Martin McHugh, an accordionist who kept Irish traditional music alive in Minnesota after a previous generation of players disappeared and, over the decades of music-making that followed, inspired an extraordinary revival with his soulful renditions of jigs, reels and other tunes, died this past week at his home in St. Paul. He was 92. McHugh emigrated from rural Ireland in the 1940s, joining a community of traditional musicians already playing for immigrant crowds in St. Paul’s pubs and dance halls. Over the following two decades, however, older Irish players died, moved away, or indulged other pursuits.
The Center for Irish Music (CIM) has created the Celtic Cuties songbooks, a series of four music books/CDs—one for each season—that introduce families with young children to Irish traditional music. Created as a take-home resource to support the CIM’s Celtic Cuties parent-participation music classes, the enchanting books/CDs will be released for sale to the general public in 2023.
In June, we launched a new website that includes an events/classes calendar and blog (plus most everything we had on the old site). We are excited about how these new features will help to connect students, families and CIM fans with our programs, events and many activities!
Following a successful showing at the St. Louis Midwest Fleadh Cheoil, 18 CIM students and their families are traveling to Mullingar for the 2022 All-Ireland Fleadh from August 1-7th.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 14th annual Minnesota Irish Music Weekend! We were thrilled to be back in person this year. 131 adults and youth enjoyed workshops, lectures and interviews (both online and in person) with our amazing visiting master artists and regional artists. 125 people joined us for our Kickoff Celebration, 150 musicians shared tunes at the Great Session Experience, and 160 attended our Saturday night Master Artists Concert.
Each year, the Center for Irish Music awards the Fitz Memorial Scholarship to three students who have demonstrated dedication, interest in expanding their musical education, and interest in the greater Irish community. Congratulations to this year's award winners!