Tom Netzel asked the following on May 24:
>For those of us who couldn't attend and have never been to a fleadh, can you
>give us a bit more information?
Complete rules are given below.
>Does everyone compete in a different room, standing in front of a judge or is
>it held in more of an auditorium?
There are several competitions going on at the same time. In your own
competition, you stand/sit in front of the judge(s). There will probably be
an audience consisting of friends, relatives, and people interested in Irish
>I gather different age groups and events go on all day, so is there a big
>turn out? Are spectators/listeners encouraged to attend or do just friends
>and relations show up?
Spectators are encouraged. In Ireland, over 100,000 were in Clonmell the
weekend of the Fleadh. There were several thousand people in the audience at
the Senior Ceili band competition. Senior fiddle competition was in an
auditorium that was packed.
>Is there an admission fee or fee for competitors? Is this enough of those
>frequently asked questions? :)
>-Tom in NC
The following is copied from the Rules for Competition for the US Midwest
Fleadh Cheoil which has been discussed recently on ITRAD; the same rules
apply to the east coast competition in NY and to the All-Ireland.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
"Fleadh Cheoil" is the official title for a musical festival sponsored by a
unit of Comhaltus Ceoltoiri Eireann. Fleadhanna Cheoil shall be held to
propagate, consolidate and perpetuate our Irish traditional music, both vocal
and intrumental, by presenting it in a manner worthy of its dignity, and in
accordance with the aims and objects of Comhaltus. It is not intended that
competitions should be merely a means by which a competitor may gain a prize
or defeat a rival, but rather as a medium in which competitors may pace each
other on the road to excellence.
1. Though all competitions are open to all competitors, qualified by age,
theyh are aimed at those willing to travel to Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. Only
those who have secured First or Second Prize at the Midwest fleadh are
eligible to compete at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in August 1994. (Note:
This rule as stated is only for the Midwest Fleadh. To generalize, you must
be awarded 1st or 2nd in whatever Regional fleadh you compete in to qualify
for the All-Ireland. In the US there are two regional Fleadhs, the Midwest
and the East Coast. CMoses)
2. Only traditional Irish music will be accepted in all competiitons.
3. Each tune shall be played twice only.
4. Electronic or amplified instruments are not permitted in any category.
5. A satisfactory standard is necessary fro the awarding of First or any
6. Entry must reach the fleadh committee....
7. The fleadh secretary may request proof of age for those competing in
under 18 categories.
8. The Adjudicator is the sole judge of merit; in all other matters, the
dicision of the fleadh committee shall be final. Any complaingt must be
accompanied by a $50 fee; refunds will be at the discretion of the Fleadh
Committee. Complaints will be reviewed by the Fleadh Executive Commttee
immediately following the fleadh.
9. No communication with the adjudicator is permitted on the day of the
competition, except through the steward.
10. Competitors not present when called may be disqualified.
11. A copy of the adjudication sheet, for the competitors own entry only, are
$1 per sheet. Requests should be made on the day of the fleadh.
12. In duets and trios, full names and addresses of all participants must by
listed on the back of the entry form. Having qualified, no substitution is
13. In solo competitions, a compeitor must compete in own age group only. In
duets, trios and ceili bands, a competitor may play in a higher age group,
but can play in only one of the aformentioned competitions on the same
14. Including competitions for miscellaneous instruments, compettors are
allowed to compete on one instrument only in any one competition.
15. Tape recording is not permitted.
$7 per entrant for one solo competition; $3 for each additional solo
competition. (A family will not have to pay more than $50 in fees.) Entry
fee for Ceili Bands and Groupai Cheoil is $30. Entry fees for Duets, Trios,
Marching Bands, and Pipe Bands is $3 per member.
CLASSES OF MUSIC
Air (slow or lively), Jig (double, single, slip), Slide, Reel, Polka,
Hornpipe, March, Set Dance
GRADE (AGE CLASSIFICATION)
(Age as of January 1, 1994)
"a" = under 12 years old
"b" = 12-15
"c" = 15-18
"d" = Over 18
"e" = Any age
"f" = Under 18
SOLO COMPETITION CATEGORIES
1. Fiddle a/b/c/d
2. Two Row Buttom Accordian a/b/c/d
3. Concert Flute a/b/c/d
4. Tin Whistle (6 hole penny whistle styles only) a/b/c/d
5. Piano Accordian a/b/c/d
6. Concertina a/b/c/d
7. Uilleann Pipes a/b/c/d
8. Harp a/b/c/d
9. Mouth Organ a/b/c/d
10. Banjo a/b/c/d
11. Mandolin a/b/c/d
12. Piano a/b/c/d
13. One Row Melodian (Old Style) a/b/c/d
14. Bodhran a/b/c/d
15. War Pipes a/b/c/d
16. Miscellaneous Instruments 9any instrument not listed above) a/b/c/d
SOLO COMPETITION REQUIREMENTS
Grades "a" and "b": One tune from each of TWO music classes listed above.
