AmeriCeltic promotes Celtic Online Participatory & Self-Produced Streaming Events.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Join a Virtual Community
1st Sundays – Lets Learn Irish Workshop
Sundays – Loch Down Folk Club
Mondays – Traditional Irish Music Session
Mondays – Ag Teacht Le Chéile Irish Session
Tuesdays – Phoenix Folk Tune & Singaround
Wednesdays – The Trans-Atlantic Session
Wednesdays – The Pacific Evening Jam
1st Thursdays – The Ould Sod Virtual Session
Fridays – John Whelan ‘Taking Time’ Session
2nd Fridays Srùbag Scottish Gaelic Sessions
3rd Saturdays Scottish Gaelic Workshops
Ongoing – The Philo-Celtic Society
Initiating a Zoom Meeting
Since the COVID pandemic, a new cultural phenomenon for social interaction has developed, Virtual meetings using the online platform ‘Zoom’.
Participants in these online Zoom meetings are generally a warm and generous bunch. They greet newbies, and help each other learn how to participate. They work together to solve technical and performance problems and even check in on one another if someone hasn’t attended in a while.
The conversations in the chat window during these virtual events, and before and after the main event gives participants a sense of fellowship that can be otherwise hard to find. This sense of community has inspired more than one participant take well planned road trip to meet some Zoom session friends in-person. Others get together when they are traveling for business in other participants cities. When members of the community die, the group mourns their loss together.
Perhaps most importantly, these communities provide participants with a chance to do something pleasant for a few hours, and, for at least a little while, leave their worries aside.
The best way to get started is exactly like joining any human community. Assuming you have access to the Zoom client, click one of the links below at the appropriate time, and you will soon be in that virtual meeting. On the first visit, just listen to what the community is doing, and after a little while, someone will notice that you are new to the group and greet you.
If you do not have access to the Zoom client, check this webpage for information on how to install it on your device.
First Sundays Online Workshop
Let’s Learn Irish is an online Irish community, providing daily classes, conversation sessions and workshops for learners throughout the world. First established by Dr. Ronan Connolly in Washington DC in 2009, and the Let’s Learn Irish story of ‘the online Gaeltacht’ has resonated with a global online audience. Let’s Learn Irish is now the largest provider of online Irish courses and comhrá sessions for learners.
Check out their Free Workshop on the first Sunday of every month. This online session is suitable for those who are new to Irish, as well as for those who are currently studying the language! Click Here to get the Zoom Link. Attendees are welcome to stay on afterwards to ask questions and learn about the online Irish language community. They also offer a free three video self-directed phrase course, https://letslearnirish.com/courses/freeclass, you can take at a time convenient to you.
They provide daily online classes, comhrá sessions and community workshops. The Mar/Apr 2023 term, offers 11 courses each week, for all levels. Learners from all over the USA and further afield attend these classes, and since all sessions are video recorded, many more learners follow along in their own time and/or timezone each week.
The upsurge in interest in the language, and the success of the Oscar-nominated ‘An Cailín Ciúin‘, marks a watershed moment. On their website, there are links to learner profiles, articles and news from their community. Their Press page provides further insights into their story and online activities.
YouTube Videos: https://www.youtube.com/letslearnirish
Learner Profiles: LetsLearnIrish.com/member-profiles/
Contact Info: LetsLearnIrish.com/contact/
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
8:00 PM in Ireland/UK
3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
12:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Do you fancy going to the Folk Club?
Join Maria Hawthorne Boyle and her world-wide group of singing friends using Zoom, and you can give us a song or a tune from the comfort of your own home or just listen in.
This singing circle will be hosted by Andy Clapham as Caretaking Loch Down folk club while Maria Hawthorne Boyle is recovering from her illness.
Description: Andy Clapham is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Loch Down Caretaking Sundays
Join Zoom Meeting
Maria’s Meeting ID: 861 6124 5826
Andy’s email is email@example.com.
8:00 PM Ireland/UK
4:00 PM Atlantic
3:00 PM Eastern
12:00 PM Pacific
Join the Zoom Meeting!
