It's Cavan or 'busk'

It's Cavan or bust for a group of New York area teenage musicians who are playing their way to this year's Fleadh Cheoil in Cavan.

After qualifying for Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2011 at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Cheoil, held recently in Parsippany, New Jersey, the teenagers have decided to "busk" their way to Cavan.

The intrepid young players come from Queens, Long Island, Westchester County and Manhattan.

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Rosie Cooper 17, Chloe Curley 11, Jake James 13, Seamus Finneran 13, Dylan James 11, William Cooper 15, and Kyle Curley 13 are up against the odds with the sky-high airline ticket prices.

While all are American born, their parents come from counties Westmeath, Leitrim, Wicklow, Fermanagh, Donegal, Cavan and Galway.

The talented traditional musicians are students of well known Antrim fiddle and piano teacher Niall Mulligan and Dublin accordian and bodhran teacher, Niall O'Leary.

All of the young musicians attended Scoil Eigse last year in Cavan town prior to the Fleadh. This is a week-long traditional music school run by Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in conjunction with the Fleadh.

They then went on to compete in Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann and had such a great experience they are determined to get there again this year.

However, with tickets averaging $1,000 each this summer, it's going to be tough not only for the young musicians, but for all of the qualifiers from the U.S.

So they have put their heads together and have decided to "busk" their way across the Atlantic.

Over the course of the next few weeks they will be performing in or outside different venues throughout Queens and Manhattan, so keep an eye out as it is a performance not to be missed.

Not only have the teens qualified for this year's Fleadh, but they have won numerous awards over the years at local feisanna, like Feis Na Nollag, East Durham Feis, Inis Fada Feis and The Big Apple Feis.

Busking venues in Queens will include The Dugout in Woodside, Flynn's Garden Inn, Sunnyside, with many more to be scheduled in the coming days. More information on the planned busking perforamcnes is available from Christine at (646) 678-2328 or Fiona at (631) 872-9955.

Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann is the second biggest festival in Ireland. Attracting tens of thousands of visitors, the Fleadh is an exciting and entertaining week of fun for all the family.

For the second year running, this year's Fleadh will be held in Cavan Town. This year will be extra special as it marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann.