Summer School Tutors 2019 – Dermot Byrne

Delighted to welcome one of the most exceptional musicians in traditional music, Dermot Byrne as our box tutor this summer!

The winner of TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year 2013 Byrne hails from Buncrana in the Inishowen peninsula, the most northerly part of Donegal, and has played accordion since a very young age, having learned from his father Tomás O’Beirn, who comes from Teileann area of South West Donegal.

Dermot had the good fortune to meet all the greats of Donegal music including Johnny Doherty, Con Cassidy, Tommy Peoples, Danny Meehan and many more, and they made a great impact on the young Dermot and helped him to develop a unique style. His seemingly effortless playing, combined with great subtlety, and a faultless ear, makes him one of the great accordion players of his generation.

Dermot guested on two Altan recordings, “The Red Crow” and “Island Angel” before joining the band in 1994, and was a member until 2013, during which time he recorded five further albums with them. He has played on collaborations with many great musicians including Seamus McGuire and Manus McGuire, Frankie Gavin, Pierre Schryer, Salsa Celtica and the late jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. His eponymous solo recording, which he has reissued recently, received great critical acclaim.

Book your place today!!

Summer School Tutors 2019 – Guitar

Innes Watson – Guitar

We’d like to offer a big welcome to our new guitar tutor for this year, Innes Watson of Scotland!

Growing up in the Scottish Borders with a range of influences and experiences, Innes is one if the most highly-regarded and sought-after musicians on the scene today. He is also much in demand as a teacher with both the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and various music schools and organisations across the country. Innes has been heavily involved in some of the most successful albums in Scottish Music over the last fifteen years and ‘MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards’ awarded him the title of “Instrumentalist of the Year” in 2011.

A composer of fiddle tunes, string arrangements, guitar music, songs and much more he is currently working on a whole host of exciting new projects including his “Guitar Colloquium” due to be released in the soon. Here he is playing on Striven Session with Undon Noodle

Don’t forget to book your place with Innes this year:
And join us from 8th-12th July in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Summer School Tutors 2019

Oisin Morrison – Harp

We are very excited to welcome a new harp tutor to Ceol na Coille this year, the incredibly talented Mr. Oisín Morrison!

Oisín is also a renowned flute player and composer who has taught and performed extensively at festivals both at home and abroad. He has shared the stage with a whole host of distinguished musicians including Mick O’Brien, Téada, Steve Cooney, Peadar Ó Riada, Mikie Smyth and Zoe Conway.

Oisín has won numerous awards for his music including Bonn Óir Sheáin Uí Riada and holds many Oireachtas and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann titles. He was also a Ad Astra Performing Arts scholar in UCD where he completed a first class Masters in Irish literature. His compositional work has been met with great acclaim and here he is performing some of his work from “Clann Lír”, performing beautifully alongside a string quartet!
Oisín Morrison Music

If you want the chance to learn from Oisín don’t forget to register here: For the Ceol na Coille Summer School: 8th-12th July, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal


Summer School Tutors 2019

Concertina Maestro – Cillian King


As we start revealing the wonderful summer school tutors we have in store for you for this July, we would like to welcome this year Concertina maestro Cillian King!

Limerick native King is currently one of the most in demand multi-instrumentalists in Ireland today. As well as being an accomplished concertina player, he is also proficient on guitars & keyboards and has toured the world with many acclaimed bands & artists including Ulaid and Duke Special, Ímar, Aldoc, Pauline Scanlon and Moxie. He is a member of both Notify and Atlas with whom he has released successful albums to critical acclaim.

Fond of a challenge, here he is tackling the daunting “Moto Perpetuo, Op.11” written by Niccolo Paganini! One for our concertina students to get practicing!

Don’t forget to register for this year’s summer school:
8th-12th July in Letterkenny Co. Donegal

Summer School Tutors 2019

Hamish Napier & Jarlath Henderson

Two familiar and most welcome faces returning to teach at Ceol na Coille again this summer! First, on pipes we have Jarlath Henderson who will be returning to teach our advanced pipes class. Secondly on Piano, Hamish Napier will be joining us again this year!

