With the historical backdrop of the 1916 commemorations and the excitement of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann coming to Ennis in 2016, Clare County Council believes that this is an exciting time to conduct such a residency in the county. Whilst drawing on the strong traditions of the county, the residency offers the opportunity to a singer to leave a lasting legacy on the development of traditional singing amongst young people as well as an opportunity to focus on their own singing / projects which may be in train.
The Arts Office of Clare County Council has long recognised the distinct value and role of traditional singing in the traditional arts in the county. In 2010 Clare Arts Office worked with the Kilmaley Voluntary Housing Scheme to commission John Tunney, traditional singer, to compose three new songs in the traditional vein. This was the first traditional singing commission to be awarded under the Per Cent for Art Scheme. See http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/cominfo/arts/sing_us_another_story_may09.htm
In 2012, Clare County Library, supported by the County Arts Office, launched the web resource Music of Clare at www.clarelibrary.ie. Featuring hundreds of tunes and some of Ireland's best known musicians, this resource has received global recognition for its quality and content. See http://music.clarelibrary.ie/fotoweb/
In March 2015, following the Music of Clare, the Songs and Singers of Clare was launched. This web resource features over 400 recordings of singers from West Clare recorded in England and West Clare in the 1960's and 1970's by Jim Carroll and Pat McKenzie. See http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/songs/cmc/index.htm
September 2014 saw the first tranche of singing projects take place in over 20 schools in Clare by the Clare Music Education Partnership. These projects continue today with some of the repertoire selected from the Songs and Singers of Clare.
It is envisaged that the use of these library website resources will be a key component of the residency.
The Traditional Singer in Residence is an initiative of Clare County Council, supported by the Arts Council and Clare Music Education Partnership.