Dear Center for Irish Music supporters,

Heartfelt greetings to you and your families. I hope that this message finds you safe at home with a network of support.

The Center for Irish Music has transformed into a virtual music school! Students from Texas, Maine and Oregon have registered for our unique classes & lessons. During this unsettling time, students and instructors alike are grateful for the the opportunity to hang out online, and to continue learning Irish music.

Private lessons over Zoom have been very effective. Many of our instructors are looking for more students at this time, so don't hesitate to contact our administrator, Hannah Carr Murphy at to sign up. We are accepting new students!

CIM is on spring break this week. Spring term lessons and classes will resume for 7 more weeks on Monday, April 6th. Summer term starts on June 8th.

Like yoga, meditation, jogging, or prayer, music is a practice. During challenging times, I am thankful for my music. When I play flute and sing a song, I feel at home. My heart rate decreases, and I feel like myself.

This month, I'm sending a message of gratitude for the timeless art form of traditional Irish music, and for the modern technology that is enabling our instructors to teach during this unprecedented global health crisis. Students, volunteers, donors, and community partners, you are our community. We are here for you.

As you read the news and navigate how to get work done while caring for your loved ones, know that you have the resources to grapple with the change happening around you. Don't forget to take care of yourself, and to look within. Journal, meditate, and play music - whatever it is that brings you back to yourself. It's also okay to be sad, tired, overwhelmed and full of grief at this time.

Norah Rendell
Executive Artistic Director

*CIM students: The " students " webpage is updated on a weekly basis. We request that current students bookmark this page and check in regularly to find out about upcoming dates, deadlines, events and student-related announcements. Thank you!
Spring term classes and private lessons are currently being offered online. In-person events are cancelled through the end of April*. We are planning to host our year-end student recitals as virtual events!

  • Practice Fleadh | April 25, 2:30-6:30pm - cancelled
  • Junior Session | April 26, 1:30-3:00pm - cancelled
  • Adult Student Open Mic | May 8, 7:00-9:00pm - virtual event
  • Youth Recitals | May 10,12:00pm-6:00pm - virtual events
  • Midwest Fleadh Cheoil | May 15-17 - The hosting organization has not cancelled the Midwest Fleadh, however CIM is not recommending registration and travel until the COVID-19 crisis has settled. The Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (All-Ireland Fleadh) in Mullingar, August 2-9, has been cancelled.

Check the Students page regularly for the most up-to-date information.

*Resident partner organizations, the Celtic Junction Arts Center and O'Shea Irish Dance have also cancelled all in-person events through the end of April. Please see these organization's websites for more details about virtual class offerings.
We are waiving registration fees for these spring online classes, starting next week!
This course will present an introduction to some of the great bands — their music, influences and personnel — who have been so important to the success and growth of Irish traditional music in the last half century. Dáithí Sproule, who has played in some influential bands himself, will share music and songs and lead the class in enjoying, savoring and discussing the recordings and achievements of such bands as the Chieftains, Planxty, the Bothy Band, The Boys of the Lough. The course will be offered via Zoom.

Dates: 4/7/2020 to 5/19/2020, 7 classes
Schedule: Tuesdays, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Instructor: Dáithí Sproule
Cost: $112

Each week Dáithí Sproule will bring in some songs to learn from a different singer—some better known than others, but all exponents of fine traditional style and deserving of appreciation—including Rita Gallagher, Kevin Mitchell, Delores Keane, Cathal McConnell, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Joe Heaney, and more! It will be a wonderful way the enjoy the breadth and depth of the tradition and learn some great songs! The course will be offered via Zoom.

Dates: 4/9/2020 to 5/21/2020, 7 classes
Schedule: Thursdays 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Instructor: Dáithí Sproule
Cost: $112

Save the date for Minnesota Irish Music Weekend, June 11-14!  Minnesota Irish Music Weekend, presented by the Center for Irish Music, is a unique festival that pairs world-class traditional Irish musicians and teachers with learners of all ages for a weekend of workshops, lectures, a Great Session Experience and a rare and virtuosic Saturday night concert.

Each of our visiting artists is recognized for their musical mastery, and will offer insights and techniques to help learners tap into the deep roots of traditional Irish music.

