The Irish Music School of Chicago presents the Chief O’Neill Musical Pilgrimage on June 28, A Music-Filled Journey into Irish Culture, Music and History in Chicago

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Presented as part of Francis O’Neill Irish Arts Week, the Pilgrimage is a bus tour to the mausoleum of Chief O’Neill, “the man who saved Irish music in America.”

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"Without the efforts of Chief Francis O'Neill, much of our musical heritage would have disappeared."

The Irish Music School of Chicago, the Midwest’s premiere organization dedicated to preserving and passing on the living tradition of Irish music, song and dance, presents their annual Francis O’Neill Irish Arts Week, June 27 – July 3, 2015. The week pays homage to Captain Francis O’Neill, an Irish-born Chief of Police in Chicago who, at the beginning of the 20th Century, preserved traditional Irish music in America for future generations through his meticulous cataloging of tunes.

The centerpiece of the celebration is the Chief O'Neill Musical Pilgrimage on Sunday, June 28, a full day of activity that includes brunch, a bus tour to the mausoleum of Francis O’Neill, other Irish music historical Chicago locations, and an evening of celebratory Irish music.

“Francis O’Neill played a crucial role in the preservation and dissemination of traditional Irish music”, says Seán Cleland, founder and Executive Director of the Irish Music School of Chicago. “It’s very possible that without his efforts, much of our musical heritage would have disappeared. He’s our inspiration, and that’s why we celebrate Irish Arts Week in his honor.”

The Chief O'Neill Musical Pilgrimage begins with full Irish buffet brunch at Chief O'Neill's Restaurant & Pub, 3471 N. Elston Avenue in Chicago, at 12:30PM. From there, a lively music-filled chartered bus proceeds to Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street on Chicago’s South Side, to visit the mausoleum of Chief O’Neill, where musicians will play, sing and share stories in his honor. No music experience is necessary and this event is open to both children and adults.

Participants will also see other historic Chicago traditional Irish music sites, then return to the restaurant in time for the Irish Music School’s monthly Irish Heritage Hooley at 5PM. Tickets are $40 including brunch, and are available at http://irishmusicschool.org/chief-oneill-musical-pilgrimage or by calling (773) 412-5082.

Francis O’Neill Irish Arts Week is a week of musical instruction and performance that includes a Kids Day Camp to be held at the First Free Church, 5255 N. Ashland Avenue in Chicago, and an Adult Immersion Program for beginners through advanced levels both at First Free Church and at Chief O'Neill's Restaurant & Pub. Additionally, there will be special programming throughout the week, including opening and closing concerts, cultural lectures, nightly jam sessions and the Chief O'Neill Musical Pilgrimage,
Information on all Francis O’Neill Irish Arts Week activities, including class registration, package options, and tickets to individual events, is at irishmusicschool.org/francis-oneill-irish-arts-week.

About the Irish Music School of Chicago

The Irish Music School of Chicago is a leader in teaching traditional Irish music to students of all ages by utilizing the traditional methods of teaching by ear and telling the stories behind the tunes and the significance of being part of a living musical community. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Irish Music School is committed to maintaining the strong tradition of Irish music, song and dance, to involve more people in the community of Irish music, and ensure that this type of music does not disappear in Chicago and the United States. More information is at irishmusicschool.org.

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Kathy Medic
@irishmusicchgo
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