Be our Valentine… a sweetheart of a dance and an Irish music concert grace February’s dark winter nights!

Square/Contra Dance • Shepherdstown, WV
Saturday, February 1 • 8 pm
This month, Brian Hamshar calls contra dances and maybe a few squares to the lively old-time tunes of Strings on Wings with Barb Schmid (Fiddle) and Todd Clewell (Fiddle and Guitar). The dance is held at the War Memorial Building, 102 E. German St., Shepherdstown, WV. All levels welcome, no partners needed. Please wear clean, soft-soled shoes to protect the floor. Pot-luck snacks at the break. Free introductory workshop at 7:30. $12; SMAD Members $8; $5 under 12. Info: John Sauer at 301-542-3272 or




Coming together in concert and to lead a traditional Irish session are Brendan Mulvihill, master and legendary Irish Traditional fiddler and his apprentice, Emily Martin, a talented musician who also comes from a family tradition of traditional music.  Brendan Mulvihill and his band, the Irish Tradition, are credited for establishing traditional Irish music as a integral part of the Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas musical fabric. Also based in the Washington DC region, Emily Martin, of The Martin Family Band, carries on the tradition of playing, teaching and performing. Her styles include Old Time Appalachian traditional music and Irish music on the mandolin, mountain dulcimer, tenor banjo and voice. Emily started an apprenticeship with Brendan in July 2018. Learning tunes, style and variations from Brendan, Emily also skillfully and beautifully compliments Brendan’s unmatched style.

Brendan’s strong tone, remarkable bow work and unsurpassed musicianship come from a deep love of  the music and from a surprising influence. Though inspired by many traditional Irish musicians, Brendan also developed a passion for classical music. This classical influence can be heard most clearly perhaps in his playing of the baroque music of Turlough OCarolan (Toirdhealbhach Ó Cearbhalláin). The final distinctive result of Brendan’s many influences was best summed up by a quote printed by the Washington Irish Folk Festival, “Its often said that the difference between a fiddle and a violin lies not in the instrument but in the player. If that’s the case, then Brendan is not the player one should look to when trying to draw such distinctions. Here is a man whose heritage, background and training epitomize that of the fiddler, but whose full, firm tone, exquisite bow work and subtle, sensitive musicianship bear all the hallmarks of the classical violinist.”

Micheál Ó Súilleabháin referred to Brendan as “a rare genius.” Inducted into the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Mid-Atlantic Region Hall of Fame in 2008, Brendan Mulvihill has deep Irish roots. Brendan’s Grandmother Bridgid was a fiddler and her brothers were all musicians as well. Brendan’s father, the late National Heritage Fellow, Martin Mulvihill of County Limerick, Ireland, was a renowned fiddle player and one of the most highly respected Irish music teachers in America.  Brendan’s music, however, reflects decades of his own travels and dedication to gathering tunes from the great Irish traditional masters.  Brendan’s playing shows respect, excitement, and love of the music.  His style and variations give the music dimensions and depth that is surprising from a solo instrument; paired with Emily, the music is mesmerizing.

An Irish Seisun, led by the performers, follows the concert.  Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in the fun.

Advance tickets are $20 adults, $18 seniors and $15 members and $10 students. At the door: $25 adults, $22 seniors, $20 members and $10 children/students.

Advance tickets will be available online from Brown Paper Tickets , by mail (send a check to SMaD, PO Box1293, Shepherdstown, WV  25443 with your order), or for full price at the door.

End of February Post….



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