Details on the 2018 Northeast Tionól

Classes | Workshops | Reedmaking | Schedule

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.

Note: If you’ve come to the tionól in previous years, a few things have changed:

  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. You’ll have one instructor for the Saturday morning class and switch to another instructor for the Saturday afternoon class to expose you to a variety of teaching and playing styles. We’re leaving Sunday morning as free time for you to relax or practice what you learned on Saturday (note that Liam O’Connor will give a lecture on the music of Tommy Potts at 11am on Sunday), and the workshops will take place Sunday afternoon.
  3. Reedmaking will start with a drop-in reed clinic on Saturday morning. Saturday and Sunday afternoon workshops will be devoted to the reedmaking workshop; this is participatory and open to all.


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.”


Two classes: one on Saturday morning and one on Saturday afternoon. You’ll have one instructor in the morning and a different instructor in the 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 [NOTE: Fiddle classes and workshops are sold out as of September 26, 2018]

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.


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.


THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL! Exploring Carolan’s Music (Benedict Koehler and Hilari Farrington)

Carolan’s music was a product of the rapidly changing Ireland of his time, and has shown remarkable staying power to this day, including in the piping tradition. Benedict and Hilari will offer some thoughts on fitting Carolan’s music to the pipes and on “playing nicely with others”, through teaching a pipes-friendly tune. Time permitting, they will play a few of their favourites for you. Note that this workshop is open to, and welcomes, players of all melody instruments..

Playing Slow Airs (Ivan Goff)

This workshop will explore approaches for playing slow airs on the pipes.

Regulators (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 central topics like where to position your set for easy access to the entire key bank, proper wrist pivot and contact points, and then touch on advanced topics like playing notes with the thumb, hand chords/cross-chords, and using your leg to make seemingly impossible movements a lot easier. New this year, the second part will include listening to recordings of pipers that are well-known for their regulator playing and then compare to see the variety of styles that are out there. We’ll then focus on rhythmic tapping to the on/offbeat of a tune, 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.

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL! Taking a Tune Apart (Eamonn Dillon)

In this workshop, we’ll work on understanding a tune from the bones outward, taking a couple of jigs and a couple of hornpipes as a starting point to discuss techniques such as rhythm, phrasing, and ornamentation that can be applied to other tunes. Students are encouraged to bring in a tune they’re working on for discussion.  Workshop limited to 5 students to give everyone time and attention.

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL! Articulation and Ornamentation (Caoimhín Ó Fearghaill)

In this hands-on workshop, we will discuss the finer points of chanter control, particularly for solo playing. We will talk about how articulation and ornamentation are related, and how they affect the flow and the lilt of a tune.

Marching with Leo (Kieran O’Hare and Tom Creegan)

This workshop will explore the lively and spirited marching-time tunes played most notably by Leo Rowsome. The workshop will include aspects of chanter and regulator technique utilised by Leo to achieve his unmistakable sound and style.

Developing a Tune (Cillian Vallely)

Participants will learn how to develop a tune, starting with learning the basic structure and moving on through ornamentation and variations.


THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL! Exploring the Spirit of the Tune (Yvonne Casey)

Explore ways to use such tools as emphasis, ornaments, and phrasing to find the shape and spirit of a tune to both respect the original and create the new.

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL! The Changing Styles of Paddy Cronin (Liam O’Connor)

Liam will present a talk on Paddy Cronin of Gneeveguilla and how his music evolved after emigrating to the USA in 1949. Liam interviewed Paddy in 2012 just two years before his passing and videoed the occasion.


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. Reed Skills 101: Surviving and Thriving

Throughout the weekend, we will work on the basic reed tweaking and maintenance skills all pipers need in order to keep the pipes humming: do’s and don’t’s, wrapping, moving bridles, and tuning.  If participants so desire, we can dedicate the Sunday afternoon session to the process of making a reed from start to finish.



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)

9:30-11:00 Free Time! Practice tunes, talk, relax

11:00-12:00 Lecture on The Music of Tommy Potts, by Liam O’Connor

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



One thought on “Details

Comments are closed.