Music Generation Kilkenny, in partnership with Na Píobairí Uilleann, is offering a free uilleann pipes taster session to young people as part of St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny & Kilkenny Tradfest 2022. The event will be held on Friday 18th March 2022 from 11am – 1pm at the Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle.
Members of the public will have the opportunity to listen to some accomplished uilleann pipers as well as try out the instrument for themselves with the assistance of an experienced player. They can also find out more information about upcoming classes with Music Generation Kilkenny. Try the Pipes is open to ages 10 – 18 and uilleann pipes will be made available on the day.
**This is a free event but booking is essential***
Music Generation Kilkenny established its Uilleann Pipe programme during the pandemic and young pipers from the programme took part in the 2021 virtual St. Patricks Day parade performing ‘Uilleann Pipe Dreams’. Listen to ‘Uilleann Pipe Dreams’ to hear our young pipers perform (video at the bottom of the page).
The taster sessions will be facilitated by local piper Pádraig Butler and by Fionntan Byrne of Na Píobairí Uilleann.
Music Generation is a national music education programme for children and young people, initiated by Music Network, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, and The Department of Education & Skills. Music Generation Kilkenny is managed by Kilkenny Music Education Partnership, a partnership between Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board and Kilkenny County Council.
Na Píobairí Uilleann is the society of uilleann pipers founded to promote the playing, the making, and the teaching of the instrument. Now, fifty-two years later, Na Píobairí Uilleann is a thriving arts organisation with thousands of members worldwide, dedicated to Sharing the Sound of Ireland through Access, Education, Performance and Preservation, delivered through the organisation’s commitment to excellence in values, governance and processes.
Na Píobairí Uilleann provides a regular programme of piping tuition, pipemaking tuition, music performances and publications, with a dedicated website for uilleann pipers and traditional music lovers in Ireland and beyond.
Fionntan Byrne comes from Belfast. He took up the pipes aged 17 and was taught by Tom Clarke. He has been a member of Na Píobairí Uilleann ever since. Fionntan has taught the pipes and performed regularly for Na Píobairí Uilleann over the past number of years. In 2017 he was recorded for their CD publication ‘A New Harvest’.
Fionntan holds a BA degree in History and Politics from Queen’s University, Belfast. He has experience working in retail and has also completed an internship with National Museums Northern Ireland. In his spare time, Fionntan volunteers as a youth worker in his hometown of Belfast.
Padraig Butler hails from the Kilmanagh in County Kilkenny, coming from a musical family and one of several notable musicians from this area. Introduced to the Uilleann pipes at a young age, Padraig learned the pipes from various teachers mainly at piping tionóls in the southeast of the country and at Na Píobairí Uilleann on Henrietta Street Dublin. A winner of multiple All-Ireland and Oireachtas titles, he became a regular member of concert tour groups.
Padraig is known as an Uilleann piper, but plays other instruments also, including whistle and bodhrán. He plays both ‘concert’ and ‘flat’ pitched pipes. The pipes currently played by Padraig are concert pitch set made by Alain Froment and Victor Mullally and a C set made by Geoff Wooff.
Padraig’s style is influenced by current pipers such as Mick O’Brien, Néillidh Mulligan, Jimmy O’Brien Moran, Brian McNamara, as well as taking strong example from piping legends such as Willie Clancy, Seamus Ennis and Leo Rowsome.
As a teacher Padraig has worked with different piping clubs as well as at the Comhaltas Scoil Eigse summer school. Pádraig is a Musician Educator with Music Generation Kilkenny, teaching on their Uilleann Pipe Programme.