Midwest Fleadh 2018

Saint Louis, Missouri - May 11-13, 2018

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General Information

The Midwest Fleadh Cheoil (pronounced 'flah') is a the main regional traditional Irish music competition put on annually by the international Irish music organization called Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. In 2018, the fleadh will be hosted by the St. Louis Irish Arts in St. Louis, Missouri from May 11-13 at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark.

The Advanced Youth Ensemble and Starling ensembles are preparing to compete in a few of the group competitions, and would like to extend a warm invitation to all CIM students to join the group in traveling and competing in solo, duet or trios!  

In addition to the competition, the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil is an amazing opportunity to connect to the larger community of Irish musicians and the experience of enjoyment and satisfaction of focusing on becoming a better musician. We hope you will join us this year!

The Midwest Regional Fleadh - Tips and Information

  • The Fleadh atmosphere is a great gathering of musicians - it's a fun and supportive environment.
  • The goal is to have fun through meeting (playing with) and listening to other talented young traditional musicians in the Midwest.
  • Choose your tunes and songs early, making sure they are memorized with variations at least a month ahead of time.  Practice rigorously so that you can relax and enjoy yourself at the competition!
  • All competitions are open to public. Family members are encouraged to listen to competitions on Friday and Saturday, whether you know someone who is competing or not.  
  • All families, instructors and students will attend the Saturday night group competitions (Ceili Band and Grúpa Ceoil). It’s like a concert with a great lively atmosphere – the best part of the weekend.  Don't miss it, and wear your CIM t-shirts (available from the office for $15).
  • CIM supports students preparing for solo, duo and trio competitions at the fleadh.  Private weekly lessons are necessary if you would like to compete.  It takes instructors' time and expertise to come up with repertoire, variations etc.  Please respect instructors' time if you need extra time from them (you might want to book a few extra lessons, for example) and don't hesitate to contact admin@centerforirishmusic.org to help with booking this.
  • Fleadh registration deadlines and categories are rigid, so please make sure you register for the correct competitions. Contact your instructor, Executive Artistic Director Norah Rendell or Advanced Youth Ensemble director, Brian Miller with questions.


How to Register for Music Competitions

  • Go to the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil page and go to the registration page.  Here is a direct link to Feisworx
  • $25 per competition for non CCÉ members
  • You MUST register ONLINE for ALL competitions - excluding band or group dance fees (céilí bands, marching bands, grúpaí cheoil, céilí/set dance competitions).  CIM will register groups.  The registration deadline for 2018 has not been announced yet.  (Last year it was April 22nd.)


Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
1 South Broadway 
Saint Louis, Missouri, 63102
(314) 421-1776

There is a block booking set up for that weekend for "Irish Arts Fleadh".  In 2017, the rooms were $115/night.  Reserve a room as soon as you can.  The booking fills up quickly.

The Competition

Here is a link to a document prepared by CIM instructor, Brian Miller, that explains the competition categories and options for each instrument:  

Everything You Need To Know about the Midwest Regional Fleadh

Practice Fleadh - date & time tbc

CIM will host a practice fleadh (15 minute slots with an "adjudicator"). Each competitor is allowed up to 3 slots, including duos & trios depending on availability. A sign-up genius sign-up list will be posted here and circulated in advance!

Qualifying for Ireland

Musicians who place first or second in the Midwest competitions qualify to compete in Ireland at the All-Ireland Fleadh. The All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil / Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann will be in Drogheda, Co. Louth from August 12 - 19, 2018. More information is on the fleadhcheoil.ie website. For the past 4 years, a small group of CIM students have decided to make the trip with their families. All of these families are available to share information about any aspect of the trip to Ireland with you!

Charter Bus Information

Bus Reservations, Cost & Payment

  • Cost:  $100/person.  CIM student competitors will receive a $50 stipend from CIM from the CIM travel fund, only available to those who travel on the bus.
  • Deadlines for reservation & payment
    March 8th - $50 deposit due by, to reserve spot on the bus.
    April 12th - Payments in full are due.
  • To reserve, please contact us at admin@centerforirishmusic.org
  • 24-hour adult supervision is required for the weekend for competitors under age 19. Families are encouraged to make arrangements between themselves to send their children with one another.
  • All bus travelers are required to sign a 'Release and Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk Agreement' before they can board the bus. This form can be picked up at CIM or downloaded here. Please scan/mail/drop off your signed form (and a signed form for *each* traveler under 18) to the CIM Office by April 21st.

Bus Itinerary

  • DEPARTURE:  Friday, May 11 load-in at 5:00am for 5:30am departure from the Celtic Junction.  Lunch stop on the way.  Arrive in St. Louis by 4:00pm.
  • RETURN:  Sunday, May 13 at 8:00am, depart from the hotel. The trip includes a short stop for supper. 

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