November 1, 2022

The Center for Irish Music is seeking youth percussionists and a pianist to play with their youth céilí bands. Percussionists must fit into one of two age categories: Under 18 on January 1, 2023, or Under 15 on January 1, 2023. In addition, we are seeking a piano accompanist that will be Under 15 on January 1, 2023.

Both percussionists and pianist must be willing to attend weekly rehearsals on Wednesdays 5:15-6:15pm beginning March 1, and travel to the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil music competition in St. Louis, MO on the weekend of May 13th, 2023. Céilí band rehearsals are free of charge for percussionists and pianists, as long as they can travel to St. Louis with a parent for the competition. Private lessons might also be necessary. The competition takes place on May 13th at the St. Louis Ballpark Hilton.

Céilí band drumming uses a three-piece kit: snare, wood block and bass drum (with foot pedal) to play rolls, maintain a steady downbeat for the melody instruments, and switch to the wood block for planned 8-bar sections of each piece (see video for an example). We are looking for drummers and a pianist with steady rhythm and groove. The pianist provides chord accompaniment for the band on a keyboard (provided). There are 10 members in each céilí band, and other instruments may include fiddles, flutes, accordions, banjos, whistles, and concertinas. For more detailed information, please contact the Center for Irish Music - or call 651-815-0083.

Auditions will take place on Sunday, November 13 - 1:30-3:30pm at the Center for Irish Music (836 Prior Ave. N, St. Paul). At the auditions, drummers will be asked to play along with the panel on a jig (6/8 time), and a reel (4/4 time), maintaining a steady beat. Pianists will be asked to perform one short piece and then will be asked to read from a chart and play along with the panel. The charts for the two tunes (Saddle the Pony, and the Green Mountain) can be found at: (there are also recordings to practice with).

All panelists are teachers and we will walk you through the process.