Gluais was set up in 2012 by music teacher Mícheál Kerr. Comprising of 40 trad musicians, singers and Irish dancers, the band brings a youthful approach to fusing Irish traditional music with other musical genres. To date, Gluais have had an extremely successful 7 years.
2012: Gluais were honoured to be invited to perform as special guests at the Temple Bar TradFest in Dublin alongside other outstanding musicians and groups. They also performed onstage at the well-known Arlington Hotel in Dublin.
2013: Gluais, along with the TY Choir, were selected as one of six schools nationwide to compete in the final of the Waltons Music for Schools Competition in the National Concert Hall in Dublin. This was a magical and special moment for the girls to get to perform in the National Concert Hall, especially with it being their first time entering the competition and getting to the final.
It was also in 2013 that Gluais were selected to perform at the Arrivals Area of Dublin Airport at Christmas to welcome families home for the festive season. Gluais have been invited back to Dublin Airport every Christmas since and is still one of their annual highlights.
2014: The highlight of 2014 was being selected to represent Ireland at the world renowned Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France. Gluais were the only voluntary youth group from Ireland, and indeed the first ever school group to be selected to represent Ireland. It was an incredible experience for the girls to travel to France and wave the Irish flag with pride, performing 4 shows and to crowds of over 800 people every night.
2015: After their video being spotted on Youtube, Gluais were invited to perform with Louis Walsh’s boyband “HomeTown” on their nationwide tour. In October of the same year, the band found out that they had been selected to perform in Disneyland Paris theme park as one of Ireland’s representatives. Their performance fused Irish traditional music with classic Disney favourites.
2016: In May 2016, Gluais recorded & released their first album, titled ‘Dreamer’. The 14 tracked CD has songs and tunes that Gluais regularly perform. The album is available to buy here tonight.
2017: Gluais were selected to once again represent Ireland and perform two shows in Disneyland Paris on St Patrick’s Day as part of the Disney Irish Celtic Festival 2017. This was a huge honour for the girls to be selected to fly the Irish colours in France on St Patrick’s weekend. Over the course of their four days in Paris, Gluais also performed a concert at the renowned Marymount International School, the Eiffel Tower and Maison des Petites Soeurs Nursing Home.
Following the success of their Paris trip, Gluais were invited by President Michael D Higgins to perform a short concert in Áras an Uachtarán. This was a very special moment for the girls to meet the President and perform for him.
As well as Dublin Airport, Gluais also visited Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin to meet with and perform for the children & their families. Gluais were delighted to return to Crumlin Children’s Hospital again in December 2018.
2018: Gluais teamed up with The Midlands Youth Orchestra of Ireland to put on a very special show in Trim, fusing classical music with Irish tradtional music, dance and song. This was a hugely successful night in which the audience truly witnessed the extensive talent and energy the girls bring to the band.
In March 2018, Gluais were honoured to be selected by the European Union to represent Ireland for “Our Dance for Europe” – a project coordinated by the Europa-Netzwerk Deutsch. “Our Dance for Europe” was a celebration of all European state cultures & traditions. Each EU country, along with a short clip of their traditional music & dance, was featured in a final film to celebrate Day of Europe ‘18. Gluais were Ireland’s representatives and they proudly filmed their video presentation on the grounds of Trim Casrle.
2019: Gluais took to the stage for their hugely successful performances at the International Children of the World in Harmony Music Festival in Michigan, USA in July 2019. Gluais represented Ireland at the accomplished festival, now in it’s 23rd year running. Notably, this was the first time Ireland was represented at the festival. Gluais took to the stage every night to perform in some of the most spectacular music venues Michigan has to offer, including Cheboygan Opera House & Great Lakes Centre of Performing Arts. Their youthful energy and musical talent left the audience in awe night after night. Gluais undoubtedly showcased Irish music and culture at the highest standard, blending their Irish traditional musicians, singers and their troop of Irish dancers together effortlessly on stage. Many commenting on the group’s professionalism, the audience was encapsulated by the powerful vocals of the singers performing a mixture of Irish ballads and sing-along songs, such as “Oh Danny Boy”, “Grace”, “I’ll Tell me Ma” and “Rocky Road to Dublin”. Indeed, a crowd favourite was “Rattling Bog”. The musicians’ lively reels and jigs and infectious stage presence paved the way for the line of Irish dancers who meandered across the wooden floor in perfect sync, making the crowd stand on their feet, not wanting to miss a step. Of course, the impromptu performances were just as well received and remembered, including Gluais singing 93 stories high on top of the Chicago 360 Observation Deck and furthermore on stage in the main auditorium of the world-famous Chicago Theatre.
While in Chicago, Gluais also performed a two hour show in the renowned Chicago Gaelic Park. This was a truly special concert for all involved, with most of the audience members being Irish emigrants “away from home”. Many became emotional as Gluais sang their repertoire of old Irish ballads and danced traditional 8-hand reels along with the infamous “Lord of the Dance”.
When the Americans asked, Gluais certainly delivered. This was most evident when the City Manager of Boyne City, Mr Michael Cain, attended one of their shows in Michigan. He was so impressed by their performance that he called by their hotel the following morning to ask them would they come along and do a surprise performance at his daughter’s wedding party. Needless to say, Gluais were thrilled to be asked and obliged. At 10pm that night, after performing in the festival’s Gala Concert, Gluais travelled to Boyne City Hall and made their surprise entrance – neither the bride, groom nor the 150 guests knew what was in store! It was moments like this and many others that ensured Gluais and indeed Ireland was the talk of the festival.
It’s important to note, however, that Gluais would not have been afforded the opportunity to travel to Michigan and Chicago if it were not for Trim Tourism Network. Trim Tourism Network travelled to Michigan to complete the twinning initiative that is being formed between Boyne City, Michigan and the Boyne Valley here in Ireland, for which a special ceremony was held on the 18th July. While in Michigan, Trim Tourism Network met with many delegates…..
To find out more about Gluais and to see videos and photos of their USA performances, find them on Facebook.