Each year, in conjunction with the Chicago Celtic Fest, the Chicago Uilleann Piper's Club organizes and hosts the Chicago Tionol. The tionol is a chance for uilleann pipe players of all ages and ability to gather for a rousing weekend of tunes, classes and sessions to perpetuate the playing of the Irish uilleann pipes. Classes are held in the DePaul University Music Mart building in the "loop" or downtown area of Chicago. The Music Mart building is located two blocks from Grant Park, within easy walking distance of Chicago's Celtic Fest.
Players of all levels are welcome, from total beginners to very advanced. Classes are broken up by ability, and participants have a range of different classes that can be taken each year. Classes will vary from year to year, but there will always be classes on uilleann pipe playing aimed to beginner, intermediate and advanced players. As well, at least one prominent pipe maker will attend each year, and classes in reed making and pipe maintenance are also available. Tuition for the full day of classes on Saturday is only $60.00, and there is no charge for participation in the Mighty Session that night or any of the activities on Sunday at Celtic Fest.
We are exceptionally fortunate that we are hosted in conjunction with Chicago's annual Celtic Fest. Each year, in Grant Park in the center of downtown Chicago, the City of Chicago holds a massive Celtic festival. The Celtic Fest Chicago celebrates the music of the Celtic regions of Brittany, France, Ireland, Galicia, Spain, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Cornwall, Wales, Nova Scotia Canada and the United States. The City brings some of the top Celtic musicians (traditional, rock and beyond) from all over the world to perform in several tents as well as the Petrillo band shell in Grant Park. The Fest runs over two days, with food, music, vendors as well as entertainment and regularly draws crowds in the hundreds of thousands. There is a tent dedicated specifically to Irish uilleann piping, with pipers performing non-stop from noon to 6:00 p.m. each day. Best of all, the Fest is totally FREE! For more information on Celtic Fest, as well as a list of performers and show times, visit http://www.ci.chi.il.us/SpecialEvents/Festivals/Celtic2002/