Posted: 30th April 2018

Last Thursday saw the Clongowes Trad group travel to the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality in the lovely surroundings of Manresa House overlooking Dublin Bay. The group was invited by the Rector, Father Michael Shiel SJ, to perform at the gathering of European Formatters.

On arrival we were greeted by Terry Howard S J, who introduced us to the group of Jesuit Formation Delegates and Tertians who had assembled from all over the world.The Irish Provincial, (erstwhile Headmaster of Clongowes) our very own Fr Leonard Moloney SJ was the speaker at the evening’s events.

The group played a half hour set comprising jigs, reels and slow airs with Ms Catherine Heslin giving a mini tutorial on the various instruments and types of dances to the assembled audience. The music was very well received and upon finishing, members of the audience chatted to the students and tried out some of the instruments.

The group was treated to a wonderful feast of pizzas and dessert and were even given some Easter eggs to raffle between them. Fully sated, the Trad ‘Bus with Fr. Shiel at the wheel returned to the college well pleased with such a great opportunity to share the beauty of our Irish musical heritage with such an international audience.

Started in 2008 by Clongowes music teacher, Ms Catherine Heslin, the Clongowes ‘Trad Group’ is a collaboration of students from all year groups as well as staff members. The group is made up of musicians playing a variety of musical instruments including the fiddle, flute, tin whistle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, cajón and bodhrán. The group meets once a week to rehearse and they are regular performers at school events as well as outside of the college.

Ms Catherine Heslin

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