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Dedicated to handing down the tradition to the next generation of musicians in our community.

In This Issue:
Important Dates for students
Harvest Home CD Available!
Paddy O'Brien Concert this Friday
Instructor's Tune Corner
CIM family receives IMDA grant


Celtic Line


Friday, November 1

CIM's An Luan ensemble performs from 7-9pm at Claddagh Coffee Cafe on West 7th Street in St. Paul.


Todd Menton performs at the Dubliner Pub in St. Paul from 



Friday, November 8

Meet the Gaelic Harp with Ann Heymann - a seminar/performance at The Celtic Junction at 7:30pm.


Thursday, November 14

Give to the Max Day 2013!  See info., at right.


Saturday, November 16

IMDA Honors Tom Dahill - 7pm at The Celtic Junction.  


Friday, November 19

Todd Menton performs at the Dubliner Pub in St. Paul from 9:00pm-12:30am. 


Saturday, November 23

Todd Menton performs at the Dubliner Pub in St. Paul from 9:00pm-12:30am. 


Monday, November 25 - Sunday, December 1

No classes at CIM for Thanksgiving Break - classes resume on Monday, December 2.


Friday, November 29

Hanneke Cassel and Mike Block perform at The Celtic Junction, 7pm.



*Eigse CIM, A Gaela Event - Feb. 22nd

*Minnesota Irish Music Weekend 2014 - June 13th-15th  


This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all of the possible events within the Irish community in the Twin Cities.  For more listings, please visit the IMDA's Event Calendar, which is a great schedule of local events.  Visit the CIM Calendar for CIM Outreach Performances and the most up-to-date information on CIM classes, events, and recitals.


FALL TERM runs  Sept. 9-Jan. 26


November 14 - Give to the Max Day


Nov. 25-Dec. 1 - Closed for Thanksgiving


December 8 - FALL RECITALS 1-6pm


Dec. 23-Jan. 5 - Closed for holidays


Jan. 27-Feb. 2 - Make-up week for missed or rescheduled lessons from the Fall term.


All dates are subject to change. The most up-to-date information is always posted on the CIM calendar.

A Harvest Home 
CIM live recordings vol. 5 featuring:
Felix Dolan, Harry Bradley, Jesse Smith, James & John Kelly, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Devin Shepherd, Sean Gavin and Eileen Gannon
Purchase your copy of volume 5 at the CIM office for $15 or email Erika.  
The CD features artwork by local uilleann piper, graphic artist, and friend of CIM, Patrick Maun.


Volumes 1-4 are available online on
The  Center For Irish Music is on Facebook!

FB page screen grab


As of Oct. 31, we have 2,213 Fans!  WOW!  Become a fan of the Center for Irish Music on Facebook to share ideas, keep up-to-date on current CIM events, and share your love of Irish music with the larger Irish community! Please
 tell your friends.
Like us on Facebook
  LinkedIn logo 


CIM has a LinkedIn group and we encourage CIM members to contact each other via this social networking site.


More information about the IMDA's Educational Grant Program
The Irish Music & Dance Association offers educational grants to help students of any age to pursue an interest in the traditional arts of Ireland. Grants may be used for classes, fees, travel expenses, equipment purchases or other purpose which supports the applicant's learning.  

Grant applications for next year are due April 15, 2014.  Click here for complete details. 


As always, we welcome your feedback and comments.  Please feel free to contact us at any time at:
The Center for Irish Music
@The Celtic Junction
836 Prior Avenue North
St. Paul, MN  55104
Dear CIM supporters and students,

     I love this time of the year at the Center for Irish Music! As an instructor, November is recital preparation time and I get to enjoy listening to my students as they delve a little into the deeper into the tunes and songs they started learning in September.  As the Executive Director, I have a chance to sit back and reflect on the past year as I prepare for Give to the Max Day and start planning for Eigse and MIM with an incredible team of volunteers, board members, and instructors.  This year, I am so excited about where the CIM is.  The school is growing, our students are becoming better players, and we are getting out in the community more than ever before.

     Please take some time to read through the information and stories in this month's newsetter, including a story about one of our family ensembles!  We at CIM are so proud to be a part of this thriving community.  In this month of giving thanks, we give thanks for all of you.

-Norah Rendell, 
CIM Executive Director
Support CIM
on Give to the Max Day

Give to the Max Day is a day for Minnesotans to come together to raise crucial funds for nonprofits in the 24 hours starting at midnight on Thursday, November 14th and running through midnight on November 15th. 

Last year, CIM donors broke our previous records by giving over $10,000 in this 24 hours of fundraising. We humbly ask you to help us match that success on Give to the Max Day 2013.   As you know, the Center for Irish Music is making a difference every day by offering culturally unique programming, sharing the beauty of Irish music through public performances, and enriching our community by bringing in highly respected "bearers of the tradition" to the Twin Cities for concerts and workshops. Your generous support means more and expanded programs


Together, we hope to raise more than $12,000.00 on Give to the Max Day and we're counting on your help!

