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One Week to Go! Are You Ready?

We are!  After nearly six months of preparation for our virtual Retreat, we are excited to get this Irish music extravaganza underway. So many wonderful volunteers have rolled up their sleeves and have worked hard for us to get to this point.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  The good news is that we have had to make only a few changes to our SCHEDULE.  And the best news of all, we will finish recording and editing all of our pre-recorded lessons and concerts by the time the retreat begins. That means we can focus all of our attention managing the154 live events during our Retreat.  Tune up your instruments, warm up your voices or get your dancing shoes out!  The Retreat starts next Sunday!    

Thanks Joanie and Mirella!

It's always wonderful when instructors say nice things about the Retreat! Joanie Madden and Mirella Murray will make their second appearance at O'Flaherty's teaching whistle and piano accordion respectively.
We want to make sure you know about all the great events at the Retreat and how to access them, so we have created several ways to communicate with you.  The O'Flaherty Weekly has been distributed as an email for the past month.  Starting next Sunday, it will take the form of a weekly video from the Retreat Director Ken Fleming.  Then on Oct. 19th, we will begin publishing The Daily Craic: a daily bulletin to keep you informed about the schedule and offerings, features about our instructors, Retreat highlights, tunes of the day, and much more.  Both will appear in The Commons for in Google Classroom.  

Need Tech Help?

We have scheduled some training meetings to walk you through how to use Google Classroom, Google Meet, Slack and how to adjust their settings to improve your online experience.  You only need to attend one meeting, and we will upload a recording of one of the meetings for later viewing.  Here are the dates and times:

3-4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 11th (CDT)
7-8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 13th (CDT)

We will also host Participant Q&A Meetings right before the Retreat begins to answer any last-minute questions:

10-11 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 18th (CDT)
3-4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 18th (CDT)

In the meantime, we have created some short videos to help explain and demonstrate a few areas: 

We have also created an introduction to our student communication platform, Slack:
Reminder:  You can ask for help within Slack by posting in #tech-support channel in Slack or by emailing

Pun of the Week

Actually, here are several defining puns that we received:

Arbitrator: A cook that leaves Arby’s to work at McDonald’s.
Avoidable: What a bullfighter tries to do.
Bernadette: The act of torching your mortgage.
Burglarize: What a crook sees with.
Control: A short, ugly inmate.
Counterfeiters: Workers who put together kitchen cabinets.
Eclipse: What an English barber does for a living.
Eyedropper: A clumsy ophthalmologist.
Heroes: What a guy in a canoe does.
Left Bank: What a robber did when his bag was full of loot.
Misty: How golfers create divots.
Parasites: What you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Pharmacists: A helper on the farm.
Polarize: What penguins see with.
Primate: Removing your spouse from in front of the TV.
Relief: What trees do each spring.
Rubberneck: What you can do to relax your wife.
Selfish: What the owner of a seafood store does.
Subdued: A guy that works on submarines.
Sudafed: Bring litigation against a government official. 

(Submitted by Cliff Moses)

Pre-Retreat Events

We have several events worth noting before the Retreat begins:

Tuesday, Oct. 13th at 8 p.m. (CDT)  Instructor Concerts from Oct. 19th, 2019

  • Rose Conway Flanagan, Pat Broaders, Anna Colliton, Margie Mulvihill (Guest), Patty Furlong (Guest), John Paul Mulvihill (Guest)
  • Pat Broaders, Anna Colliton, Liz Knowles
  • Kevin Crawford, John Doyle, Colin Farrell, Danielle Enblom

Thursday, Oct. 15th at 8 p.m. (CDT)  Instructor Concerts from Oct. 22nd, 2017

  • John Liestman, Alan Murray, Cara Wildman, Laura Feddersen (Guest)
  • Brendan Nolan
  • Pauline Conneely, Alan Murray, Laura Feddersen (Guest), Katie Linnane (Guest)
  • Brianna Brown, Paul Dryer
  • Liz Carroll, Maldon Meehan
  • Brid Harper, Tony O’Connell
  • All of the 2017 Instructors

Friday, Oct. 16th at 8 p.m. (CDT)  Instructor Concerts from Oct. 21st, 2018

  • Rick Holt, Pete Strickler, Annmarie Acosta, Dirk Mewes (Guest)
  • Jack Talty, Liam O'Connor, Nolan Ladewski
  • Haley Richardson
  • Brian Miller, Éilís Kennedy, Niamh Ní Charra
  • Tommy & Saundra O’Sullivan
  • All of the 2018 Instructors

Saturday, Oct. 17th at 3-5 p.m. (CDT)  Open Session with Peggy Fleming and Ken Fleming

Saturday, Oct. 17th at 8 p.m. (CDT)  Instructor Concerts from Oct. 20th, 2019

  • Brian McNamara, Sue Richards, Therese Honey (Guest)
  • Brian McGrath, Karen Tweed
  • Joseph Carmichael, Brian Finnegan, Derek Hickey, Oisín Mac Diarmada
  • All of the 2019 Instructors
If you miss seeing any of these concerts on the nights they are scheduled, they will remain available for viewing in The Commons until the Retreat officially begins on October 18th.
Help Us Spread the Word!
Please tell your friends and fellow Irish music lovers about the retreat and its many benefits.  Here are some points you can make:
  • The schedule is designed for working folks.  The lessons are pre-recorded and all of the live events will take place on weeknights and weekends.
  • Most live events will be recorded.  If you miss something, you can view it later.  In fact, you will have up to seven weeks to view all of the recorded Retreat content.
  • he pre-recorded lessons allow you to go at your own pace.  You can stop, repeat, slow down, speed up and move on when you decide.
  • You only pay for what you want.  We priced items separately to make the Retreat both more affordable and more flexible.
  • The prices are very reasonable.  The lessons with these internationally respected musicians/teachers average just $16.67 per lesson.
For more details, send them to!  (By the way, for a PDF of the flyer above, click on it.)

Please join our FACEBOOK GROUP!

We are doing a countdown with videos from past instructors, running contests, and enjoying some craic leading up to the Retreat. 

Looking for Previous Updates?
Go to UPDATES or in The Commons for all of our emails to our students.

Thank You for Your Support!

2020 Major Sponsors

Southwest Celtic Music Association

2020 Key Sponsors

Robert Moore

2020 Contributing Sponsors

Jack Dingler
Lisha Haughton & Jeremy Welch
Mike Martin

2020 Retreat Partners

Perseus Aryani
Joseph Beckley
James Bradley
Daniel Chisolm
Pamela Copus

Betsy Cummings
Catherine Davey
Lainie Ereno

Michael Harris
Kyle Herzog
John Ivy

Kevin Kane
Michael and Joyce Keyes
Jim Langley
Tom McArdle
Niamh McGillicuddy
Laura Michaelides

Corey Minyard
Carl Morrissey

Cliff Moses
Amanda Pangle
Cappy Phipps
Brian Regan
James Rix
Kendall Rogers

Brian Shaw
Kenny Tweedy
Wayne White

O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat Facebook Group
O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat Website
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Organized by the Traditional Irish Music Education Society (TIMES)
a Texas Non-Profit Organization