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Remembering Joe Reavy with Friends, Family, and Lots of Great Music 

Friends, family members, and traditional Irish musicians from far and wide gathered for an all-star session June 3 at St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley, Malvern, Pa., to celebrate the life of Joe Reavy, son of the prolific composer of Irish tunes Ed Reavy, and an outstanding musician and musicologist in his own right. Joe Reavy died January 13, 2023, at the age of 95.

“It was the family’s idea to celebrate in this way. We had talked about it, and it just made so much sense,” says Katherine Ball-Weir, chair of the Philadelphia-Delaware Valley branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, and a friend of Joe. “They had wanted to do something that would be a celebration of Joe and really reflect what was important to him. We first talked about it at the time of his death, and we just knew Joe would have really loved it. It was a wonderful party and a true ‘Celebration of Life.’ We were just wishing he could have been here to be a part of it.” 

A memorial service in the historic church preceded the session. Fiddler Alexander Weir, Ball-Weir’s son and one of Reavy’s many longtime friends, played a slow air at communion. 

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