Grade "c": One tune from each of THREE music classes. Grade "d": One tune
from each of FOUR classes, but must include a Slow Air in the case of fiddle,
tin whistle, concert flute, and uillean pipes.
SOLO SLOW AIRS CATEGORIES
18. Fiddle a/b/c/d
19. Uillean Pipes a/b/c/d
20. Concert Flute a/b/c/d
21. Tin Whistle a/b/c/d
SOLO SLOW AIR REQUIREMENTS
(Only airs based on the tradtional airs and not on modern arrangements shall
be accepted.) Grade "a": TWO airs. Grades "b" and "c": THREE Airs. Grade
"d": Competitor submits a list of EIGHT Airs; the adjudicator selects THREE
for the competitor to play.
22. Duet a/b/c/d
23. Trio a/b/c/d
24. Ceili Band a/b/c/d
25. Grupai Cheoil/Instrumental Group (as distinct from a ceili band a/b/c/d
26. Accordian Band f/d
27. Flute Band a/b/c/d
28. Miscellaneous f/d
29. Pipe Band e
30. Accompaniment a/b/c/d
Accompaniment: This competion is restricted to the following instruments:
piano, harp, guitar, and bouzouki-type instrumnets. The aim of the
competition is to adjudicate on the accompaniment only.
Duets and Trios: A Senior Duet shall comprise two different instruments; a
Senior Trio shall comprise at least two different instruments (not applicable
to other grades). In the case of Duets and Trios, all participants must at
all times play the melody of the tune. Grades "a" and "b" must play one tune
from each of TWO music classes. Grade "c" must play one tune from each of
THREE classes. Grade "d", one tune from each of FOUR classes.
Ceili Bands: (Minimum of 5 menbers, maximum of 10.) Grades "a" and "b", one
tune from each of TWO classes. Grade "c", two reels in succession plus one
tune from each of TWO other classes. Grade "d": Two reels in succession
plus a maximum of two tunes from each of THREE other classes.
Grupai Cheoil: (Minimum of 4 members, maximum of 20 members.) Own choice of
music for a maximum of seven minutes. Marks will be deducted for exceeding
or falling short of this time. Whistlers and lilters may be included, as
well as players of bodhrans and bones, but pianos and drums are not
permitted. Efforts should be made to play tunes other than jigs, reels, and
hornpipes, e.g., slow airs, set dances, old marches, and harp music, to give
a good variety of music. Attention shoul also be given to instrumentation
and presentation. Slow airs are to be played on solo instruments only.
Marching Bands shall play two marches. (I'm not sure if this means #28 or
Pipe Bands Shall play TWO marches and ONE hornpipe.
SOLO TRADITIONAL SINGING and OTHER COMPETITION CATEGORIES
30. Irish Singing: Ladies a/b/c/d
31. Irish Singing: Men a/b/c/d
32. English Singing: Ladies a/b/c/d
33. English Singing: Men a/b/c/d
34. Whistling a/b/c/d
35. Lilting a/b/c/d
36. Newly Composed Song: Irish a/b/c/d
37. Newly Composed Song: English a/b/c/d
SOLO TRADITIONAL SINGING AND OTHER COMPETITION REQUIREMENTS
Lyrics for newly composed songs must be submitted in writing with entry.
(Songs in waltz time should be avoided at all grades.)
Grade"a": Each competitor shall chosse and sing TWO full songs--slow and
lively. No list of songs is required in this age group. Grades "b" and "c":
Competitors shall submit to the adjudicator a list of FOUR songs--TWO slow
and TWO lively (indicate shich are "lively"). Each competitor must sing two
songs, one slow and one lively; the competitor shall select one song, the
adjudicator will then select the song from the other category. Grade "d":
Competitors submit to the adjudicator a list of SIX songs--Four slow and two
lively (indicating which are "lively". The competitor shall select one song
from either category, the the adjudicator will then select the second song
from the other category.