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480 Na Casaidigh (the Cassidys). A Dublin family group of musicians which came to prominence in the early 1980s using vocal harmonies, singing in Irish and harp-music arrangements. Much of this reflected the influence of their father, Seán Ó Casaide, a prominent collector and arranger of Irish music, and that of the tenor, Frank Patterson, with whom they recorded a joint album of Irish music. Their debut album in 1984 was followed by seven others, of which Óró Na Casaidigh won a platinum disc (15k) for Irish sales in 1997. They have broadcast on TV in Ireland and abroad, and performed in leading concert halls: the Royal Albert (London), NCH (Dublin), Carnegie and Radio City (New York) and Massey (Toronto). Tours have included the Nyon Festival (Switzerland) and the Philadelphia Folk Festival, events in forty-six US states and the open-air Summer Festival in Bratislava (Slovakia). The group’s members are: Odhrán (pipes, fiddle), Aongus (fiddle), Fionntán (viola), Feargus (guitar, bodhrán), Seathrún (keyboard, bouzouki), Ciarán (bass, bodhrán), Mary Nugent (flute, whistle). Na Píobairí Uilleann. (lit.‘the uilleann pipers’).A body representing and composed of uilleann pipe players. It was set up in October 1968 out of An Tionól Píobaireachta at Bettystown, Co. Louth which had been organised by Breandán Breathnach and Séamus Mac Mathúna (then oifigeach ceoil of CCÉ). Fifty pipers took part, engaging in formal discussions and casual music-making. Seán Reid proposed setting up a formal association of pipers; this was unanimously agreed. Shortly afterwards, a meeting in Dublin adopted a constitution as an organisation. By request, Labhrás Ó Murchú of CCÉ addressed this meeting, urging the pipers to disband the association, and instead to promote piping as individual members of CCÉ branches. His offer was debated at length, but rejected. Instead,CCÉ was invited to send an observer (who should be a piper) to all future meetings of the new organisation, ‘Na Píobairí Uilleann’. NPU’s aims were set out as: promotion and encouragement of the playing of the uilleann or union pipes; collection and preservation of pipe music; assembling of material about pipes and pipers; issuing of publications about piping and the affairs of the association; spreading of knowledge of reed-making and the promotion of pipe-making. structure. Fundamental to the NPU was that all full members should be pipers. Leo Rowsome and Séamus Ennis were made its first patrons. Its first council members were: chair, Breandán Breathnach; secretary, Brian Vallely; treasurer, Dan O’Dowd; committee, Pat Mitchell, Paddy Moloney, Finbar McLaughlin and Seán Reid. In March 1969 the publication An Píobaire was circulated as a newsletter, and the processes of sourcing reed-making materials, initiating an The pipers of Ireland: Ballymahon, Co. Longford, NPU tionól, 1969 N Na Píobairí Uilleann 481 archive, gathering publications, classes in piping and pipe-making were all begun. NPU eventually established a base in the Plasterer’s Hall, Essex Street, Dublin in 1975, moving to its present base at Henrietta Street in 1979. This premises was refurbished under various grants,AnCo and private labour schemes, funding raised by appeal, benefit concert and promotion touring.The large premises has meeting, office, recording, archive and practice space,and a performance area.An instrument loan scheme is in operation,piping classes are organised throughout the country on a regular basis,teachers are organised to facilitate summer schools and exhibitions are held throughout the country.Pipers travel abroad to a network of international festivals; ‘tionóil’ are held in Europe, USA and Australia. Facilities have been provided for classes in other instruments and in set dancing, and the building is home to the Brooks Academy set dancers.There are some 1,400 pipers registered as members of the NPU in Ireland, and 2,100 abroad. There are now fifty pipe makers at work (compared to five in 1968) and there is now a very high level of literacy in music among pipers. The body has a full-time organiser and An Chomhairle Ealaíon/the Arts Council has been aiding its funding. [EDI] activities. There are c.3,600 members, a majority of whom, being pipers, are full members. The staff of five includes Gay McKeon (CEO), Gerry Lyons (administrator),Terry Moylan (archivist ), Sandie Purcell (admin. assistant) and John Blake (supervisor of a FÁS LTI scheme).The FÁS scheme is engaged in cataloguing and digitising...


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