On the first Sunday of every month, the Irish, as well as Irish music
lovers comhaltas ceoltoiri Eireann -- dance the music of Ireland --
at the Burbank Moose Lodge.
Patty Ellis and her husband Christopher join the party most
“A lot of time we just sit and listen to the music,” Ellis said.
“It’s so friendly. The music goes on in the background while we visit
and talk about trips to Ireland others have taken.”
During the afternoon, tea and Irish soda bread is served. Ellis
said the bread, often baked with raisins, is delicious with a bit of
jelly or a big slab of butter.
There is no admission charge, but a hat or jar is passed around
for donations to cover the cost of the lodge rental.
Traditional Irish set dances are performed by Michael Patrick
Breen and his troupe, the Los Angeles Irish Set Dancers, while others
do solo dancing when the music moves them to step lively to the
sounds of Irish pipes, fiddles and accordions.
“There’s a mix of people, Breen said. “I’d say 30% are Irish and
the rest are Irish-American or American.”
Des Regan, who for 20 years owned an Irish pub in Burbank, started
the event’s musical jam session.
The musicians often play Irish reels and jigs, but Regan said
waltzes are played as well.
“It’s a family event. You can bring children of all ages because
it’s something that everybody can enjoy,” he said.
Regan said musicians bring their instruments and sometimes as many
as 25 people play in the impromptu sessions.
Karen Andrews started taking violin lessons when she was a child.
After studying Irish set dancing, Andrews said she discovered Irish
music. So she dusted off her violin and has been a regular fiddler at
the monthly sessions.
“It’s just a big party,” Andrews said of the events.”
Dance master Patrick O’Dea, who hails from the Emerald Isle, will
offer free dance instruction at Sunday’s event.