Registration for the tionól entitles you to all classes, workshops, lectures, and concerts. The schedule allows you to take two classes and one workshop over the course of the weekend. There are two concerts featuring instructors: one on Friday night and one on Saturday night. The Piper’s Chair concert on Sunday night is for attendees; there will be a sign-up sheet available on Sunday for those who want to perform.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’ve come to the tionól before, you’ll notice a few changes we’ve made for 2017

  1. Instead of having all the instructors perform at a (long) concert Saturday night, we’re  having two concerts: one Friday night and one Saturday night.
  2. We are now holding all the classes on Saturday. Pipers will stay with the same instructor all day (for the Saturday morning class and the Saturday afternoon class). We’re leaving Sunday morning as free time for you to relax or practice what you learned on Saturday, and workshops will take place Sunday afternoon. This means you will choose just one workshop in the registration form.
  3. Reedmaking will start with a drop-in pipes maintenance workshop on Saturday morning. Saturday and Sunday afternoon workshops will be beginning and advanced reedmaking workshops; these are participatory and open to all (which means when you fill out the registration form you will not see an option for the reedmaking workshop: you don’t have to pre-register for it).


Classes, which take place on Saturday, are group lessons; generally the instructor teaches everyone a tune (along with ornamentation and techniques in the context of the tune) and answers questions from students. You’ll need to choose your skill level when you register; here’s a rough guide:

Beginner: Either no prior experience or some experience with the basics of the instrument and able to play a few tunes at a slow pace with little or no ornamentation.

Intermediate: Should be able to play a variety of tunes (jigs, reels, hornpipes), have a reasonable repertory of tunes and be able to play at a reasonable dance tempo.

Advanced: Proficient on the instrument, interested in expanding technique, studying nuances of style and ornamentation.

For pipes, there are typically several levels of “intermediate,” because most of our attendees fall into that category. If you feel you’re at the low end of intermediate (e.g., playing a few years but have a limited repertoire and skill), choose “lower intermediate.” If you’ve been playing a while but don’t yet consider yourself advanced, choose “upper intermediate.”

Piping Classes

Two classes: one on Saturday morning and one on Saturday afternoon.

Basic/beginner: Traditional class; usually not more than 8 people.

Intermediate: Traditional class, up to 10 students.

Advanced: Traditional class, up to 10 students

Fiddle Classes

Fiddle classes are taught at intermediate and advanced levels and are not appropriate for beginners. Each group of fiddle students will have a turn with each of the instructors. There are two classes, one on Saturday morning and one on Saturday afternoon.


Subject-based workshops allow students to focus on the things they want to work on most. All the workshops will take place on Sunday afternoon. While some workshops may be most useful to upper intermediate or advanced students, all students are welcome to attend.

With some exceptions, workshops will be capped at 10 participants to ensure more one-on-one interaction and a higher-quality experience for everyone.

Piping Workshops

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL! Garret Barry and the Traveling Pipers of Old (Mickey Dunne)

Using interviews and recordings of his music, this will cover Tommy Reck’s piping life: learning from Leo Rowsome & John Potts, exploring some of his unique techniques, versions, and variations.

Music of the Slieveardagh Hills: Traditional Music in Tipperary and Kilkenny (John Tuohy)

This piping workshop on music in Tipperary and Kilkenny will have quite a strong emphasis on fiddle playing, including a selection of rare fiddle recordings from 1911. Fiddle players welcome!

Set-Dances: The Oldest Connection (Joey Abarta)

A workshop on set dance repertoire and execution. Includes a discussion on the difference between older and modern stepdancing, touching on tempos, feel, connection to music, etc.  Students will learn to play some actual set-dances. Demonstration and a short history by Jaclyn O’Riley.

Flat Piping: Pros, Cons, Ins, and Outs (Anthony Santoro)

The historical development of union pipes, the manufacturing of Geoff Wooff’s 216th set, and the differences between flat piping and concert pitch piping.