Welcome to the ONLINE ZOOM Traditional Irish Music Session! Hosted by Mark Wallis & Alix Sandra Huntley-Speirs, we meet every Monday at 8 PM Ireland/UK | 3 PM Eastern | Noon Pacific.
All are welcome to attend to play, and/or listen and enjoy! This is a traditional Irish tune [instrument] session only.
Meeting ID: 891 5533 0559
Please also join our FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/trad.irish.music.session
11:00 PM Ireland/UK
6:00 PM Eastern
3:00 PM Pacific
Join the Zoom Meeting!
Welcome to the Ag Teacht Le Chéile Irish Session! Hosted by native Irish singer Maureen McNally, this Traditional Irish Tune and Song Session meets every Monday at 11 PM Ireland/UK | 6 PM Eastern | 3 PM Pacific, online via Zoom.
All are welcome to attend to play tunes, sing songs, read a poem, and/or listen and enjoy!
Meeting ID: 401 757 3378
Long time participant Cornelius (Connie) McEleney passed on in early 2023, but we still have his playlist, with lyrics and recordings of Connie singing 33 of his Irish songs to learn ourselves. Cornelius McEleney Collection.
Please email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Established in 2009, Phoenix Folk exists to promote performance and participation in folk music, song and dance. We offer regular folk sessions, events and ensemble opportunities, both in the North East of England and online. Additionally, we provide a range of resources aimed at helping people to engage with folk music as both participant and listener. We put participation at the centre of all that we do, and aim to provide a comfortable space where musicians of all levels of ability can experience the joy of making music with others, extend their repertoire, challenge themselves and be inspired.
On Mondays, Maurice & Marina host a Play Along tune session leading mostly Irish Traditional Music tunes at a steady pace.
On Tuesdays, Maurice & Marina host a ‘Folk Singaround’, featuring mostly (but not exclusively) folk and traditional tunes and songs from the British Isles and North America. This regularly includes acappella and self accompanied songs, tunes, poems and readings from many attendees.
On Thursdays, Maurice & Marina host another ‘Play Along’ tune session, leading lots of Celtic tunes at full speed. They have a particular interest in Northumbrian music and see their online presence as a great opportunity to share local tunes with musicians from outside the region/outside the UK.
Phoenix Folk Website: https://phoenixfolk.co.uk
Tony Becker of San Jose, California hosts this Trans-Atlantic Session for all interested parties on Wednesdays, at 8:00 PM Ireland and UK time, 3:00 PM Eastern or 12:00 PM Pacific in the USA.
Later that same evening, from 11:00 PM Eastern or 7:00 PM Pacific Time, Tony hosts the Pacific Evening Session, timed to for participants on the West Coast of the US and across the Pacific Ocean.
Both are a participatory online music events via Zoom.
Click here to Join the Zoom Meeting!
Each of these two sessions is open for a couple of hours to all who play or sing traditional music and with the obvious limitations of Zoom in that only one musician can play at a time but we go round the ‘room’ and take it in turns – no pressure though and the baton can be passed if you just want to listen.
On a good day we have a variety of tunes with instruments from pipes to melodeon, banjo to fiddle and an equal number of songs, with some from other cultures and languages like Irish or Scottish Gaelic! The participants are very friendly and we welcome everyone – it can be a good way to pick up any of the above! The only criterion is we try to have some of the offerings in Celtic traditional genre(s).
Please come along if you can!
9:00 PM Eastern Time
6:00 PM Pacific Time
On the 1st Thursday of the month, multi-instrumentalist Michael Eskin hosts the – The Ould Sod Virtual Session at 6:00 Pacific / 9:00 PM Eastern.
This easily best and most popular online session in the western hemisphere. The music is 95% Irish traditional instrumental dance tunes with an occasional song, and the participation level is massive!
