Royal Albert Hall celebrates Irish culture with a Champlain link.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins was recently in the United Kingdom for a state visit with Queen Elizabeth.  This visit was rather a big deal given the history the two countries have shared, and the visit will likely go a long way towards a reconciliation.

One of the events during the visit was a concert held at the Royal Albert Hall in London celebrating Irish music.  Among the star performers were Elvis Costello, Glen Hansard, Paul Brady, Lisa Hannigan, and Imelda May.  Perhaps lesser known (but still a star in our eyes) was the presence on stage of Amy Farrell-Courtney, world champion bodhran (Irish drum) player.  Amy also teaches the Champlain Abroad Dublin students how to play the bodhran as a part of Caroline Elbay’s Irish music class.

Amy Farrell-Courtney (R in black dress) onstage at the Royal Albert Hall, London for the Irish Music concert during the state visit of Irish President Michael D. Higgins.  The concert was hosted by Dermot O’Leary.

Back down to earth for Amy, as she is at the moment of writing back in the classroom teaching the basics of the Bodhran.

“On a night like this, it is great to be Irish. And it is even better to share it in the company of our friends in Britain,” President Higgins said.

Stephen Robinson
Program Director
Champlain Abroad Dublin