Shandrum Céilí Band to raise Bloomfield roof this Saturday
A fundraising concert in aid of Fleadh 2020 takes place at Bloomfield House Hotel this Saturday, March 7 (8pm).
The Shandrum Céilí Band, one of only a handful of céilí bands in the long history of the coveted Senior Céilí Band competition to achieve the elusive 'three-in-a-row', are the star attraction on the night.
Shandrum have entered the history books to stand alongside legendary bands such as The Kilfenora, The Siamsa, The Ormond, The Ennis, The Táin and The Naomh Padráig Céilí Bands.
The Shandrum became only the third Céilí Band from Cork in the history of the competition to win the title three times. Incidentally, all three Cork winning bands are from the same Comhaltas Branch, Craobh Chrónáin in Freemount, north County Cork.
Having performed for President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina, and at Dublin Castle for the Official State Commemoration of the 1916 Rising, the band are now in demand across the country and abroad.
The beginning of the story for the Shandrum Céilí Band starts as most bands in any genre of music would, picking the members and having the first practice. Initially, there was only talk after a music session about the notion of putting a band forward for the senior céilí band competition for the fleadh season.
Alan Finn, the band’s leader, is an accordion and fiddle player from Buttevant, County Cork. Also from Buttevant is Mairéad Fitzgibbon, fiddle player, pianist and vocalist, who has travelled Europe extensively playing and teaching music.
Mikie O’Gorman is a fiddle player from a strong musical family in Boherbue, Cork. He began learning the fiddle when he was nine, becoming well versed in the local Sliabh Luachra style. Eddie Kiely is another fiddle player from Boherbue.
Brian O’Loughlin was born and raised in the north Clare village of Corofin. He started the flute at the age of eight. At 11 years of age, he won his first All Ireland solo title and duet title with his brother Keith.
Timmy Collins is a flute player and set dancer from Kiskeam. A native of Sliabh Luachra, he has been heavily influenced by the musicians of this unique style of traditional Irish music.
Keith O’Loughlin was born in Corofin, and started playing the banjo at the age of eight, under the tutelage of Marcus Moloney.
Tadhg O’Sullivan is a concertina player from Millstreet. He started playing music at the age of nine, learning from Lixnaw musician, Anne McAuliffe.
Aileen O’Callaghan is a piano player from Mallow and she has been teaching piano and concertina for the past 14 years. She has performed across Europe including England, France, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Italy. Ger Naughton is a musician from Newtownshandrum who started learning the concertina at the age of six from Con Herbert, competing in the Fleadh Cheoil almost every year since in underage solo, group and band competitions. Ger plays bodhrán, drums and bouzouki.