‘The Trad Gathering, jointly commissioned by the BBC Proms and Return to Camden Town Festival, brought together 60 of the most talented and accomplished young traditional Irish musicians from across London, St Alban's, Cambridge and further afield to work on a 15-minute piece arranged by the internationally renowned band The London Lasses and Pete Quinn and called ‘Lasses Remixed’. Led by band members Karen Ryan and Pete Quinn, rehearsals culminated in the performance of the piece in Kensington Gardens as part of BBC Proms Folk Day in July 2008, followed by a performance at the 10th Return to Camden Town Festival and a guest appearance at Music for Youth’s Schools Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
In 2009, Return to Camden Town Festival commissioned the highly regarded Leitrim composer, Charlie Lennon to write a suite of music specifically for the group. Entitled ‘Recollections of Camden Town’ the suite contains tunes dedicated to some of the high profile musicians on the London Irish music scene in the 1950s and 60s. It was premiered at the 2009 Return to Camden Town Festival and was performed again at the 60th Anniversary Celebrations of the Festival of Britain in the Royal Festival Hall in 2011.
To date, projects by The Trad Gathering have involved students recommended by their teachers from the London Irish Music School (taught by Colette Keaveney), Meitheal Cheoil (taught by Kathy Walton and Karen Ryan), Sharon Kelly Music School, St Alban’s Comhaltas Group (taught by John Devine), Cambridge Comhaltas, East London Comhaltas (taught by Maureen and Sinéad Linane), Feith an Cheoil (taught by Eilish Byrne Whelehan), Marian Gill’s School of Music, Gael Music (taught by Luke Daniels) and the Mulkere Academy of Irish Music.
The Trad Gathering
Recollections of Camden Town, suite composed by Charlie Lennon 2009 (words by Reg Hall)
POLKAS: Julia Clifford’s, Reg Hall’s, Lucy Farr’s
FLINGS: Danny Meehan’s, Paddy Boyle’s
PLANXTY: Katie, Katie Cara mo Chroí
REELS: Roger’s Reel, Tommy Maguire’s