Greetings from the Center for Irish Music,

We are busy as bees getting the Spring term up and running, planning Eigse CIM, A Gaela Event coming soon on Saturday, February 25th, and scheming with our visiting artists for the 10th Annual Minnesota Irish Music Weekend, June 9-11th!  I hope you will join us for one or all of these wonderful happenings.

I have many exciting things to share with you this month as the CIM develops and responds to changes in our administrative structure.  Please take time to read through this dense February newsletter.

First, I wish to share the big news that our beloved volunteer Assistant Director, Emily Flagstad, will be stepping down from her position on March 1st, after 9 years of exceptional volunteer service to the CIM. Emily joined the board in 2008 and became a volunteer staff person in 2009.  As Assistant Director, she has been instrumental in bringing the organization to where it is today.  Her enthusiasm, Irish sense of hospitality, attention to detail, forward-thinking administrative approach, high standards for design and writing style, not to mention support for traditional Irish music and CIM instructors laid the foundation for CIM's success.  

Emily, we look forward to "handing down the tradition" with new leadership, but we will miss you greatly.   Please join me in thanking Emily for her massive and timeless contribution to the CIM!  Emily, our wish for you is for to attend future Éigses, Open Houses, sessions and gathering as an honored guest!!  
CIM students, don't forget to bring a copy of this album home and learn a few tunes to play with Marty at the Keegan's session!

Second, I'd like to thank Laura MacKenzie for gifting enough copies of Marty McHugh's album, The Master's Choice for every CIM family to take home this week!  Copies of the cd are in a basket in the CIM lobby.  One copy per family, please.

"Martin McHugh has been the shining light and the steady rock at the center of the traditional Irish music scene in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for decades. When I first visited the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, performing with James Kelly and Paddy O'Brien in September 1978, there was already an active Irish music and dance scene with some great traditional players."   - Laura MacKenzie

Third, we are looking for volunteers for Éigse CIM, A Gaela Event (Feb 24-26), and to staff CIM's booth at the IMDA Landmark Center events on March 17th and March 19th.  Contact Brianna Hager at volunteer@centerforirishmusic.org to volunteer, and keep an eye out for the sign-up genius link.  Brianna is helping our long-time volunteer coordinator, Becky Bollinger, with the advance planning for the 2017 Éigse event.

Aja Beers is joining the CIM team!
Finally, I'd like to introduce you to Aja McCullough Beers, a new addition to CIM's administrative team!   Aja  will be working on the newsletter, planning events, coordinating event sponsorship, helping with social media, photography and many other things. She has been a part of the CIM community for five years as a volunteer and student of whistle, song, fiddle and guitar. Since graduating from Macalester College in 2008, Aja has provided communications and fundraising leadership for several Twin Cities nonprofits.  Please welcome  Aja  and introduce yourself.  We are delighted to have her as part of our team!

Thank you for being an integral part of the CIM community.  We rely on your support, as a student, volunteer or donor for everything we do, so thank you!!

-- Norah Rendell, CIM Executive Director

● Upcoming Events
Booth Volunteers Needed 
● 2015-2016 CIM Annual Report
IMDA Educational Grant
● Support CIM as You Shop

"Fund a Need" and give the gift of music 

Traditional Irish Music features many unique, rare (and often expensive) instruments such as the uilleann pipes, accordion, wooden flute and concertina. Although these instruments are of great interest to new students, the upfront cost can be prohibitive.

CIM created an instrument rental 
program in 2012 to increase accessibility to these instruments.  Dozens of students have benefitted from this wildly successful program. 

At this year's Éigse event, we will host a live "Fund-a-Need" auction to raise money for instruments we need and to launch more new students on a musical journey in 2017. 

You don't need to wait for Éigse. Visit our website and you can give the gift of music today! 

We need your help!  

There are several ways to get involved with Éigse CIM. 
  • Volunteer: There are several volunteer roles t o choose from on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Éigse including decorators, dinner servers, ushers, set up and break down crews, and more. We'll thank you for your support with a meal, fantastic music and excellent company. 
  •   Donate to the Silent Auction:    Small or large, each item featured in our silent auction will increase the excitement and success of Éigse. We are looking for a wide variety of items ranging from recordings, concerts, and lessons, to collectibles, fine art, travel opportunities, fine dining, and unique experiences. Donations must be received by February 16. 
  • Our Wall of Whiskey, Wine and Winter Ale is one of the most eye-catching displays at Éigse. Donate a bottle (or case) to help make this year's raffle the biggest yet! A donation box is available at the CIM outside of Norah Rendell's office.  
  • By sponsoring Éigse, you or your business can support the CIM while gaining visibility in the community. Talk to the community relations or marketing person at your workplace to see if sponsorship might be a good fit.  

