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Words of Thanks from Séamus Connolly

The music that appears in this collection is very much alive and part of a living tradition.  All of the musicians, instrumentalists and singers alike, from the youngest performer at sixteen years old to the oldest at ninety years of age, are to me, masters in so many ways!  I will forever be grateful to each and every musician for their generosity and talent, and for every note that they sang and played for the world to hear.  I would like to say this to all of the musicians and composers: you are my heroes, and you will remain in my heart forever.  God bless you and your talent.  The collection would not be complete without you.  

To the recording engineers, master musicians in your respective musical fields, your dedication and expertise are major contributions to my collection. To my family and friends who submitted photographs for the collection, and to Leslie Mansmann for her lovely illustrations, my sincere thanks. To my many other friends and family members, having walked with me on this incredible journey offering support, love and encouragement, my message for you is ever so much as that written above.

To Boston College University Librarian Thomas Wall, and to Associate University Librarians Christian Dupont and Kimberly Kowal, my wholehearted thanks to you and your superb staff. This collection might never have been completed without your participation and commitment.

Words are not adequate to thank my colleagues Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Sweeney (Burns Library Irish Music Archives & Public Services) and John ‘Jack’ Kearney (Digital Library Programs) for their invaluable work during the full three years of the Libraries’ collaboration on this project. Our strong working relationship, developed over many years at Boston College, provided a foundation for this project to go forward.  

To the Boston College Libraries’ digital experts Anna Kijas (Digital Scholarship), Nancy Adams (Scholarly Communication), Benjamin Florin (Library Systems) and Chris Houston-Ponchak (Library Systems), and to other colleagues past and present who helped develop this most professional online presentation, I will forever be in your debt.

Having spent twenty-five years working at Boston College, I have come to know many friends and supporters of the arts. To all of you who offered guidance and support, including my Music Department colleagues, thank you.

To my co-workers, scholars, and friends in the Center for Irish Programs, your inspiration, assistance, and advice were most helpful in completing the project. As they say in Ireland, keep the flag flying! In my book you are ‘the best’.

A special ‘thank you’ to University President William P. Leahy, S.J., for believing in me and in my work at Boston College. Thank you, too, for appointing me as the Sullivan Artist in Residence in Irish Music in 2004.

Thanks also to G. Craig and Maureen Sullivan, for your friendship, support for this project, and for generously endowing the chair. It was a great honour for me to be the first Sullivan Artist in Residence in Irish Music.  

Dr. Earle Hitchner, your biographical essay on my music career is a journalistic masterpiece. Thank you Earle for unearthing, from so long ago, many happy events that I had forgotten.

Sally Sommers Smith Wells, I thank you for capturing the true spirit of my collection in your essay. Dr. Sally, I am proud to have your noteworthy work be part of my work.

Special thanks to Paul Wells, Kieran O’Hare, Gabriel Donohue, Bonnie Bewick Brown, and John McGann for sharing your expertise and commitment with me on behalf of the project.  As my essay describes in detail, your dedication provided staying power for the project at a critical time in my life.

Were I asked to define this collection in a few short words, I would not hesitate to say, ‘so much love from so many people.’


Séamus Connolly

October, 2016