The Zoom meeting information is posted on Michael’s website:
John Whelan ‘Taking Time’ Play Along Sessions
Seven-time All-Ireland Button Accordion Champion John Whelan is one of the world’s best living Irish button accordion players. John was raised in the vibrant London Irish music scene of the 1970s, and learned his craft from such legends as Lucy Farr, Roger Sherlock, Paddy Taylor, Mick O Connor and his teacher Brendan Mulkaire. Along with his All-Ireland Championships, he was twice awarded musician of the year from the Irish Music Association. He has over 15 CDs and has performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. John’s music has been featured on such TV shows as ‘Sex in the City,’ ‘History’s Mysteries’ and ‘History Detective.’ John performs with the John Whelan Band and has also teamed up with his old pal Brian Conway forming the group Gailfean, which also features Máirtin De Cógáin and Don Penzien have released their first new CD. For over a decade, John has performed ‘Monday’s with John’ every Monday evening on his Facebook Profile.
Every Friday, John hosts a free, live ‘Taking Time’ play along style slow session on Zoom at 4:00 PM Pacific time/ 7:00 PM Eastern time. It lasts for about two hours, and regularly draws attendees from around the world.
Players and listeners of all levels are very welcome to enjoy playing or hearing favorite tunes at a moderate tempo, along with the all-important warmth of connection that shared music brings into our lives, even — or rather, especially — now.
This is also a great opportunity for learning new tunes, as everybody but the session leader (John) will be muted while they play. Unlike an in-person session you can noodle along to your heart’s content, and nobody will ever know unless you tell them.
Well here we are again at the start of a new year full of hope and renewed purpose! I am delighted to be doing the slow session again and hope that many of you can make it from time to time. I have decided not to do the tune learning but am open to doing it if I have enough people, so let me know if you are interested and I will do my best to do it again before the session starts.
I have Friday and Saturdays off from work so it is a big commitment for me and a lot of work goes into compiling the tunes every week to keep things interesting for you along with getting the notices out. So this year I will be asking for any contribution you might consider to help with the cost of my time and maintaining the Zoom and Mailchimp accounts. As I explained last week I have been going to various doctors for medical issues and blood tests and while we are lucky to have medical coverage for most of it we still have a substantial portion to pay and i’m not sure what lays ahead for me. This is not a mandatory donation but I would hope that you would consider it. Thank you for all your support last year and for bringing me much joy and I look forward to that this year.
The Taking Time Slow Session will be at it’s usual time of 4pm Pacific and 7pm Eastern every Friday unless I have to go for medical testing or procedures. I apologize for the confusion last week as many people thought that Mondays With John was the session day. I have been doing Mondays since 2014 and will continue that as long as I can and of course I would love to see you then if you tune in live on Facebook.
Below is the link for today’s January 5th zoom login. I have set up 7 weeks with this same link I believe and feel free to share it with anyone you think might enjoy playing along.
On the first or second Friday of each month, Linn Phipps hosts a Srùbag Gaelic singing session online via Zoom. Linn always invites a Special Guest who sings five songs and the rest of the time is a participatory singaround.
Our next Srùbag, will be on Friday, February 23rd at 20:00 UK / Ireland time. For this one we welcome US singer Margaret Bennett as our special Guest.
As usual everyone who wants to join in to listen to or to sing a Celtic language (Scottish/Irish Gaelic, Breton or Welsh) song is very welcome, as are ceilidh songs so we can all join in.
Srùbag has become an ambassador for Gàidhlig and Celtic languages and we all enjoy joining in the Srùbag adventure, whether occasional or regular. As usual everyone who wants to join in to listen to or to sing a Celtic language (Scottish/Irish Gaelic, Breton or Welsh) song is very welcome, as are ceilidh songs so we can all join in.
There are a lot of pre-recorded ceilidhs out there – we wanted to create a space for sharing Gaelic songs live online. Scottish and Irish Gaelic songs are welcome, as are songs from the wider Celtic family such as Breton songs. We have a monthly Guest singer and additionally the song turn goes round the virtual ‘Room’. Please drop in and bring your own Srùbag (cuppa) and a song, or drop in to listen. Please see our Facebook page or contact me at email@example.com for the Zoom link and/or more information.
On the Third of Fourth Saturday of each month, Linn Phipps conducts her Learn Scottish Gaelic songs / Siansadh Workshop, for singers interested in learning a Scottish Gaelic song with no knowledge of Gaelic required. This participatory event is accessible to all online via Zoom. Check the box at left for full details.
Everyone who wants to join in to listen to or to sing a Celtic language (Scottish/Irish Gaelic, Breton or Welsh) song is very welcome, as well as other Scottish traditional singers of ceilidh songs so we can all join in.
