Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 3, Page 3

Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 3, Page 3
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music
volume Number
issue Content
Ceol na hEireann Irish MusicVMemories of Dan ODowdThis volume of Ceol na hEireannllrish Music is dedicated to the memory ofDan ODowd, piper, pipemaker and pipes teacher, 1903-1989 I first heard Dan ODowd playing in the Clontarf Comhaltas sessions in theHollybrook Hotel in Dublin, in the 1960s. Dan did not disappoint his listenerseither. He played airs with great feeling and dexterity and rendered dance musicwith equal skill. Tuning and balance of his pipes were always done to thehighest standards and his recordings bear this out.Getting to know Dan was an even greater pleasure, especially for us learnerpipers, unsure of whether we would make the grade at all. However, Dan wasalways encouraging, when he taught pipers, and he certainly taught many. Heregarded everyone as important. As a reed maker Dan was beyond compare,handing out reeds and painstakingly fitting chanters, drones and regulators, ofall kinds, freely passing on the results of his vast experience with great patiencein countless workshops. It was inspiring to see him work, sun-tanned, bald-headed and bespectacled, reminiscent of Mahatma Gandhi, a truly great teacher,surrounded by groups of busy learners. All were true disciples, to whom hedispensed advice, solving problems, one after another, and in between timesmaking a reed himself, getting the crow with a happy smile on his face andlater adjusting it and giving it to a grateful piper who had been distressed by abad or broken reed.Dan ODowd single-handedly did more than anyone else in our time to preservethe old pipers art of reedmaking when it was perilously close to extinction. Inall he did Dan exemplified the originating spirit of Na Plobairi Uilleann,promoting, encouraging beginners, teaching piping, reedmaking knowledge andpassing on the lore and traditions of our art. There are many of his reeds, withDAN written on the head, still being played in chanters so when we recall hismemory, we do so with the greatest esteem and regard, because in addition tohis many other endearing qualities and remarkable skills, Dan had the pricelessingredient enthusiasm.Dave Hegarty, Tralee, Co. KerryivDan 0 Dowd 1903-1989
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Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 3

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