The Alabama Folk School is hosting its first Irish weekend next Friday through Sunday. Students can learn to play the fiddle, mandolin or hammered dulcimer. They can also take up Irish Ceili dancing or make Celtic spoons in woodcarving class.
On Saturday night, there will be a traditional Irish dinner party featuring the Tuscaloosa-based band Henri's Notions, fiddler Tom Morley and mandolin player Rick Cunningham.
Director Danielle Dunbar said the folk school's advisory board has given weekend sessions several themes in the past.
"We've had other types of music classes that give a character to our line-up of art classes for a weekend. We've done bluegrass and old time music. To have Irish music lent the way for us to have other fun activities too," Dunbar said.
Irish music classes will be offered to beginners as well as more advanced students.
Cunningham will be teaching a workshop on the role of the mandolin in traditional Irish music while Morley will be introducing intermediate fiddlers to jigs and reels from the Irish fiddlers' repertoire.
Rob Angus will be leading an intermediate to advanced level class on Irish tunes for the hammered dulcimer.
Katie Cox, who runs an Irish dancing studio in Birmingham, will be sharing her knowledge of Ireland's oldest form of dancing, Ceili.
Other classes will be dedicated to woodcarving, silkscreen printing and splint-style chair weaving.
The registration deadline was July 8. However, late registrations can be directed to Dunbar at 563-9990.
The concert on Saturday will begin at 6 p.m. and include an Irish supper of beef brisket, colcannon (Irish potatoes with cabbage and onion cooked into it with a lucky charm hidden), Irish soda bread and steamed vegetables.
Tickets for that event are $15 per person or $25 per couple. There is no charge for folk school students.
For advanced tickets, call 387-1806.