Words, translation, phonetics, and mp3 audios of words and song will be provided on Linn’s website or by email. Over the year we can learn songs from many different genres of Gaelic song. These include waulking songs (orain luaidh), other work songs (eg rowing, milking, churning, spinning), other sea songs, dance songs (puirt-a-beul), Oran mor (big songs), laments, love songs, lullabies, night-visiting songs, piping songs, fairy/mythical creatures songs, etc. Requests welcome.
Linn Phipps is a Royal National Mod Medallist having won the Silver Pendant (the highest solo singing prize for learners of Scottish Gaelic) in 2008, along with many other national Gaelic song competitions.
For the past several years, Linn has hugely enjoyed participating as a Regular in Zoom sings around the world, now over 1000 folk and shanty sings, from Western to Eastern USA, through to Ireland (including An Goilin and SEAC), UK, Brittany, Paris and Australia.
Linn Zoom-hosts two monthly, free Zoom meetings: Learn-Gaelic-Song session and Srùbag, a monthly Gaelic/Celtic language sing based in Edinburgh. She has contributed to many to virtual folk festivals from the USA to Australia, as a Zoom host and the host of workshop sessions to Learn-a Gaelic Song. She has created a Youtube channel featuring solos songs, and collaborations with Australia, Gaelic songs ‘Cho sean ris na cnuic’ and ‘Tha mi duilich, cianail, duilich’, and ‘Amazon’ (about the burning rainforest).
Linn has issued 5 CDs: ‘Andes to Antarctica’ (live-recording from on-ship in Antarctica), Leth Linn (re-issue), Salute to Rona Lightfoot (double CD, Rona’s life and piping stories, Rona’s piping songs and piping of the tunes/ pibrochs, all on Linn’s Website to listen or buy. And a new CD as Sillertides with her co-sing partner Doug Huggins in Colorado, on bandcamp at sillertides.bandcamp.com. The CD launch concert is on the Sillertides’ new Youtube channel at https://bit.ly/3hzmYNC.
Check Linn’s website: https://linnphippsfolk.co.uk for full details.
The Philo-Celtic Society offers many Online Irish Language Zoom classes, and the in-person classes are available at The Gerry Tobin Irish Language School.
With so many different classes running at once, the school is organized using the Group membership method. There is a separate Group.io webpage for each particular Class. Join the particular Group.io ‘Group’, then ‘sign in’ to that particular webpage, and you are registered to attend that class.
Like a physical classes, the use of a separate Groups.io webpage for administration functions avoids having the teachers directly collect and email reminders to every student. To attend class, students simply point a browser at the Class webpage, and then open the Zoom link posted there. Since the meetings are video recorded, they remain accessible on Groups.io along with class materials, if one misses a class, one can always review them and ‘catch up’.
Here is a document that will guide you, step-by-step, through the registration process on Groups.io: Getting Started Guide (PDF)
The ‘Starting to Learn’ class for Absolute Beginners in the Irish language happens on Friday evenings, beginning February 2nd, and runs through to June 21st, at 8:00 PM Eastern Time / 5:00 PM Pacific Time ‘Starting to Learn’ is suitable for Absolute Beginners — This is where you start. https://groups.io/g/philo-startingtolearn.
This is Bi-lingual class for beginners in the Sean-Nós (Old-Style) of singing Irish songs in the Irish language. These Wednesday classes begin on February 7th at 1:00 PM Eastern time 10:00 AM Pacific Time, and the teachers are Bréanann Ó Catháin assisted by Sandra Ní Chinnéide. Go to https://groups.io/g/philo-Irish-memes for the Zoom link and other updates.
This class will devote an hour towards studying a variety of songs, one at a time, in Irish from our great song tradition, for pronunciation, definitions, and grammar aspects. No singing requirements are needed. The class is best suited for those who have attended the beginner Irish Song Study Group and beginner/intermediate level Irish language classes. However, all are welcome to join in for a fun way to practice pronunciation and vocabulary skills in this song only class. The first class begins Saturday February 24th at 4:00 PM Eastern time 1:00 PM Pacific Time, and the teachers are Donna Charielle and Gwen de Buitléir. Go to https://groups.io/g/philo-songbeginners for the Zoom link and other updates.
