By Earle Hitchner
By placing first or second at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Cheoil this past June 2 at Manhattan College, a performer automatically qualifies for the biggest competition of all in Irish traditional music, Fleadh Cheoil na h+ireann, to be held from Aug. 23-25 in Listowel, Co. Kerry.
Among the pupils from the Acosta School of Irish Music who qualified to compete at the “All-Ireland” championships in Kerry are Conor McGuirk on piano, piano accordion, and accompaniment, the Comrades CTilf Band, and the Empire in the category of grupai cheoil.
Automatically qualifying for Fleadh Cheoil na h+ireann, however, doesn’t mean a musician can automatically afford to go. To defray the costs of the trip for its students, the Acosta School will hold a benefit concert this Saturday, June 29, starting at 7 p.m. at Rory Dolan’s Restaurant, 890 McLean Ave., Yonkers ( 776-2946).
Performing will be students, their teacher, Annmarie Acosta, and such guests as Matt Mancuso, Chris McLoughlin, Michelle Bergin, Heidi Talbot, and Cherish the Ladies’ Joanie Madden, who won the All-Ireland senior tin whistle title in 1984.