The health and safety of our students is of utmost importance. Stay tuned for updated information about plans for the Minnesota Irish Music Weekend.

Summer is just around the corner, and we'll be announcing our full lineup of classes and camps soon. For now, our Ensemble Summer Camp is open for registration!

Ensemble Summer Camp
July 13-17, 9:30am-1:30pm
Ages 11-16
$195 before May 1st | $215 after May 1st

Calling ensemble members and anyone who is interested in playing Irish music in a group with the excellent instructors at the Center for Irish Music! This camp will include sessions, a new tune each day, guided listening, trad YouTube videos focusing on two musicians from each county each day, two try-a-new-instrument workshops and more sessions! Bring your bag lunch and we'll take a jaunt over to Newell park, weather-permitting around noon each day. Led by Mary Vanorny, Norah Rendell, senior youth teaching assistants and other CIM instructors.

The Irish Music and Dance Association is now accepting applications for their Educational Grants! This year's deadline is April 15th.

Educational Grants are designed to help students who love Irish music, dance, or other cultural traditions to continue their study, move to the next level of mastery and share their interest with others. Grant recipients are asked to bring their new skills back to the community by performing at an IMDA event in the Twin Cities.

The program is open to applicants of any age. A description of the program and background on previous recipients are available on the IMDA website.
Our friends at the Celtic Junction Arts Center started their spring quarter this week. All of their classes will be held on Zoom.

Irish Language classes with Lavinia Finnerty*

History & Literature classes with Patrick O'Donnell and Steve Griffith

Creative Arts (Writing, Celtic Knot work)

*You can study Irish language songs at with Dáithí Sproule at CIM.
If you've been itching to play music with others, some groups are finding ways to gather online via Zoom, including the Keegan's Learners' Session and the Traditional Singers Club Song Session.

The Keegan's Learners Session (KLS) has transitioned to the Virtually Unstoppable KLS. Their weekly session is happening online every Sunday from 4:00pm-6:00pm. If you'd like to sign up, contact us directly and we'll send you the info.

The Traditional Singer's Club has decided to meet on a weekly basis during the COVID-19 crisis on Sunday afternoons from 3:00-5:00pm. To find out more, join their mailing list by sending an email to Shawn McBurnie at This weekend's session will be led by CIM board member, Dave Rhees.
Did you know that CIM is selling plants through Gertens to raise funds for the Youth Travel Fund? If you have not heard about this parent-led fundraiser, it is to help fund our youth musicians travel to the fleadhs. It will hopefully be an annual fundraiser regardless of whether CIM sends a group to compete at the All Ireland Fleadh.

Gerten’s has extended the order due date to mid-April, so we have a little more time to think about something more exciting like what we want to plant in our gardens come spring! Just the thought about being outside within our own compound is exciting!
  • Order and Payments Due to CIM or Su Ann De Georgeo: April 12th (Easter Sunday), but don’t wait till then to send it in.
  • Plant Pick Up at CIM: May 1st, 2nd and 3rd (details on times and how for pick up will be made available closer to the date)
  • Details: You can pay by check or PayPal. Please write and send checks to CIM at 836 Prior Avenue North, Suite #400, St. Paul MN 55104. If by PayPal, send payment to and note in memo ‘Plant Sale’. 
  • Order Form: You can send your order electronically directly to Su Ann at, Please let her know what your payment method will be. The form is here, or on the CIM website under student info:
Dunquin, streaming live from

Norah Rendell & Brian Miller
streaming live from their home, presented by

SATURDAY, APRIL 18 | details tbc
Danny Diamond & Anna Lethert
streaming live from their home, presented by

SUNDAY, APRIL 30 | 7:00 PM
Norah Rendell & Brian Miller

These concerts are free.
Goodwill donations will be accepted during live during the performances
Support the CIM
The Center for Irish Music is a 501c3 nonprofit, and we depend on your support to continue passing down the tradition of Irish music and song. Please consider making a gift to the CIM today!
Located inside the Celtic Junction, across from Blackstack Brewery & Can Can Wonderland
This activity is made
possible by the voters of
Minnesota through
a Minnesota State Arts
Board Operating Support
grant, thanks to a
legislative appropriation
from the arts and
cultural heritage fund.