Wexford has a rich tradition of singing and storytelling. And, Rachel Uí Fhaoláin is proud to carry on that custom.
A Traditional Singer, she actively promotes, performs, and engages with traditional/Sean Nós song, poetry, stories and music while supporting the Irish language.
Rachel is also a Comhaltas teacher with CCÉ Tuaisceart Loch Garman and has plenty of awards to her name. “I’ve won County Champion titles in both Traditional Singing (in English) and County Champion titles in Sean Nós singing,” she said. “I’ve was also crowned Leinster Champion in Sean Nós Singing in 2016 and represented Wexford in Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis.”
Rachel’s continuous promotion of Traditional Storytelling through song, stories, and poetry is achieved through both the North Wexford Traditional Singing Circle and the Ceol Mo Chroí Traditional Singing Club for Primary School Children.
“I set up North Wexford Traditional Singing Circle in 2015 to give a platform for the community to share their love of traditional/Sean Nós songs, stories, poetry, recitations and laughter. We meet on the last Tuesday of every month @ 9pm in French’s Traditional Bar in Gorey. It’s a lovely evening for all the community to come together and celebrate the rich culture that exists in Gorey.
“We have a great visitor plan in place for 2018. We had a visit from renowned traditional singer and musician Carmel Gunning from Sligo back in January. We also have an exciting year planned for our Traditional Singing Circle! Lots of great traditional songs, stories, poetry and laughter guaranteed and everyone is welcome.”
Rachel also runs the Ceol Mo Chroí Traditional Singing Club for Primary School Children in County Wexford. The classes are 45 minutes long and cover Traditional/Folk/Sean Nós repertoire in a fun and supportive environment aiming to build confidence in traditional song and the Irish language.
“We engage the children in the history, stories, and meaning surrounding each song in a fun and creative way. Our aim is to pass our beautiful traditional heritage onto the future traditional singers and storytellers. I’m passionate about bridging the gap between young and old, passing on the rich songs, poetry, stories from the North Wexford Singing Circle to the younger generation of traditional storytellers. And the children are loving it!”
Ceol Mo Chroí also offers one-on-one Traditional Singing tutoring and Traditional Singing Workshops. “We have run workshops in Gorey Library, local Primary Schools and recently collaborated with MediasKool for Culture Night 2017 in Gorey School of Art. Some of Ceol Mo Chroí students currently hold County Champion titles in Sean Nós Singing/Traditional Singing and have represented Wexford at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. One of our members is also Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann All Ireland Champion 2016 in Cómhrá Gaeilge (Conversational Irish)”.
Rachel has lots planned for 2018. In another collaboration with MediasKool, Ceol Mo Chroí produced ‘Nollaig i nGuaire 2017’ radio programme. It encapsulated everything positive culturally about North Wexford and could be heard through the sound system on Main Street, Gorey, over the festive season.
“Stay tuned!” says Rachel, “Ceol Mo Chroí and North Wexford Traditional Singing Circle have lots planned!”
Loch Garman Abú!