Musical Showcase by The Fighting (and Sentimental) Irish Ceilí Band


Location: Stanford-Keenan Chapel

Musical Showcase by The Fighting (and Sentimental) Irish Ceilí Band   . . . all performers are students in Professor Aileen Dillane’s class: “Critical Encounters with Irish Music in North America: Performance, Text, Context”


Every Monday and Wednesday this term, class members have met with Professor Aileen Dillane, an ethnomusicologist, music professor, and musician at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, Ireland, who has visited Notre Dame this term as the Herbert Allen & Donald R. Keough Visiting Faculty Fellow and the Moore & Livingston Faculty Fellow at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies.

Students have explored the place of Irish music in the United States—first as an immigrant music and then what became a distinctly American take on what constitutes Irish music in both traditional and popular realms.

Simultaneously with their academic studies, the undergraduate students have engaged in music making themselves. While some entered the class already proficient on the piano, cello, guitar, or other instrument, everyone in the class was required to learn the tin whistle—which Professor Dillane handed around the first week—and all students were encouraged to engage with this repertoire which, for the most part, was new to them.

“My class was offered as an elective as well as a fine arts requirement,” Professor Dillane says,”so I thought it important that students develop new skills. Playing the tin whistle is one such skill, and it also gives students the opportunity to perform from repertoires encountered in class that have a rich history while being relatively simple to learn and quite affective.” 

On Wednesday night, as members of The Fighting (and Sentimental) Irish Ceilí Band, the students will present a musical "showcase”—featuring selections of Irish and Irish American music that span nearly two hundred years, from the Irish Melodies of the Poet Thomas Moore to contemporary sounds. A highlight will be Moore’s "The Minstrel Boy,” played at every football game by the Notre Dame Band.