Chilly March Winds, Hot March Music

March starts off with our first Saturday contradance…

March Contra Dance
Saturday, March 5: 8PM

David Giusti calls lively contra dances to the fine music of Elke Baker on fiddle, Paul Oorts on guitar, tenor banjo, accordion, and mandolin, and Liz Donaldson on piano at the Shepherdstown War Memorial Building.  Beginners workshop at 7:30PM, dance starts at 8PM.  All levels welcome, no partners needed. Please wear clean, soft-soled shoes to protect the floor. Potluck snacks at the break.  Admission is $12 adults, $8 SMD members, $5 dancers under 12 years old.  For more information contact Becky at (304) 870-4118.

Two fine concerts this month…

Celebration of Strings: Appalachian Music with Hickory Jack and Hammered Dulcimer Showcase
Friday, March 11, 8 pm
Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church
The hammered dulcimer is alive and well in Shepherdstown, West Virginia; not only does the area boast two of the instrument’s most respected builders and designers, but also is home to the Upper Potomac Music Weekends, where hammered dulcimer players, fiddlers and other musicians share tunes and techniques and explore a range of musical styles over three days of workshops, concerts and jam sessions on Shepherd University’s campus and the surrounding historic buildings several times each year. The concert this year features special guests from southern Virginia, WV fiddle champion Erynn Marshall along with banjo player and guitarist, Carl Jones who form the fine old-time duo Hickory Jack. Representing our dulcimer staff will be Ann Lough, Ruth Smith, Bob Shank and a fine player from Barcelona, Spain, Marina Albero, a self-taught player whose repertoire follows the history of the instrument from early music to fiery flamenco music played with great finesse and skill.
Admission: $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email

Masters of the Celtic Harp: Gráinne Hambly & William Jackson
Wednesday, March 23
St. Peters Lutheran Church
Two Sides of Celtic, two great players. One fantastic show.
Quite simply, Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson are two of the foremost harpers of Ireland and Scotland. Combining their extraordinary talents on harp as well as concertina, tinwhistle and bouzouki, The Masters of the Celtic Harp, have been performing all over the country and dazzling audiences with their artistry. Their Two Sides of Celtic show is a special treat.

Since 1998 Gráinne Hambly has been touring extensively throughout the United States and has not only garnered an ever-growing following of devoted harp enthusiasts but has managed to cross over and capture the Irish music fan with the taste for the fast, driving reels and jigs of traditional music. She has broken the genteel parlor image and elevated the stature of the harp right up there with the fiddles and pipes in the realm of dynamic dance music. Add to that the unsurpassed expressive quality the harp has in her hands in the rendition of age-old airs and laments and you have the masterful performance of an experienced and renowned player.

A lifelong County Mayo resident, Gráinne has not rested on the laurels of winning the senior All-Ireland titles on harp and concertina in 1994 and then the prestigious Keadue and Granard harp competitions. Her three critically acclaimed solo CDs, The Thorn Tree (2006), Between the Showers (1999) and Golden Lights Green Shadows, (2003) are “must haves” for every Irish harp player and fan. She has also recorded with numerous other artists. She has also published two books of her arrangements. She tours most of the year and has appeared at most of the major harp and Irish music festivals in the U.S. and Europe.

William Jackson of Glasgow has been at the forefront of Scottish traditional music for more than 35 years. Besides his stature as one of the leading harpers and multi-instrumentalists in Scotland, William has gained an international reputation as a composer. His “Land of Light” won the international competition in 1999 as the new song for Scotland.

William was a founding member and creative tour de force of Ossian in 1976, which became one of Scotland’s best-loved traditional bands. The band, whose music influenced a generation of musicians, extensively toured the U.S. and Europe. Besides harp, he also plays tinwhistle and bouzouki.

Gráinne and William Jackson teamed up and began touring as “The Masters of the Celtic Harp” in 2005 and have been traveling together ever since. They live now outside of Claremorris in County Mayo.

 Admission: $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email




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