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Irish traditional music on concertina
Florence Fahy playing the concertina, Irish traditional music on concertina, 2012; Beverly, Massachusetts;
Florence Fahy playing the concertina, Irish traditional music on concertina, 2012

Beverly, Massachusetts
Florence Fahy with concertina; Apprenticeship: Irish traditional music on concertina; 2012: Beverley, Massachusetts
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Florence P. Fahy
Beverly, MA
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Jaclyn O'Riley
Cambridge, MA
Florence Fahy grew up surrounded by Irish traditional music and dance in the small village of New Quay in County Clare. She is a 4th generation Anglo concertina player, following in the footsteps of her accomplished father, Martin Fahy. From early childhood, she studied both Irish dance and music, picking up the tin whistle at age five or six, and then starting the concertina when she was ten. The Clare style of music reflects the prevalence of set dancing. It is highly rhythmical, melodically simple, has subtle accidentals, and has a great tempo for dancers. Distinctive features of Clare concertina playing include the "single-row fingering" technique and the "double reeding" technique which involves playing in octaves. Traditionally musicians like Florence's father learned new tunes aurally, but he sent Florence to regular classes to learn how to read music. She studied with Brid Meaney, Josephine Marsh, Dymphna O'Sullivan, Tim Collins, and Michael O'Raghaillaigh, and attended weeklong music camps. She won medals in Comhaltas competitions and with the Inis Og Ceili Band won second place in the All'Ireland competition. Florence has been teaching concertina since she was 16 years old, and has continued teaching since coming to the U.S. in 2008. She takes great pride in sharing Clare concertina traditions, noting "I have a deep respect and love for the old style of Clare concertina playing and have always been a great believer in carrying on traditions that the older generation of musicians shared and still share with us."Jaclyn O'Riley also comes from a dancing background, so she equally values the importance of rhythm. Entranced by Irish traditional music since age eight, she took up Irish set dancing because she loved the music. Now she runs her own non'competitive Irish dance program for kids, choreographs, performs, and often attends informal ceili dances. Through dancing, she developed the desire to learn how to play music for other dancers. Clare has a long tradition of set dancing, and the music has a rhythm and lift meant to accompany dancers. As the tradition of concertina playing is very strong in Clare, Jaclyn is excited to develop her concertina skills with Florence. Through this apprenticeship, she hopes to improve her technique, ornamentation, style, and repertoire. Jaclyn hopes "to be able to play music that has lift and beauty, that makes people want to dance," while passing on the tradition of Irish music and dance to younger generations.
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