The Congress Reel

Reel, A Dorian, Irish (Attributed to Joe Mills)

The Congress Reel, TrailJams Tune of the Week, Play it together February 26, 2023. Illustration copyright 2023, Jonathan Lay.

A very popular Irish session and dance tune, its title commemorates the 31st International Eucharistic Congress held in Dublin, Ireland in 1932. Authorship of the tune is attributed to Joe Mills, button accordion player and founding member of east Galway’s Aughrim Slopes Céilí Band. He emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1958. (See the Additional Resources section below for more about Joe Mills and the International Eucharistic Congress.)


Sheet Music (Dots)

As always for traditional tunes, the musical notation and chords do not indicate the “right” way to play the tune, but are a useful reference.

Sheet music and chords for The Congress Reel, Irish Reel in A Dorian. Attributed to Joe Mills. Arrangement by Jonathan Lay.
Play from the Dots
Very slow tempo, 45bpm
Slow tempo 65bpm
Moderate tempo 85bpm


Examples of sets that include this tune.

References and Resources

For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.