Midwest Fleadh 2023
St. Louis, Missouri - May 12-14

General Information

The Midwest Fleadh Cheoil (pronounced 'flah') is the main regional traditional Irish music competition, hosted annually by a Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann branch that is based in the Midwest. In 2023, the fleadh will be hosted by St. Louis Irish Arts at the Ballpark Hilton hotel in St. Louis, Missouri on May 12-14th.

We would like to extend a warm invitation to all CIM students to attend the fleadh and compete in solo, duet or trios!  The youngest competitors will compete in the U12, on up through adults in the 'senior'/O18 competitions.

CIM's Ensemble Program will send students to compete in the U18 Grúpa Ceoil, the U18 Céilí Band, and the U15 Céilí Band competitions this year.  These groups are mostly made up of students in our Advanced Youth and Starling Ensembles, with support from some of our younger ensemble musicians.

In addition to a great opportunity to improve your skills & music through competition (including receiving comments from experienced judges/instructors in the field), the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil is an amazing opportunity to connect to a larger community of Irish musicians. You will also experience the enjoyment and satisfaction of focusing on becoming a better musician. The Fleadh atmosphere is a great gathering of musicians - it's a fun and supportive environment. The goal is to have fun through meeting and hearing other talented young traditional musicians in the Midwest.

We hope you will join us this year!

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Location

Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
1 South Broadway
St. Louis, Missouri 63102, USA
+1 314-421-1776

For Reservations, please call 1-800-581-7151 - additional details coming soon!

Bus Information

The Center for Irish Music is interested in organizing bus transportation to this year's fleadh.  To do this, we need a minimum of families/students to commit to riding the bus.  Please contact Mary Vanorny (mvanorny@centerforirishmusic.org) by March 20 to be put on the bus list.  On this date we will determine if we have met the minimum and communicate that to all that have signed up.

What to Wear

Group Competitions - refer to CIM Ceili Care Wear document. We will update this for 2023 groups soon.

Solo, duets & trios - A nice outfit that you are comfortable in, (like your CIM shirt). You will notice that the competitions are quite casual, and some competitors wear very casual clothes.

CIM LOGOWEAR for students, families and friends - Show your enthusiasm for the Center for Irish Music! We are looking for a merchandise coordinator to work with the CIM staff to order merch for our students in time for the fleadh and the Minnesota Irish Music Weekend. Contact Aja at amccullough@centerforirishmusic.org to volunteer. Thank you!

The Competitions - Information

CIM supports students preparing for solo, duet 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 these. 

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!  Attend CIM's Practice Fleadh to get your competition jitters out!

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 should plan to 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).

Duos and Trios Night - Friday, April 21, 7:00pm in the Scanlan Music Hall

All Duo and Trio groups entering fleadh competitions are encouraged to sign up for a slot at CIM's Open Mic Night: Duos & Trios only! This will be a fun way to share your hard work with a supportive audience, and get a chance to hear your peers before the fleadh.  Sign up online now!

Practice Fleadh - Saturday, April 22, 2-5pm

Mark your calendar for this free opportunity to try your tunes out for CIM instructors (20-minute slots). Sign up is open now!

Registration

  • Go to the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil page on the SLIA site. As of 1/26, registration isn't open yet.
  • Based on previous years' info, $25 per competition for non-CCÉ members (CIM students are not CCÉ members as CIM is not a Comhaltas branch)
  • You MUST register ONLINE for ALL solo/duet/trio competitions. 
  • CIM will register and cover the cost of the groups (Grupa Cheoil and Ceili Bands).

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 Mullingar, Co. Westmeath from August 6-14, 2023. More information is on the fleadhcheoil.ie website.

For several years, many CIM students have decided to make the trip to Ireland with their families, and in 2017-2019 and 2022, groups from the CIM competed in Ireland. Depending on the year, CIM has sent an instructor to the All-Ireland to support competitors, but not to chaperone.  All of these families are available to share information about any aspect of the trip to Ireland with you! Contact Norah Rendell at nrendell@centerforirishmusic.org for more information.

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