It's not too late to register for spring group classes, ensembles, and/or private lessons at the Center for Irish Music!

Spring Term runs from January 30 through May 29. Make-up week is May 30 to June 5.
MIM logo - need better resolution

Join us for our 
10th Annual MIM Weekend
presented by the Center for Irish Music!

June 9-11, 2017

Featuring a full weekend of traditional Irish music, including:


Workshops and lectures for adults

A three-day advanced youth program

Children's programs



The Great Session Experience - June 9 at 7:00 pm 

Master Concert featuring Visiting Artists - June 10 at 7:30 pm

We are excited to announce our five world-class visiting artists!


John Carry

fiddle, banjo

Colm O'Donnell

flute, whistle and song

James Kelly


Meabh Begley

accordion, song

Sean Gavin

flute, uilleann pipes

St. Patrick's Day Volunteers Needed

The CIM will once again be at the Landmark Center for the IMDA St. Patrick's Day Irish Celebration, and we need volunteers to staff our information booth. This is a great way to get to know your fellow CIM community members, share your enthusiasm about CIM to passers-by, and to enjoy the St. Patrick's Day festivities! 

Watch your email and the CIM Facebook page for a sign up form. 

Apply for an IMDA Educational Grant 

The Irish Music and Dance Association is now accepting applications for their Educational Grants to help students of all ages pursue an interest in the traditional arts of Ireland. Since its start in 2006, the program has made grants to musicians, dancers, students of the Gaelic language, several of whom have been CIM students. 

Latest Book by Jim Rogers 
Congratulations to Jim Rogers, editor of the New Hiberian Review at the University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies, on the publication of his new book, 
Irish American Autobiography: The Divided Hearts of Athletes, Priests, Pilgrims and More

This exploration of what it means to be Irish in America would make the perfect St. Patrick's Day gift. 

The book is available here  or on Amazon.com, or you can request that your local library order a copy. 

**NEW** Irish Trad Release
A monthly column listing new CDs that have been released 
that might be of interest to our students.  

Tommy Peoples Recorded at Fiddler's Hearth  by Tommy Peoples
Featuring tunes performed live in 2005 by this master fiddler from Donegal. 


Thursday, February 2

Saturday, February 4

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin, a bilingual folk/fusion trio from Prince Edward Island, will share traditional and original music inspired by their Atlantic Canadian histories and roots, infused with pop and world rhythms.  who present traditional and original music inspired by their Atlantic Canadian histories and roots, and infused with pop and world rhythms.  7:30 at the  Celtic Junction

Sunday, February 5
Head over to Claddagh Coffee for some delicious coffee and great tunes provided by our own Young Adult Ensemble. 3:30 pm.

Monday, February 6

Thursday, February 9
Friday, February 10
The Lost Forty (Brian Miller and Randy Gosa) returns to the Celtic Junction for a concert of newly unearthed songs from the folk song heritage of the Great Lakes. 7:30 pm at the Celtic Junction.

Saturday, February 11

Friday, February 17
Enjoy songs, a reading, and author Q & A with Tom Dahill at the launch of his new boo k,  Danny Who? Four Decades in Irish Music.  7:30 at the Celtic Junction. 

Saturday, February 18
"From the Stage To Your Heart,"  Rince na Chroi's annual Irish dance show featuring the Two Tap Trio dance band and the Wild Colonial Boys, at St. Kate's  O'Shaughnessy Auditorium, 7:00pm.

Monday, February 20
CIM will be open for President's Day.

Saturday, February 25
Eigse CIM, A Gaela Event, CIM's largest social and fundraising event of the year, is a fabulous and fun evening of music, socializing, and raising critical funds to support our thriving music school!
Sunday, February 26
One World Consort and guest Laura MacKenzie perform special arrangements of Celtic-inspired music, drawing upon traditions from Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Cape Breton, and beyond along with OWC's diverse repertoire from a broad range of musical traditions. 7:00 pm at the Celtic Junction. 

Tuesday, February 28
Join Jim Rogers as he reads from his new book, Irish American Autobiography: The Divided Hearts of Athletes, Priests, Pilgrims and More. 12:00 pm, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, University of St. Thomas.

Have you had a chance to
experience CIM's 2015-16 annual report?

This easy-to-share interactive, online report includes videos, photos, and stories about our year. Brew a cup of tea, turn up the volume and enjoy this delightful, tune-filled report on a desktop, laptop or tablet with a good internet connection.


Amazon Smile - Set up your Amazon Smile account to benefit the Center for Irish Music, then use this link every time you shop. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to CIM.  

Shutterfly - Shop for photos, cards, invitations, and more and CIM receives 13% of your purchase price.  
Thank you in advance for remembering CIM as you do your online shopping!
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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.

836 Prior Avenue North  ● St. Paul, MN 55014 ● 651-815-0083