Gradam Ceoil TG4
Frank McArdle – Outstanding Contribution Award
Frank McArdle is a musician, educator and founder of the St Roch’s Céilí Band in Glasgow. Having grown up in the small town of Dalmellington in Ayrshire, he moved to Glasgow and worked as a maths teacher in St Roch’s Secondary School where he founded a céilí band for students – the St Roch’s Ceilí Band – in 1978.
As a musician, McArdle plays the piano accordion, fiddle and guitar and was inspired by Irish traditional musicians such as fiddle player Sean McGuire, button accordionist Joe Burke and The Bothy Band.
As a member of his local Comhaltas branch The Irish Minstrels, he began to introduce his pupils from the school céilí band to the Comhaltas lessons, céilís and fleadhanna. He later took on the running of the branch and moved its classes to St Roch’s Secondary School where it is still based.
The Irish Minstrels Comhaltas branch now has over 150 pupils and provides free tuition in whistle, fiddle, flute, button accordion, piano accordion, concertina, banjo and uilleann pipes. McArdle is now Chairman of the branch and facilitates its lessons and entries to fleadhanna across Britain and in Ireland.
The branch has 30 tutors, who learned their music at the classes and are happy to teach on a voluntary basis.
In 2022, the branch, which performs as the St Roch’s Céilí Band, sent four céilí bands and four grúpaí ceoil to the All Ireland Fleadh in Mullingar.
McArdle is a passionate educator and musician who has taught hundreds of young traditional musicians and provided free tuition and performance opportunities for all ages and levels of ability.
Frank McArdle with St Roch’s Céilí Band in Glasgow