Friday, March 15, 2013

Vol State Students in Ireland!

It’s been a fun but busy week here in central Ireland performing with Vol State’s own Bluegrass Ablaze and representing the school’s fledgling Bluegrass degree program (and promoting our new CD release!). Despite a late departure we managed to tour much of Dublin by way of a ‘hop on-hop off’ bus tour and even track down some performers in the cold wind of the Temple Bar district, before making our way to the beautiful Irish countryside.

Since Monday, we’ve performed at the Limerick Institute of Technology to a good crowd of appreciative students and faculty, completed two shows to screaming gaggles of girls at a Catholic preparatory school in Thurles, Ireland (Daniel Parnell, Bluegrass Ablaze’s bass player, is sure by now to have a fan club established among the high school girls of Thurles…), and additionally played at a beautiful historic cathedral in Cashel. We’ve even managed to squeeze in a bit of local pub “craic” (or ‘fun’ in Gaelic) at a regional venue where traditional Irish musicians taught us some Irish repertoire!

Tomorrow brings another performance in Limerick, and then home on Saturday. A busy week to be sure, but immensely rewarding and a great learning experience for students and faculty alike. The luck of the Irish has certainly been with us thus far on this memorable journey!

-Benjamin Graves, Vol State music instructor

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