The Harrison and Trad Academy are proud to present a Gaelic Singing Workshop with James McDonald.
This interactive workshop will cover the following:
- overview of Irish singing styles in English and Gaelic.
- examples from different repertoires including ballads, comic songs and sean-nós songs.
- breath control and other vocal techniques for warm up and vocal health and strength.
- different styles of singing including ornamentation and variation.
- choosing songs for different occasions from pub sessions to concerts.
The workshop will run for four hours (with a break) and is open to anybody with an interest in improving their singing or expanding their repertoire. All participants will be expected to sing in groups as part of the process but will not be asked to sing solo if they would rather not.
James McDonald is a traditional singer and song-maker from County Wexford in the South East of Ireland. Since his teens he has learned directly from some of the most prominent singers in the Irish tradition including Frank Harte, Thomas McCarthy, and Paddy Berry. As founding director of the Gaelic Voices Festival, James has brought the best of Gaelic singers from Scotland and Ireland to London since 2011 for concerts and masterclasses.
As a song-collector and co-founder with Sam Lee of the Song Collectors Collective, James has recorded dozens of tradition bearers from the Irish Traveller community all over Ireland. It is from these experiences that James will share his repertoire and knowledge of many styles of singing in the Irish tradition. This will range from the ornamental ‘sean-nòs’ (old style) Gaelic to the other unaccompanied styles in the English language such as the declamatory style of the street-singing ballad sellers to the comic approach of the pub session or the Dublin music hall.
If there are any particular interests, queries or requirements you have, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate them.