Teach na nAmhrán: The Song House
A stunning retreat centre for choirs and other creative groups, in falcarragh, Donegal
Can you imagine bringing your choir here, for some creative time away together?
Situated within the heart of the traditional Gaeltacht area of Donegal, Teach na nAmhrán is a perfect residential place for groups of musicians and singers to come away on creative retreat, and to connect with the vibrant traditional music scene of Ireland.
Over the past year, Candy Verney, a choir director herself, has renovated the house for her singing work: Singing on the Wild Side singing holidays, Community Choir Leader Trainings, and workshops. It is also available for hire to other creative groups as well as family holidays.
Originally named The Poets’ House, it was a centre of literary activity for over 20 years with regular visitors including Seamus Heaney.
The Song House has a beautiful sunny workshop space accommodating 35 people, with a fine singing acoustic. It can sleep 12-14, all rooms looking out onto the iconic Muckish Mountain, and there is also a B&B next door, accommodating another 6. We have had groups of up to 32 staying for the weekend, using extra local accommodation.
Lying on the Wild Atlantic Way, the drama and beauty of the local landscape takes your breath away- spectacular 3 mile sandy dune beaches, wide expanses of blue or stormy skies, the iconic Muckish mountain (the hogs back), Tory island surrounded by a skirt of turquoise sea glinting in the evening light. Historical sites, Glenveagh National Park, archaeology, the area has it all.
The local music scene is fantastic- music sessions go on most nights in local pubs, as well as music events connecting to the Gaeltacht, the Irish speaking area of Donegal. In June/July there are no less than 4 festivals going on in the area, including the Earagail Arts Festival which hosts international artists and musicians. You can still hear singers singing in the old style of ‘sean-nos’.
There are some beautiful places nearby to take a group to sing: check out my former choir Sounding It Out singing in the ruined Ray church. Our coach driver was in tears.
You can see why this landscape inspired Enya, who came from close by, and I can imagine being inspired to record an album here.
If you like the idea, but need a helping hand to work out the logistics, I can facilitate your trip so that you have the kind of trip that will stay in your soul forever. I see it as part of my job to introduce you to local musicians, artists and contacts, as well as give you ideas of where to go for hikes, swims, ancient and historical visits.
More photos and information are available on our new website: www.thesonghouseireland.com
Contact me and we can make a time to chat further.
Singing towards Change
I have also published a group of inspiring songs for choirs- Songs from Life.