Grúpa Cheoil in Barcelona
Seventeen young Borris musicians set of from the school on Thursday 25th of October last to perform and participate at the 'Creative Connexions' festival in Sitges, Barcelona, Spain. The trip was a partnership between the school and Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann.
The festival aims to bring all aspects of Irish and Catalan culture together and has a focus on youth groups. Borris was one of six youth groups in total to attend.
Significant fundraising took place over the preceding four months beginning at the Leinster Fleadh in Bagenalstown in July and culminating in a Gala Concert in the Step House Hotel in Borris in Early September.
The itinerary for the weekend was jam packed for the Borris musicians and the two accompanying teachers: Mr. Ciarán Somers and Ms. Aileen Brennan.
On Friday 26th the group attended a workshop and performance by legendary veteran Irish fiddle player, John Sheahan from the Dubliners. The group learned and arranged a number of John's compositions including the well-known Marino Waltz for the event.
The group were joined by Comhaltas branches for impromptu Irish Music sessions and a parade through the medieval streets of the town.
On Saturday the group led workshop facilitated by Mr. Somers and Ms Brennan with four of the other groups. The three minute Challenge involved forming new groups with complete strangers from other counties to present a three minute performance to their peers and tutors.
There was also opportunity to learn some Catalan music and the group attended a workshop with Dr. Martin Tourish (Altan) and local Catalan musicians.
The final performance of the weekend took place on Sunday 28th October at the Prado Gardens where the final set was greeted with rapturous applause.