The Feis was first established in 1927 by Fr. Micheál O’Shea, O.F.M. Cap., a local Capuchin who saw the need for a platform to help and encourage people interested in the performing Arts.
An t-Athair Micheál, as he was called, believed that Feis Maitiú would help to sustain this interest and teach the participants the technique of Performance. The record states that approximately 300 people performed at the first Feis, which ran for a duration of four days. Since then the Festival has grown to become one of the major cultural and artistic events in the life of Cork. The support and enthusiasm of teachers and performers has resulted in Feis Maitiú, Corcaigh, becoming one of the larger Music & Drama Festival of it’s kind. To-day, there are approximately 15,000 Performers, from under 6 to over 60, participating in the Eight Week Festival, many travelling from various parts of the country.
In order to meet the demands and challenges of the day, the Syllabus is continuously re-accessed and consequently a higher standard of performance has been achieved and hopefully will continue to do so.
Feis Maitiú, Corcaigh, is under the Patronage and Guidance of the Irish Capuchin Order, who continue to foster the ideals and dreams of the Festival’s Founder, an t-Athair Micheál. Feis Maitiú is grant aided by the Department of Education and Science with funding from the National Lottery and is financed by entry and admission fees, the support of a Patron’s Fund and local sponsors.
The aims of the Feis are:
- To promote active participation in Music and Drama.
- To enable participants to engage with Music and Literature.
- To assist in the teaching of the various facets of Singing, Music and Drama.
- To afford opportunities to learn a variety of techniques.
- To promote Irish Literature, Language and Music.
- To expand knowledge and background in Music and Drama.
- To teach the Art of Communication through Music and Drama.
- To promote good practices in Speech & Music.
- To provide a varied and extensive Repertoire.
- To assist in the Educational, Social and Artistic development of Participants.
- To assist in the Education of the Audience in the art and techniques of Music and Drama to create a better understanding of what is involved.