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Composite image of three people playing harp and one playing cello

21 Apr 2023 - Wells International Harp and Cello School Registration is Open

Join me and some of my very favourite fellow musicians at this magical opportunity to immerse in music without any distractions. (There's no mobile phone reception in Wells) Spending a week with Shar Wallace, Stephanie Claussen, and the incomparable Morag Northey makes it more than worth the drive!

Camping Cèilidh Logo

10 Nov 2022 - Camping Cèilidh 2023 Registration

We were successful in securing the group site at Deception Pass State Park for our desired dates, so registration for Camping Cèilidh 2023 opens on November 11, 2022! Register before Oidhche Challuin (January 1, 2023) to get a valuable discount at checkout by using the promo code CALLUN!

Upcoming Events

3 Aug to 6 Aug

Camping ceilidh logo

Camping Cèilidh 2023

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, Christine Traxler, Christian Hoffman, and Suzanne Taylor, longtime colaborators in Irish and Scottish music, are looking forward to welcoming friends old and new to Camping Cèilidh! The group brings a wealth of knowledge of Irish dance tunes, Scottish Gaelic songs, and traditional Irish and Scottish songs in English that guarantee a well rounded celebration coinciding with the ancient holiday of Lughnasadh!

Group Camp Site

We have booked the group camp site at Deception Pass State Park 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.

Gentle Organization

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.

We will also be joining all together for a ceilidh each evening at which everyone is welcome to share.

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 Friday evening and another on Sunday in the late morning that you can participate in if you like.

A full schedule of events and additional details will be sent out in advance.


There are two collections of material available for purchase along with your registration; The Book of Common Tunes, and Leabhar nan Oran Cumanta (book of common songs). The Book of Common Tunes was compiled by Suzanne and Christine from the Leabhar nan Oran Cumanta is a collection of Scottish Gaelic songs compiled by Seumas. If you would like to receive your copy in advance, please get in touch after registering and we will make arrangements to get it to you.

Both will be available in print and PDF forms.


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 3rd and departure day will be Sunday, August 6th. 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.

Register now on Eventbrite!


Cancelations received by July 20th 2023 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
14 Aug to 18 Aug


International Harp and Cello School 2023

I will be teaching intermediate harp students and offering workshops to all at this prestigious event. I can't wait to spend the week with the students and my fellow presenters, Marilyn Rummel, Sharlene Wallace, Morag Northey, and more!

presented by:
Island Mountain Arts Gallery
Wells, BC


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.

Spilling the Tea on the Sìth

Harp needed: No

In this workshop I share an in depth look at several pieces of literature and other original sources to examine what the intact Gaelic traditional knowledge system tells us about the Other People. It isn't all capes and wings, I'll give away that much!

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.


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.


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.