Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  

Institute of Irish Studies Connects with Tin Whistle Class

Contact: Brian Kluepfel
(212) 636-7175

Eoin O'Connell, administrative director, Institute of Irish Studies
Photo by Ken Levinson
Fordham’s Institute of Irish Studies connected to the University’s Celtic heritage in a unique way during the fall semester, offering a filled-to-capacity “Introduction to the Tin Whistle” class. The one-credit course was taught by visiting Scholastic Ryan Duns, S.J., from the Detroit Province, who prior to joining the Jesuits had been a professional musician and teacher in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, where he played for Irish dancing competitions (feiseanna).

Duns made the most of modern technology, posting lessons and information on and his own blogspot,  "A Jesuit's Journey."  A YouTube broadcast of Duns playing the classic "Star of the County Down" and other lessons are currently available online.

The Institute of Irish Studies will offer a one-credit course in Irish dance in fall 2007, and hopes to host more cultural classes and events, as a way to tap into Irish-American students’ interest in their roots, said Eoin O'Connell, the program’s administrative director.

The Institute and the New York Eighteenth Century Seminar will co-sponsor a March 1 lecture on Jonathan Swift at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus by Ian Campbell Ross of Trinity College, Dublin. Irish studies is currently offered as a minor to Fordham undergraduates, who must take one literature, one history and four other courses to fulfill the requirement.

Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to more than 15,600 students in its five undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan and Tarrytown, and the Louis J. Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y.

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