Aramco Expats Newsletter, published on 2 Feb 2022
If you lived in Dhahran (the eastern province of Saudi Arabia) in the early 2000s, you may have encountered the musical group 'Get Reel' performing a blend of Irish, country and bluegrass music at various venues around Dhahran and neighbouring island of Bahrain. Annette Collins, one of the group's founding members and a native of Ireland now returned to the Emerald Isle, has continued to pursue her love of music and Irish dance. She is currently offering a unique opportunity to learn Irish dance online. If you have an interest in Irish dance and culture, Annette invites you to join her next class beginning February 8th. We asked Annette to share more about her time in Saudi Arabia and with Get Reel.
I lived in Dahran from 1998 to 2005 and worked as a secretary, during that time I worked for a year as a PA to the assistant to the CEO and was promoted into a position in succession planning for the last year. I have a degree in music and also studied a post-graduate diploma in Secretarial Studies and Administration - with an aim to pursuing a career in the Arts.
While in Dhahran, I played folk music with a mixed bag of musicians and was one of the founding members of a group called 'Get Reel'. We performed regularly on camp, in a few other places around Dhahran, and also in Bahrain from time to time. We even self-produced 2 CDs during that time. I am still in contact with many of the members of the band, and also the people I worked with. Many are retiring back to Ireland at the moment, and we had a little reunion about a month ago, which got me thinking about the Aramco Expat community. The photos are from our recent reunion in Co Clare, Ireland. Two of the group had played with Get Reel, and a few of them danced with Pat Caulfield's Irish Dance troupe, Desert Dance, who used to perform in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The picture at the door would be Pat and me, who both played with Get Reel.
Annette & Pat
I returned to Ireland and started dancing, and then teaching in the evenings, and eventually gave up my day job. I am now a self-employed teacher of music and dance. Obviously I was teaching in person pre-covid, and most of my classes are still online, they have attracted a lot of people either Irish living abroad or people with an interest in Irish dance/culture and have no access to classes. Join me in dance - good for the mind and body.
#aramco #stepwithannette #dance #irish #tradition
Aramco reunion 2021 - Co Clare, Ireland
"smiley happy people"
Annette is an accomplished dancer and multi-instrumentalist.
Blogs to date:
-Party time 0622!
-Irish News Article
-Warning re Dance!
-The Dan Furey Group
-Party time 0721
-Old Style Steps Abroad
-Thanks to my Funders!
-Old Style Step?
-Dancing vrs Ageing