Round Ireland with a Flute

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TP41441195.jpg

Round Ireland with a Flute

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I've known my flute-playing hero Sir James Galway since the age of 11, when I first played for Sir James in a masterclass in our native Northern Ireland. Both I and Sir James attended the 39th Old Boys' Flute Band in our formative years, (though 50 years apart) in Belfast's Donegall Pass, under the watchful eye of Billy Dunwoody MBE. 
 
In honour of Sir James' 65th birthday in December 2004, I arranged the Belfast Hornpipe in recognition of what Jimmy's playing has meant to me throughout my life. This is because the Belfast Hornpipe was the very first piece I ever learned to play on ANY instrument, (penny-whislte in this case) and I learnt it first by ear, and later by heart, from listening to my dad's copy of Jimmy's LP Songs for Annie.

Unknown to me at the time – Sir James then played this birthday present to a TV audience of millions on Live at Lincoln Center a few weeks later. This broadcast led to an invitation from Theodore Presser Company to create a collection of similar arrangements, leading to this book.

From Theodore Presser's site:

"A charming collection of seven arrangements of traditional Irish tunes and medleys for flute and piano, expertly arranged by esteemed Irish flutist Gareth McLearnon. 'Round Ireland with a Flute includes popular favorites like "Danny Boy," "Down by the Salley Gardens," and "Belfast Hornpipe." With a variety of styles and tempos from which to choose, intermediate and advanced players will heartily enjoy this playable, yet impressive musical tour of Ireland for the flute."