Blas International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music & Dance

Monday 21st June - Thursday 1st July
  • Blas 2021 (Pic Maurice Gunning)
  • 2019 Glackin and Hyde (Pic Maurice Gunning)
  • Blas concert Donal Lunny photo by Maurice Gunning

Blas 2021 is going virtual! Now in its 25th year, the Blas International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance will host its annual programme online from 21st June to 1st July.

Blas has firmly established itself as one of Ireland’s most prestigious university accredited summer schools, drawing students from all over the world to gain access to the expertise of some of Ireland’s finest artists. This year’s virtual Blas will retain its core principles and continue to provide access to the wisdom and tutelage of eminent figures of the Traditional world, which this year includes Dónal Lunny, Paddy Glackin, Tara Breen, Louise Mulcahy, Karan Casey, Jim Higgins, Tadhg Ó Meachair, and Liam Scanlon, to name but a few.

The new virtual programme will feature a one week intensive with an optional second academic week for students seeking university accreditation. In addition to expert tuition and masterclasses, the first week includes a whole range of activities such as live interactive Irish language and culture classes, live-streamed lectures on Irish traditional music and dance topics, recorded lunchtime concerts, as well as live-streamed evening concerts. Students who wish to earn university accreditation (worth 3 undergraduate credits or 6 ECTS credits) can opt to participate in the second academic week of Blas. This week includes recorded academic lectures and daily interactive tutorials with leading academics in the field of Irish music, song, and dance from the Irish World Academy.

Following its launch, a range of public events will take place throughout the summer school, including the annual Blas Bilingual Interview conducted by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Áine Hensey, where our guest will be dancer and choreographer Dr. Breandán de Gallaí. Blas is also delighted to announce a new public lecture, In Conversation With, which features presenter Carl Corcoran speaking with legendary musicians Dónal Lunny and Paddy Glackin about their lives in Irish music.

This year, Blas will also run in conjunction with the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention which will be hosted virtually by the Irish World Academy from 23rd-27th June. NAFCo combines a festival with an academic conference, featuring interactive workshops, public lectures, and daily concerts. Many of these events will be open to registered Blas students as well, further enhancing the Blas experience.

For further information on all aspects of the Blas Summer School, including bursaries, visit www.blas.ie or contact Pamela Cotter, Director, by email (Pamela.Cotter@ul.ie).

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