workshop with Joe Kennedy, co-sponsored with local pipers
Maeve Donnelly and Steve Baughman - Fiddle and Guitar workshops
Diorma - 2004 workshops with Niamh Dunne (Fiddle), Lindsay Moynagh (Harp), Thomas Johnston (Pipes), Shane Greene (Accordion)
Michael Rooney and June McCormack - 2004 Flute and Harp Workshops
Spraoi - 2005 Workshops with Dan MacDonald (Fiddle), Kelley Hood (Pipes), Greig Cairns (Guitar) , Pat Simmonds (Accordion).
Laura Risk And Paddy League - Fiddle and Bodhrán workshops
Flook Concert, co-sponsored, at the Octave Theatre. 2005
Patrick Ourceau and Deborah Quigley - 2006 Immersion Weekend, Fiddle and Pipes
Maeve Donnelly and Tony MacManus - 2007 Fiddle and Guitar Workshops
Patrick Ourceau and Deborah Quigley - 2007 Immersion Weekend, Fiddle and Pipes
Steafan Hannigan and Saskia Tomkins - Fiddle, Bodhrán, whistle flute and pipes, playing together. 2007
Patrick Ourceau and Deborah Quigley - 2008 Immersion Weekend, Fiddle and Pipes
World's First (?) Wheelchair Dance Ceili, St Mary of the Lake Rehab Centre, July 2008
Patrick Ourceau - 2009 Fiddle Immersion Weekend
Wheelchair Ceili. February 5, 2009- St Mary of the Lake Cafeteria
Paul LeGrand - Irish Language Weekend Fiddle Workshop. April 2009
Liz Carroll and John Doyle Concert, Fiddle and Guitar Workshops. April 2009
Steafan Hannagan, Saskia Tomkins, Karen Light Immersion Weekend. Bohdran, Fiddle, Whistle.    May 2009
Lasairfhiona Ní Chonaola - Sean Nós Concert: May 16, 2010
Patrick Ourceau - 2010 Fiddle Immersion Weekend
Mark Finnan, John Hoffman, Glen Caradus 'The Corktown Man, in Story and Song' and
   'Music, poetry and song related to the life of D'Arcy McGee. October 2010
Patrick Ourceau - 2011 Fiddle Immersion Weekend
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann 60th Anniversary Celebration, October 15th 2011 Whig article
St Patrick's Wheelchair Ceili March 11, 2010- SMOL Cafeteria; March 18, 2010- Province Manor
Liz and Yvonne Kane, and Edel Fox. 2011 Fiddle, Concertina and Repertoire workshops, and House    Concert
St Patrick's Wheelchair Ceilis March 2, 2011- Arbour Heights; March, 2011- SMOL Cafeteria
Patrick Ourceau - 2012 Fiddle Immersion Weekend
The Ballad of d'Arcy McGee, in story and Song - Mark Finnan, Glenn Caradus, John Hoffman and Michael Ketemer March 2012
St Patrick's Wheelchair Ceilis March 15, 2012- SMOL Cafeteria
Patrice Fisher (Harp) and Carlos Valladares (Percussion) with Sylvain Gagnon (trombone and bass). June 16, 2012
Liz and Yvonne Kane - Workshops and House Concert July 29, 2012
Kelli Trottier and Greg Sim - Workshop and House Concert September 13, 2012
Patrick Ourceau and Ivan Goff - Fiddle and Flute Immersion Weekend January 25-7, 2013
Nuala Kennedy and Andrew Hillhouse - Workshops and House Concert February 15, 2013
Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly - Workshops and House Concert March 22, 2013
Pat O'Connor and Eoghan O'Sullivan - House Concert March 24, 2013
Kevin Burke - Workshop and House Concert September 10, 2013
Cairdeas Christmas Concert - Steafan Hannigan, Saskia Tomkins, Marsala Lukianchuk. Dec. 15, 2013
Steafan Hannigan and Saskia Tomkins - multiple workshops throughout the year
St Patrick's Wheelchair Ceilis March 13 and 14, 2013- St Mary's and Providence Care
Patrick Ourceau and Ivan Goff - Fiddle and Flute Immersion Weekend January, 2014
Michael 'Blackie O'Connell and Cyril O'Donoghue March 17, 2014 Photos
Wheelchair Ceili. March 14, 2014- St Mary of the Lake Cafeteria
Kelli Trottier and Greg Sim - Workshop and House Concert April 05, 2014. Photos
Paddy Keenan and Brian Tahenny - House Concert August 1st 2014
Saskia Tomkins and Steafan Hannigan - House Concert and Workshops January 11, 2015
Pascal Gemme and Yann Falquet - House Concert January 22nd, 2015
Alan Reid and Rob Van Sant (ex Battlefield Band) March 29, 2015
Paul Legrand - Workshops April 2015
Patrick Ourceau and Ivan Goff - Fiddle and Flute Immersion Weekend April 18-10, 2015
Four Winds August 12, 2015
Blackie O'Connell and Cyril O'Donaghue October 9th 2015
Gerry (Fiddle) O'Connor November 16 2015
The Outside Track February 29, 2016
Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh May 20, 2016
Paddy Keenan and Brian TahennyJuly 8, 2016

Harp of Tara organized and hosted very special days for the Kingston Céilí Band 20th Anniversary in 2002, and the 25th Anniversary, September 30th 2007

Irish Dance Workshops

Timmy McCarthy 2003
Yutaka Usui and Doriane Renecker 2003, 2005
Regular workshops with Maureen Mulvey, Canada's Irish Dance Master
Workshop with Irish Dance Master Pádraig McEneany, July 2010

Irish Language

Conversational Irish Language Classes - beginner, intermediate and advanced, have been held during the winter months since 1994.
International Irish Language Immersion Weekends have been held since 1996, and
Annual Gaeltacht Irish Language Immersion Weeks, since 2004

Regular activities

Harp of Tara has hosted a year-round weekly slow session since 2001. Friendly, social, a welcoming way for beginning musicians to experience the joys of Irish music and sessions, or for experienced musicians from other traditions to develop the Irish repertoire.
Another opportunity to get out and play some tunes is our regular 3rd Sunday Siamsa, which has been running at the Brew Pub since 2000
With a mandate, among others, to promote Uilleann pipes, Harp of Tara has taken the lead in the promotion of the Uilleann pipes, with workshops with master pipers
Weekly Dance Practice We have been getting together to learn and enjoy Irish Social Dance for 9 years
Monthly Céilí. The principal social event for Irish Music and Dance in Kingston has been running since 2001.

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