The youngest ever musician to win the prestigious BBC Young Folk Award, Jarlath’s music has alwas been met with high acclaim! He has released several well-received albums with his duo partner Ross Ainslie Music as well as his solo album in 2015 not to mention a second solo album in the works. A three time All-Ireland champion by age 19, Henderson has gone on to perform alongside household names such as: Mike McGoldrick, Capercaillie, Paddy Keenan and Phil Cunningam.

Napier brings an eclectic musical heritage with him to Ceol na Coille. Deeply rooted in the music of his local Strathspey, Hamish went on to study Jazz Keyboard and composition at Berklee in the US. He is much sought after as a composer, performer and tutor and has released two incredibly successful solo albums to date with “The Woods” (his third solo effort) on the way.

Here are the boys in fine fettle at Ceolchoirm le Ceol na Coille last year performing one of Hamish’s compositions!
Hamish Napier Music

Book to join us this summer here:
July 8th-12th, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal


Ceol na Coille Summer School 2019

Ceol na Coille, Summer School, Paul Harrigan, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Irish Traditional Music, Irish Music, Banjo, Accordion, Uilleann Pipes, Harp, Guitar, Mandolin, Whistle, Flute

Ceol na Coille Summer School 2019

8th-12th July

The Letterkenny based Ceol na Coille Summer School has quickly become one of the ‘must-visit’ weeks of traditional music in the calendar year and its reputation continues to grow.

Situated in the traditional stronghold of Donegal, visitors learn from the highest calibre of tutors in stunning surroundings. A harmonious mix of local and visiting tutors offer classes across a wide range of instruments at several levels. This year will see the likes of Paul O’Shaughnessy (fiddle), Jarlath Henderson (Uilleann Pipes), Hamish Napier (Piano), Dale McKay (Bodhrán) and Deirdre Scanlan (Traditional Singing) joined by a host of other tutors for flute, whistle, piano and button accordion, harp and guitar.

A family-friendly summer school with an emphasis on the Irish language, the school also offers: Trad Camp for kids, “An Club Gaelach”, Improver classes and Irish Language classes for adults.

For teachers, there’s a weeklong CPD course in traditional music approved by the Department of Education and Skills, delivered by Dr Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain of the Univeristy of Limerick.

Building on the success of last year’s diverse series of concerts and album launches, the summer school welcomes the addition of four new venues throughout the town as part of the extensive ‘session trail’ offering an opportunity to play with the finest visiting and local tutors.

In addition, there are fantastic, and free to public, afternoon recitals and concerts each day, making Ceol na Coille the place to be this July. Bígí ann!

For more information see:

New Term at Ceol na Coille

Classes are back in Full swing here at Ceol na Coille. If interested in starting a new instrument or returning to music, there are a limited number of places still available. Feel free to get in touch

Enrollments for Ceol na Coille Summer School

Ceol na Coille Summer School, 2018, Traditional music, Fiddle, Uilleann Pipes, Banjo, Bodhrán, Whistle Flute Donegal, Guitar, Letterkenny, DonegalReminder!! Enrollments will be taken tomorrow (Saturday 30th June) between 12 and 2pm in Coláiste Ailigh, Knocknamona. Enollments will be taken for Taithí Gaeltachta – Gaeltacht experience for 10-13 year old, Adult Irish Class, CPD course for teachers and the traditional music summer school also. Feel free to call in if you have any questions. Spaces are limited, so be sure to book your place to avoid disappointment. More information can be found at


A Gaeltacht Experience in Letterkenny

This year, further to workshops in Irish Traditional Music, Ceol na Coille Summer School is offering a unique opportunity for 10-13 year olds to experience all the fun of the Gaeltacht on their own doorstep.

“Tá Bliain na Gaeilge á céilúradh i 2018 agus tá sé spesialta dúinn gur féidir linn an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn mar seo inár gclár i mbliana. The Irish language has always been central to Ceol na coille but even more so this year as we celebrate Bliain na Gaeilge nationally.” explains Úna Ní Bhriain who is coordinating Irish language activities at this year’s summer school.