There are many more Irish language classes currently available on their Groups.io Messages webpage here: https://groups.io/g/philo-celtic-society/messages. Follow the links and sign into your class(es), and spread the word !!!
Every Zoom account, including the free ones, comes with the ability to initiate meetings hosted by that Zoom account.
Meetings initiated by paid Zoom Accounts can last up to 24 hours, but free Zoom accounts are restricted to initiating meetings that last only 40 minutes. But even free accounts they can still initiate meetings for free, and when the initial 40 minutes are up one can immediately initiate another meeting and get another 40 minutes for free. One can repeat the process as many times as desired. Of course, all the meeting attendees will need to re-join each time.
You might think this would require a new ‘link’ for each restart, but that is NOT required. Whoever starts the series of 40 minute meetings needs to be there to do the restarts too, and use their ‘Personal Meeting ID’ (PMI) option each time. This is the best way, because your ‘Personal Meeting’ link NEVER CHANGES!!!
Using your Zoom Accounts ‘Personal Meeting ID’ (PMI) is the best for recurring meetings initiated by either paid or free accounts, because the participants can use the same link every time!
The easiest way to find and/or initiate or reinitiate your ‘Personal Meeting’ is to use your Zoom Client dashboard. On computers, this icon is found on your desktop:
Click on this icon to open your Zoom Client’s ‘dashboard’:
Here you can easily see the ‘Big Orange Button’ labeled ‘New Meeting’. Don’t click it yet, (that would start the meeting), but instead, click the little ‘v’ below it, which brings up this drop down menu:
Now, make certain that the blue checkbox labeled ‘Use My Personal Meeting ID (PMI)’ is checked!
Next, notice that your Personal Meeting ID number is also shown here, and slide your cursor down, over the ‘>’ and you will get a second drop down menu:
Now, Hover and Click on the ‘Copy Invitation’ item! This puts a full copy of the usual Zoom Invitation into your computers ‘clipboard’, ready to paste into an email to all your intended meeting participants. You just need to paste the clipboard content into your email, and correct the time and/or date as needed before sending it.
Zoom provides several other ways to do all these steps, this method covers all the crucial items.
As noted above, recurring meetings, free or paid, should use the same Personal Meeting ID and passcode. This allows all the participants to join all of the series Zoom meetings by clicking the same link! It also means that the same Zoom account must start all of these meetings, and that generally means the same person must do them all. Let’s call that person the ‘Initiator’.
- The Initiator prepares a Meeting Invitation taking care that the Meeting ID etc. matches their Zoom Account’s Personal Meeting ID (PMI), and that the time and date are correct.
- The Initiator emails the Meeting Invitation to all the Participants.
- On the day of the meeting, at the appointed time, the Initiator starts the Meeting. I prefer to use the ‘Big Orange Button‘ for this, because there I can easily double check that my PMI box is checked.
- For paid accounts, the process ends here, but for free accounts, one must remember that the timer is now running, and that the meeting will end automatically in 40 minutes. This means that the Initiator can step away, but must be prepared to return just before the timer runs out to be ready to initiate a fresh meeting.
- In either case, the Initiator, (or any co-host) can use the ‘Big Red Button’ to end the meeting whenever they choose. With free accounts, they can wait for the meeting to end automatically, then choose to re-initiate a fresh meeting as often as needed. Participants will need to re-join the fresh meeting by clicking the same link as they did before.
Self-Produced LIVE Streaming Shows
Meet with your friends through your smartphone, tablet or computer
The Impact of COVID-19 on our culture
by Tony Becker and Celia Fábos-Becker
ATTENTION BANDS: Please email us your streaming event information so we can help you connect with all these ‘hunkered down’ Celtic music lovers! firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are one of these fans, ‘hunkered down’ at home, and all our largest Celtic events and festivals have been postponed or cancelled, you might be feeling a bit depressed, but as someone said, when one door closes, another opens, and so AmeriCeltic will be correcting course over the next weeks and months. You can expect AmeriCeltic to add more features on other ethnic Celtic subjects, like cooking, books like ‘Hunted and Harried’ and movies like ‘Song of the Sea’, but there is a big change in the works among Celtic performers all over this planet, and some it has already happened.
