June 30, 2023

Congratulations to the 41 Center for Irish Music students, ages 8 to 75, who competed at the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil in St. Louis on the weekend of May 12-14! The Midwest Fleadh, hosted by St. Louis Irish Arts, brought competitors from across the Midwest, from Atlanta to St. Paul to the Hilton at the Ballpark Hotel in St. Louis for two days of competitions (solo, duets, trios and groups), rollicking late-night sessions and tons of fun.

The Center for Irish Music sent four groups to compete and we are thrilled to share that they all placed first! The competing groups, made up of members from the Starling Ensemble, Advanced Youth Ensemble and An Luan adult ensemble were:

  • u15 Frank Pasquerella céili band, directed by Mary Vanorny
  • u18 Nick Coleman céili band, directed by Brian Miller
  • u18 Grúpa Ceoil, directed by Norah Rendell, and
  • Senior Grúpa Ceoil (An Luan, plus extra members), directed by Brian Miller
2023-Midwest-Fleadh-u18 grúpa DSC_9258

Above: The Center for Irish Music's u18 grúpa ceoil wowed the crowds with a beautifully-played medley of five tunes, arranged by the Center for Irish Music's Executive Artistic Director, Norah Rendell, placing first in their competition. See more photos in the slideshow below!

In addition to the groups, dozens of students competed in solo, duet and trio competitions, many placing in the top three. Many of the competitors were at the Midwest Fleadh for the first time, showing incredible dedication, perseverance and bravery! Congratulations all! We are so proud of you!

The slide show below is a sample of the proceedings at Midwest Fleadh, and does not represent all of the students, 7 instructors, and countless family members who were there.

Between all of the solo, duet, trio and group competitors, Center for Irish Music students won 20 first places, 13 second places, and 7 third placements. Competitors who place in the top two of any competition qualify to compete at the All-Ireland Fleadh in Mullingar from August 6-14. So far, many of our students plan on making the trip, and representing the Center for Irish Music in Ireland!