You may make a donation via our Razoo page at any time, but remember that your donation will not count towards our Give to the Max Day total unless you donate between
midnight on Thursday, November 15th and midnight on November 14th.  

The Center for Irish Music is a very positive and rewarding experience for my daughters, not only teaching them about music and culture, but also 
about the values of friendship, support and team-
work. Belonging to such a strong and supportive community is a feeling they will carry with them throughout the rest of their lives.       
                        -Chris Eliasen, board member and parent

Instructor's Corner
Each month this year, one of our instructors will share some of his or her ideas with you; album recommendations, YouTube clips or practice tips.  We hope you get some inspiration from this new addition to our newsletter.
This month:  Patrick McCormick, CIM uilleann pipes instructor

Wallop the Spot Patrick D'Arcy
I consider this album to be one of the best in terms of capturing the majesty of uilleann pipe music. D'Arcy affords us the opportunity to hear all three of his differently pitched pipes, providing subtle variety for every listener to enjoy. He also plays some whistle and ends the album with a light-hearted song.  
Favorite Track:   7. Planxtys: Sí Beag Sí Mór/Tabhair Dom Do Lámh

North by Northwest Eliot Grasso
When I feel like stomping or dancing, I play this rip-roaring album featuring uilleann pipes/flute from Eliot Grasso and banjo/guitar from Dave Cory. Eliot's pipes have a unique tonal quality - which he masterfully exploits - and the technique is uncanny.  Favorite Track:  12. Reels: Smith O'Couster/The Jolly Tinker/Farewell to Ireland

  • Tune & Maintain: Tuning and maintenance can seem burdensome at points in our extreme continental climate. Don't let it get to you. The more you practice in tune with a working instrument, the more you'll enjoy it. Also, spending the time to really understand your tuning process will shorten the amount of time you have to spend doing so.
  • Practice like you are recording: After you've got an arrangement of tunes, play them as if you were sitting in front of a microphone on stage or at the recording studio. This will take some of the pressure off when you are actually playing for a captive audience.
  • Simplify your playing: Do this to find new approaches to tunes. Never underestimate the beauty of simplicity. Packing in unnecessary embellishments can quickly turn your folk music from elegant masterpieces to cluttered mumbles.
Patrick McCormick by Jon Shea
Photo courtesy of Jon Shea
Patrick McCormick grew up in St. Paul learning the Scottish Highland pipes from a young age. He learned uilleann pipes from Saint Paul piper Tom Klein.  In addition to teaching uilleann pipes at The Center for Irish Music, Pat is active in the Great Northern Pipers Club, the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band, and the Macalester Pipe Band. He can be seen playing highland pipes with WookieFoot.
CIM family ensemble receives IMDA grant 
IF 2013
The Padden family performs on the River Stage at the Irish Fair of MN
     The Center For Irish Music is a place where students of all ages can hear and learn about traditional Irish music through lessons, concerts and special events. Many families come through our doors each week with different talents and interests. One of them, the Padden family, spent their summer learning how to blend those talents. Ella, 14, plays harp, tin whistle and sings. Connor, 17, plays fiddle, mandolin and harmonica. Greg plays guitar and sings.
     In February, the Padden family had their first "real" performance for a small dinner party hosted as a fundraiser. The performance went well and sparked a desire to work on improving their playing as an ensemble. Through the generosity of an Educational Grant from the Irish Music and Dance Association (see more info., at left), the Padden family was able to schedule family ensemble lessons this summer with Norah Rendell and Brian Miller.
     Jigs, reels, polkas, marches, airs....over the course of ten weeks they worked on more than 12 tunes and 2 songs. Norah and Brian helped the Paddens rearrange old set lists, learn new tunes, explore music theory and focus on key skills like: transitions between songs, rhythm and dynamics. But Greg said what he liked best was just spending time playing music with his kids.
     The summer passed quickly and was marked by two highlights for the Paddens. One was the opportunity to play at the Irish Fair of Minnesota on the River Stage as the opening act for CIM's Irish Fair Performance Ensemble (photo, above). The enthusiastic audience cheered on all the CIM performers and everyone left the stage smiling. The other highlight was a family trip to Grand Portage, Minnesota at the "tip of the Arrowhead." The Paddens brought their instruments along on the trip and found a special place to play....on top of Hollow Rock in Lake Superior (see photos, at left). The incredible scenery and serenity of the water made for a unique venue. People from nearby cabins brought chairs down to the beach and listened to their impromptu concert. And together, they shared one more new experience. Lake Superior made her presence known by sending strong winds to play Ella's harp unassisted. The strings rang with an older kind of traditional music. Definitely a special place, and a wonderful ending to a great summer.