2015 Féile Portland na Samhna

We've set the final dates for the fall Féile Portland workshops -- November 14-15, 2015 at A Renaissance School in SW Portland (same location as before).  We're very luck to welcome Máirín Uí Chéide, Alicia Guinn, and Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin as guest instructors!  The schedule is:





Morning language classes (all levels)




Afternoon language classes (all levels) OR Dance workshop "Sean-nós Dancing for Absolute Beginners"*



*this will be the only dance workshop of the day

optional Saturday Evening event:

Maldon Meehan is teaching a Céilí and foot percussion lesson at Kells! If you would like to attend, just mark the choice on your registration form and we'll put you on the Will Call list.  Regular cost is $10 adults/$5 kids, but Will Call attendees get $1 off!  You can pay at the door. The Céilí is upstairs at the Kells (on SW 2nd) from 6-9 pm on Nov 14th.  Maldon is teaching/calling the event, and will also be teaching some foot percussion/sean-nós.  Betsy Branch will be playing the fiddle, and Elizabeth Nicholson will be playing the harp, as accompaniment.  The Kells will have a full bar and food menu (for purchase).  It should be a great time!  If you need help arranging transportation, let us know and we'll see what we can do!



Morning language classes OR Dance workshop "Sean-nós steps for Intermediate/Advanced Dancers"




Afternoon language classes (all levels)* OR Dance seminar "Sean-nós Dance Culture: Style, Technique, and Application"


Debrief and goodbyes

*there will be workshops on Irish grammar and sean-nós singing for language students--full schedule to be presented at registration!

Please note that the Renaissance School has a strict "NO SHOES" policy!  That means that shoes are left by the front door.  Attendees can bring slippers, house shoes, or moccasins, or can choose to just wear thick socks.  NO shoes are to be worn anywhere in the building except for dance shoes in the dance room.Skill Levels

Gaeilge classes will be divided by the following skill levels:

Absolute beginner:  Someone with no experience with Irish whatsoever

Novice speaker:  Someone who has small sentences, phrases, and some basic Q&A

Intermediate speaker:  Someone who can have a basic conversation/Q&A with lots of mistakes

Cruinneas/comhrá:  Someone who can have more advanced conversation with few mistakes, focusing on key grammatical points, proper pronunciation, and building situational-based vocabulary


Workshops are $50 for one day, or $85 for both days.  Bring your lunch with you, or add a box lunch for $10 more each day.


On Saturday, we'll have a choice between a  Mediterranean Tuna Wrap, Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken Wrap, BBQ Ham Wrap, and Gardenburger Wrap, each with homemade chips, a cookie, and a bottle of water.  On Sunday, we'll have a salad buffet.


Bob Burke is President of The North American Association for Celtic Language Teachers (NAACLT). He has taken many Irish language courses in Ireland including a teachers' training course. Bob has published articles in Irish in the magazine Comhar and in the online magazine BEO. He has a special interest in second language acquisition by adults and has taught Irish at Marylhurst University in the Portland area for many years.

Máirín Uí Chéide was born in Leitir Móir, Connemara, into a family with a long line of poets and singers.  She won the Corn Uí Riada prior to emigrating to Boston in 1986.   She has taught the Irish language and Sean-nós singing for many years.  She has an Irish language radio show on WNTN, every Saturday, as part of the “Sound of Erin” team.  She has performed before former President Bill Clinton, as well as various foreign dignitaries.

Alicia Guinn currently teaches sean-nós, set, and céilí dancing in the Seattle area. She is one of only a handful of dancers teaching sean-nós dancing in America. Alicia started dancing as an adult while living in Northern Ireland in 1997. Since then, she has studied set and sean-nós dancing in Galway, Ireland, taught Irish dance workshops for festivals across the United States, and had the honor of dancing on stage with traditional musicians like Johnny B. Connolly, and Liz Carroll and John Doyle. Her sean-nós style incorporates steps learned directly from Galway dancers including Pádraig Ó hOibicín, Róisín Ní Mhainín, Máire Áine Ní Iarnáin, Rónán Regan, and Seosamh Ó Neachtain.

Brian Ó hAirt has studied Irish at UW-Milwaukee’s Center for Celtic Studies as well as at the University of Limerick’s Irish World Music Center and the National University of Ireland—Galway. He has also spent three summers immersed in the language of the Connemara Gaeltacht and has taught Irish for the Saint-Louis branch of Cumann na Gaeilge and as well as for prestigious Washington University.  He has subsequently led language workshops and taught at various immersion programs throughout the United States.

Seán Williams has been studying the Irish language and sean-nós singing since the 1970s. She worked closely with the great sean-nós singer Joe Heaney in the final years of his life, and has recently co-written with Lillis Ó Laoire a critical and award-winning biography of Heaney’s life and works (Bright Star of the West: Joe Heaney, Irish Song-Man from Oxford University Press). A previous book, Focus: Traditional Irish Music (Routledge 2010) is currently in use in a number of universities in Ireland and North America. And her The Ethnomusicologists' Cookbook: Complete Meals from Around the World was named one of the New York Times’ Top 20 Cookbooks of 2006.  She is a professor of Irish Studies and ethnomusicology at The Evergreen State College.


All workshops will be held at A Renaissance School in Southwest Portland.  The school is located at 0234 SW Bancroft Street, between Barbur Boulevard and I-5.  PLEASE NOTE:  THE ADDRESS FOR A RENAISSANCE SCHOOL IS 0234 SW BANCROFT NOT 234 SW BANCROFT.  DON'T TRUST YOUR GPS!  When you turn from Barbur Blvd onto Bancroft, make sure you turn towards the river and I-5!  From northbound Barbur, turn RIGHT onto Bancroft; from southbound, you'll need to go past Bancroft and go up to the light at Hamilton.  Turn LEFT onto Hamilton, then follow it around until it turns into SW Kelly Avenue.  Bancroft will be the next intersection and the school will be on the immediate left after you turn onto Bancroft.

Please note that ARenaissance School has a strict "NO SHOES" policy!  That means that shoes are left by the front door.  Attendees can bring slippers, house shoes, or moccasins, or can choose to just wear thick socks.  NO shoes are to be worn anywhere in the building.

Map of Festival Location

Map of Festival Location



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