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL. Regulators: Ergonomics and Rhythm (Torrin Ryan)

This two-part workshop will begin with a discussion about proper ergonomics and ways to make hitting the regulator keys as easy as possible. We’ll explore some fundamental topics like where to position your set so you have easy access to the entire key bank, proper wrist pivot and contact points, and then touch on some more advanced topics such as playing notes with the thumb, hand chords/cross-chords, how your leg can be used to make seemingly impossible movements a lot easier, etc.  In the second part we will be focused on rhythmic tapping on the on/offbeat of a tune, and then maybe venturing into double-tapping, vamping, more note-focused melodic playing and so on, all while utilizing the techniques we learned in the first portion of the workshop.

From Page to Pipes (Patrick Hutchinson)

An introduction to the Goodman Collection (available both in print and online), a demonstration of some lesser-known tunes from it, and a discussion of making a setting for the pipes. Participants will learn at least one of these tunes in class.

Slow Airs (Fiachra O’Regan)

A workshop in which we will explore ways to breathe life into a slow air, looking at phrasing, emotion and interpretation, dealing with song airs but also slow melodies written for instrument. A combination of listening exercises and hands-on workshop.

Variations (Ivan Goff)

How to come up with variations and how to incorporate them.

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL. Music of Donegal (Cillian Vallely)

A hands-on workshop for those interested in learning how to adapt and play Donegal music, particularly fiddle tunes, on the pipes.

Fiddle Workshops

Music from Donegal (Brid Harper)

Brid will teach some tunes from Southwest Donegal, including barndances, mazurkas, and highlands, and also some of Tommy Peoples’ compositions. She will work with participants on some of the ornaments associated with Donegal music and give a brief background on a few of the musicians..

Dublin in My Rare Old Times (Andrew O’Brien)

The music and musicians Andrew grew up around as a member of Dublin’s musical O’Brien family, including Dinny O’Brien, his father, and his siblings such as the well-known piper Mick O’Brien and the whistle player Denis O’Brien (Donncha Ó Briain).


Reed Clinic: 10-12 AM Saturday. All are welcome to drop by to have minor reeds/pipes problems addressed.

Reedmaking Workshop. Saturday and Sunday afternoon beginner and advanced reedmaking workshops; these are participatory and open to all.



3:30 pm: Check-in/Registration begins in Pub

6:00-7:00 pm: Supper

7:30-8:00 pm: Orientation Meeting in Pub

8:00-9:00 pm: Friday night concert

9:00-10:30 pm: Slow Session in Tea Room

9:00 pm-??? Sessions, visiting, etc.


8:00-9:30 am: Breakfast

9:00-10:00 am: Registration in Dining Room

10:00 am-12:00 pm: Piping/Fiddling CLASSES

10:00 am-12:00 pm: Reed Clinic (drop-in, no limit)

12:15 pm: Group Photo outside Dining Room!

12:30-1:30 pm: Lunch

2:30-4:30 pm: Piping/Fiddling CLASSES

2:30-4:30 pm: Reedmaking workshop

4:30-6:00 pm: Free time

6:00-7:00 pm: Supper

7:30-10:00 pm: Saturday night concert

10:00 pm-??? Sessions, etc…


8:00-9:30 am: Breakfast

9:30-11:00 am Pack up and check-out for those leaving Sunday (by 11 am)

9:30-12:00 Free Time! Practice tunes, talk, relax

12:30-1:30 pm: Lunch

1:00-1:30 pm: Tionól Organizational Meeting in the Tea Room

3:00-4:30 pm: Piping/Fiddling WORKSHOPS

3:00-4:30 pm: Reedmaking workshop

4:30-6:00 pm: Free time

6:00-7:00 pm: Supper

7:30-9:30 pm: Piper’s Chair

9:30 pm -??? Sessions, etc.


8:00-9:30 am: Farewell Breakfast

10:00-11:00 am: Check-out by 11 am



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