The Comhaltas Session

29 November 2006, 4:11 PM GMT

The Comhaltas Session

Comhaltas sessions are run by local branches on a regular basis, perhaps weekly or monthly. Most sessions by their nature have a particular ethos and the Comhaltas session is no exception. It will normally be structured to include a wide range of activities depending on the interests and talents of the local branch membership. Some pointers worth considering in running a good Comhaltas session are outlined below.

Do all musicians participate?
Make time available for the younger, less experienced players during the course of the session (we all have to start somewhere!).
Remember the singers
Traditional singing is also a very important part of our cultural heritage and a song or two throughout the evening is always very welcome in any session.
Are there dancers present?
Where dancers are present, musicians should be asked to play for at least one set and/or céilí dance during the night.
Are visiting musicians present?
Always make visitors welcome and encourage them to participate fully in the session.
Fear a’Tí/Bean a’Tí
Probably the most important consideration in running a successful Comhaltas session is the availability of a good Fear a’Tí or Bean a’Tí. It’s a difficult role to fulfill as it requires someone who monitors proceedings to ensure everyone is catered for without overtly interfering with the session. Maybe one of the musicians or a singer might take on this task on a given night - perhaps the session leader. Alternatively one of the branch officers might volunteer for it.

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