Noel Hill, is a prominent Irish concertina player known for his influence on modern Irish concertina music and on Irish traditional music in general.

Noel Hill grew up in a musically rich environment. His family, including his parents, grandparents, and their siblings, were all concertina players. His uncle, Padraig A Chnoic (Paddy Hill), played a significant role in his musical development. Hill’s home was the last in the area to host traditional Irish house dances, providing a lively atmosphere for learning music. He started playing the concertina at the age of nine, initially guided by his mother.

Although Hill was interested in the uilleann pipes, he focused on the concertina due to its availability. He was influenced by renowned musicians such as Willie Clancy, Paddy Canny, Peter O’Loughlin, Paddy Murphy, and Micky Hanrahan. By age seventeen, Hill had formed the group Inchiquin with Tony Linnane, Tony Callanan, and Kieran Hanrahan. After Callanan and Hanrahan left to form Stockton’s Wing, Hill and Linnane continued as a duo.

Noel Hill’s career is marked by several key recordings:

  • Noel Hill and Tony Linnane (1978): Featuring Tony Linnane (fiddle), Matt Molloy (flute), and Alec Finn (bouzouki and mando-cello).
  • Í gCnoc na Graí (1985): Recorded live with Tony MacMahon and Clare set dancers.
  • The Irish Concertina (1988): His first solo album, which became an important reference for concertina playing.
  • The Irish Concertina 2 (2005).
  • The Irish Concertina 3 ‘Live in New York’ (2016).

Hill has toured extensively, performing in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, and Hong Kong. He also teaches at the Willie Clancy Summer School and runs the Noel Hill Irish Concertina Schools in Ireland and the United States.
In 2011, Hill received TG4’s Gradam Ceoil award, acknowledging his contributions to Irish music. His performances and recordings are well-regarded for their technical skill and depth.

Going Further

Mrs Crotty – Concertina

The Irish Concertina

Irish Concertina Fingering Chart

Kitty Hayes – concertina

Tune Types in Irish Traditional Music

Ornamentation in Irish Music

Noel Hill website

Image: Noel Hill

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.