The bad news: Live Celtic music at pubs and festivals are very much a part of Celtic culture, and before there film and television, there were pubs and festivals. We were mostly prevented from enjoying these aspects of being Celtic for St. Patrick’s Day and Tartan Day this year, and may feel like we’re all missing out on all our traditional celebrations, but our Celtic musicians and other performing artists are suffering even more as March is when they make the majority of their annual income. Worse, as the quintessential ‘Gig Economy’ vocation, most musicians and other performing artists don’t have regular single employers, but are ‘independent contractors’ and may not qualify for unemployment insurance.
The good news: media service companies, including YouTube, Facebook, and Zoom etc. have recently rolled out ‘live-streaming‘ services, which offer a ‘stay at home’ option. Streaming not quite the same experience as hearing the music live in a nice cozy pub with friends or dancing to it at a festival amid the great spring sunshine and newly greened hills. Also, due to delays in Internet transmission, bands must be together in one location – not spread around the globe – and with travel prohibited in the Bay Area of California and other states and countries, (except for essentials, like groceries and medical services), how do band-mates get together without traveling to be with one another?
Some of our favorite bands are lucky to have had recent performances that someone digitized live at venues and could postthese on their Facebook, Vimeo or YouTube accounts. They could also take some videos previously posted on YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo and replay them on their Social Media accounts (Facebook, Instagram or the like).
But the ‘craic’ (fun) comes also from sharing these experiences in a LIVE environment with friends, commenting and applauding together, and since most of us have modern smartphones and/or tablets or laptops, the relatively new YouTube or Facebook Live services offer a facsimile of the in person concert experience.
On Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, while some of us were still reeling from the wholesale cancellations of our favorite Parades and Band concerts due to ‘shelter in place’ orders, a number of these same performers took advantage of them and gave us all the means and opportunity to hear them perform LIVE on our devices, safely at home with our devices, and to address their loss of income, they included a link to PayPal or other payment providers, soliciting tips/donations just like any in person concert.
For Example, on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, Culann’s Hounds organized a series of live streaming performances, on Facebook LIVE, naming it ‘Music in the Distance’. (Check out their ‘Music in the Distance’ list here: https://www.sfhounds.com/live-stream). At AmeriCeltic, we helped with publicizing their event, and posted some of these concert videos on our AmeriCeltic Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AmeriCeltic. If you missed the Facebook LIVE event, you can still find these videos there and replay them with a single click.
Other bands did similar Saint Patrick’s Day shows on platforms like YouTube Live.
The ‘shelter in place’ individual performances are best with polytonal (more than one simultaneous pitch) instruments that have both range and volume, or else looped, as Michael Mullen does in his ‘Trio of One’ shows. Guitars and harps are among the best instruments for individual performances, and though not thought of as traditionally Celtic by a few, we include pianos. A great pianist, like Eamonn Flynn, can make a piano sound like a miniature orchestra, especially with a great variety of music selections.
It’s not just music that can be live streamed. We know a great comedic magician ventriloquist who has sometimes been called ‘the best one-man family act in the SF Bay Area.’ His name is Ace Miles and he’s better known as ‘Captain Spareribs,’ with his able assistant, Maynard the cheeky monkey. We’re hoping he can be persuaded to record a short show to encourage more people to remember him now and in the future when people can schedule gigs again.
One thing we’d like to see all the performing artists do is make a short introduction to themselves and where they generally perform and how, and also, at the end of their shows, make an appeal on behalf of all musicians and other performing artists in need and urge listener-viewers to donate not just to themselves but to others to help musicians survive and help the great musical and other performing arts culture make it through these difficult times. Name a few friends among the groups that listener-viewers should look for. It’s been a long pledge break period on PBS with endless loops of the same old tribute shows, and re-runs of nearly everything else ad nauseum on most cable channels that haven’t turned into live 24-7 police coverage, infinite reruns of World War II and the Mafia’s better known, or aliens invented and built everything shows. Good music and other live performances will be new to the bored audiences of cable television!