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Upcoming Events

4 Aug to 7 Aug

2022
overhead view of eight people around a campfire with a small harp

Do you play, sing, or just enjoy Irish, Scottish, or Cape Breton traditional music and camping? Pitch your tent at Deception Pass State Park for a casual weekend of tunes, songs, food, drink, and fun in the woods by the beach.

Your Hosts

Seumas Gagne and Christine Traxler, longtime colaborators in Irish and Scottish music, are looking forward to welcoming friends old and new to this exciting new evolution of Camping Cèilidh! Christine's focus in Irish dance tunes is as deep as Seumas' in Scottish Gaelic songs so you're guaranteed a well rounded musical celebration.

Group Camp Site

We will be booking the group camp site at Deception Pass State Park (hopefully) which can host around 40 people. It is on the eastern shore of Cranberry lake, so a little further removed from the ocean, but also far removed from the rest of the camp sites. Read more about Deception Pass and the group camp site.

A Little Organization

Camping Cèilidh will include a little bit of gentle organization this time to go along with our group camp setting. Times and places will be set aside for specific sessions to be sure that tune players get to play lots of tunes and singers get to sing lots of songs. For sessions that are themed, we will provide a list of tunes or songs that will be included so you can be sure you will be able to participate. Immersive game-play Scottish Gaelic language sessions will also be presented.

There will be a potluck on Thursday evening and another on Sunday in the late morning that you can participate in if you like.

Registration

Along with a group camp site and some organizational work comes a registration process. Once the group site is secured (on November 4th, 2021) we will be creating an EventBrite event to collect registration information and fees. The cost will be calculated to cover our expenses and will kept as low as possible.

Registration is available to those 18 years or older. Kids are welcome to attend with their parents or guardians.

Arrival day will be Thursday, August 4th and departure day will be Sunday, August 7th. If you decide to arrive late or leave early that will not change what it costs us for the group site, so no change to your registration fee will be offered.

Cancelations

Cancelations received by July 20th 2022 will receive a full refund. Cancelations received between July 21st and August 3rd will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be available for cancelations received during the event.

Covid Safety

Camping is one of the safest things you can do in a global pandemic because the great outdoors has great air circulation! Of course, we will be following current CDC guidance for infection prevention.

Proof of vaccination will be required for those eligible to get it. Those who are unable to receive vaccination for medical reasons will be accommodated. Those who choose to not be vaccinated for any non-medical reason will not be permitted to attend.

presented by:
Deception Pass State Park
Oak Harbor, WA

Discography

scary looking man with booze

Baile Ard

Seumas' first solo CD containing a mix of traditional and original songs in Scottish Gaelic as well as traditional dance tunes. Additional musicians featured on this recording include Christine Traxler on fiddle, Colin Isler on cello, Tom Fallat on percussion.
Cover of Prophecy and Blessing

Prophecy and Blessing

Seumas was a founding member of Wicked Celts, who were active in the mid 1990s in Seattle. Christine Traxler has continued to collaborate with Seumas on many projects including his first solo CD, Baile Ard.

Current Workshops

Workshop and festival organizers! This is a list of my current topic-oriented workshops. I can also provide group instruction in level-based repertoire and style development in my area of expertise, Scottish Gaelic music.

All levels

Beginning Scottish Gaelic

Harp needed: No

Using the innovative Language Hunters teaching method, participants will be shocked and how much useful, conversational Gaelic they can acquire in just 90 minutes.

Four Great Gaelic Songs for Every Harper

Harp needed: No

In this workshop, participants will learn the melodies, suggested chords, and the words of the refrain to four great Scottish Gaelic songs. Prior attendance at Introduction to Scottish Gaelic For Singing Harpers would be very helpful.

Introduction to Scottish Gaelic for Singing Harpers

Harp needed: No

Scottish Gaelic song literature is one of the richest sources of material for both singers and harpers. The differences in the way Gaelic and English use letters to represent sounds, however, presents a barrier. In this workshop, Seumas will introduce you to pronouncing the Gaelic from the printed page. Participants will come away with a solid understanding of how Gaelic represents its sounds in writing, and will learn the refrain of a popular Gaelic song using their new knowledge.

Secrets of Classical Harp Technique

Harp needed: Yes

In the folk harp world we often hear pedal harpists talking about technique, but what does that really mean? In this workshop I teach just the basics of classical harp technique tailored for the folk harper. You'll learn about tone, hand and arm position, how to use a metronome to take your playing to the next level, no matter what level you are at now.

What Kind of Song Is That?

Harp needed: No

There are many different kinds of Scottish Gaelic songs. Participants in this workshop will sample one of each and learn to tell the difference. Help and advice on arranging the different forms will also be presented.

Intermediate

Common Figures in Dance Tunes

Harp needed: Yes

In this workshop I teach a series of exercises that I developed to help harpers get some of the common melodic figures from Scottish and Irish dance tunes into their fingers. We'll progress slowly from a snail's pace toward performance tempo and see how far we get!

Rocking the Background

Harp needed: Yes

Guitar players can create tremendous energy and flow with the rhythms they strum when they accompany singers and tune players. We can do the same thing with our harps, and in this workshop I'll show you how without ever looking at a note of written music.

Waulking Songs on the Harp

Harp needed: Yes

The Scottish Gaelic song literature boasts several unique song forms; waulking songs among them. In this workshop, participants will learn a few of the traditions around this ancient tradition of wool milling and learn the refrains and melodies of several songs to take back to their harps.

Advanced

Cape Breton Fiddle Tunes on the Harp

Harp needed: Yes

A great source of dance tunes that are playable on the harp is the literature of Cape Breton fiddlers. In this workshop, advanced players will learn several Cape Breton tunes of difference types that Seumas learned from the playing of Wendy MacIsaac.