“The Taithí Gaeltachta or Gaeltacht Experience offers morning classes in the Irish language, coupled with a host of other fun activities through the medium of Irish will ensure that this group of young people will be ‘Gaeltacht Ready’ when their time comes to reside for three weeks with the ‘bean a’ tí’ in their chosen Gaeltacht course. It will really boost the participants’ confidence in speaking Irish and is a great opportunity to enjoy the language with young people who are the same age and who share some of the same interests. We are delighted to be able to have it as part of our program this year with support from Foras na Gaeilge and Líonra Leitir Ceanainn.”

Music, sport and art are only a few of the activities that will be included throughout the week.  A fun, friendly staff will be supervising and teaching the group.

The group will participate in many team activities so that they can get to know each other and build long-lasting friendships. Of particular interest is a media workshop which will be facilitated by Letterkenny’s Caoimhe Ní Chathail who works in the Irish language media, for Meon Eile, TG4 and Raidió Fáilte.

“Caoimhe is a past pupil of Coláiste Ailigh, where all the week’s activities will take place, so this will be a homecoming of sorts for her. Using i-Pads provided, the workshop will centre around blogging and tweeting as Gaeilge, as well as looking at how to use camera when filming. Caoimhe is a real pro and full of energy and I’m certain this will be a high point of week’s activities.”

Ceol na Coille’s Summer school offers a host of Irish language opportunities, including adult comhrá classes and Club Gaelach for 6-9 year olds.

Bookings now being taken for all courses and classes. For more information visit



World Class Traditional Artists for Ceol na Coille Summer School

Traditional music enthusiasts from around the globe will be travelling to Letterkenny 9th – 13th July for the7th annual Ceol na Coille Traditional Music Summer School. Now well established as part of the summer scene along the Wild Atlantic Way, this years summer school will welcome visitors from Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austrialia and USA. And its not only music lovers that will be jetting in for this July, as this year joining the team of tutors are internationally acclaimed artists Catriona McKay – Harp, Jarlath Henderson – Uilleann Pipes and Hamish Napier – Piano. Based at Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ceol na Coille has quickly become one of the ‘must-visit’ weeks of traditional music in the calendar year and its reputation has continued to grow.

Ceol na Coille director Paul Harrigan, an All-Ireland winner on Uilleann Pipes and Piano Accordion, says it’s looking like another record-breaking year.

“This is our seventh year and it’s getting bigger and better every year,” he said. “We’re in the heart of Donegal, which is famous for its traditional music. We have a great team of tutors and we pride ourselves on being friendly and welcoming.”

Hamish Napier, ceol na coille summer school, Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland, Flute, PianoVisitors will learn from the highest calibre of tutors in stunning surroundings. A harmonious mix of local and visiting tutors offer classes on a wide range of instruments and at several levels.  The long list of tutors also includes many familiar names such as Roisin McGrory & Clodagh Warnock – fiddle, Michael Carey, Kate McKinley Forde – Whistle, Joleen McLaughlin – Harp, Donna Harkin and Edel McLaughlin – Accordion and John Lee – Flute. This year will see visiting tutors – Deirdre Scanlan – Traditional Singing, Padraig McGovern – Uilleann Pipes, Bríd Harper & Paul O’Shaughnessy – fiddle, Tony O’Connell and Niall Hackett – Concertina, Conor Moriarty – Button Accordion, Dale McKay – Bodhrán and Paul Meehan – Guitar.

The Summer School is ever growing with this year seeing the addition of week long traditional singing workshops as well as “Taithí Gaeltachta”, an initiative squeezing the full Gaeltacht experience into daily classes and workshops with music, sport, drama and art. A family-friendly summer school Ceol na Coille also offers: Trad Camp for kids, “An Club Gaelach”, Improver classes and Irish Language classes for adults.

For teachers, there’s a weeklong CPD course approved by the Department of Education and Skills, delivered by Dr Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain of the University of Limerick. In addition, there are daily recitals, a series of inspiring concerts and thrilling nightly sessions & Festival Club making Ceol na Coille an outstanding week of traditional music, song and Gaeilge.

Ceol na Coille runs from Monday 9th to Friday 13th July 2017. It’s followed immediately this year by the big Folk and Roots weekend of the Earagail Arts Festival in Letterkenny and elsewhere in Donegal.

Bígí ann!

For more information see

@EaragailArts @whatsondonegal @WOLetterkenny @CulturalCentre