Manx traditional music group Barrule has been spreading the word about Manx music across the Isle of Man through a series of concerts and workshops, aimed at pupils in the Island’s secondary schools.
The mini tour, organised and funded by the Manx Heritage Foundation and the Department of Education and Children, opened at King William’s College with a concert, followed by an instrumental workshop which demonstrated how easy it is for classically trained musicians to move into the traditional genre. This was later confirmed by the young musicians themselves as they quickly mastered by ear the tunes Nelson’s Tonic and Manannan Song, using a range of instruments from cello to saxophone.
Barrule also used this opportunity to promote the popular Manx music youth movement Bree, which is open to musicians aged 10 – 18 and run by the Manx Heritage Foundation.
The busy all-male line-up then moved on to Castle Rushen High School, the Queen Elizabeth II High School and Ramsey Grammar School the following day, before ending the tour at Ballakermeen High School and St Ninian’s Lower School.
With rave reviews of their debut eponymous album in the UK music press and valuable airplay on a number of BBC radio stations these young music makers are rapidly making a name for themselves and Manx music both on and off the Island.
The trio, consisting of Tom Callister, Adam Rhodes and Jamie Smith, have also just announced that they will be performing at the prestigious world music festival WOMAD later this summer.
A sell-out public concert at the Centenary Centre in Peel drew an enthusiastic audience who enjoyed a selection of tunes from their first album and some new numbers that they have recently been working on.
During the evening a cheque was presented to Graham Crowe of the Isle of Man Agricultural Benevolent Trust by members of the group following their successful efforts to promote the Manx tune/song Kirree Fo Niaghtey, after excessive snowfall in the west of the Island hit local farmers. Donations from this recording by Barrule, which featured Greg Joughin of The Mollag Band, totalled over £6,000.
© June 2013 (inc photos)