William Kennedy Piping Academy

The William Kennedy Piping Academy has become a popular feature of the Festival. It aims to bring a new dimension to the teaching and appreciation of uilleann piping through a comprehensive and immersive tutorial programme, covering all aspects of performance as well as the making and maintenance of uilleann pipes under the direction of universally respected tutors.

The Academy is designed for musicians over the age of 18.  Students under 18 will be considered with parental consent and on a case by case basis.
The course is designed for those who have a good grasp of uilleann pipes already – intermediate to advanced students only. There is a separate introduction/beginners uilleann pipes class available. Students should be comfortable learning by ear. Ideally students will also be able to read and write music, but this is less important. A sound recording device can be used by students in classes.
We hope to create a friendly and supportive environment for learning, but it is up to the individual to ensure they turn up to classes, meals and events in time and make full use of the unique opportunities the Academy provides.

Participation on the course is by online application only. Once arrangements for the 2021 Festival have been confirmed, please return to this page for a registration link.

The course in 2019 cost £120 and included the following:
ACADEMY TUITION – 8 hours tuition divided into 4 x 2 hour sessions. That year’s tutors were Seán Potts, Mickey Dunne, ‘Blackie’ O’Connell, Máire Ní Ghráda, Tommy Keane, Pádraic Keane, Mark Redmond, Brian McNamara, Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn, Cillian Vallely, Emer Mayock, Neillidh Mulligan, Kevin Rowsome, Pádraig McGovern and Diarmaid Moynihan.
PIPE MAKING & MAINTENANCE CLASS – a one-to-one session in our dedicated uilleann pipe workshop with pipemaker Éamonn Curran.
Lecture – ‘Lord Rossmore’ by Dr Sean McElwaine with Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn.
Pipers & Their Pipes – a live interview/Q&A with Mickey Dunne & Neillidh Mulligan.
Meet The Pipemaker – a live interview with Robbie Hughes.
MEALS – Dinner provided on Friday and Saturday evening, and lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
FESTIVAL PASS – Free entry to all ticketed Festival concerts over the weekend.