Concert Season 2019-2020

2019-2020 Concert Season

Cape Breton Pipers: Barry Shears  & the Shepherdstown Piping Collective

Saturday, August 24. 2019 at 8pm

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church

Barry Shears, born in Glace Bay, Cape Breton, NS, in 1956, is an acknowledged expert on the history of traditional piping in Nova Scotia and its intrinsic connection to the Gaelic language, music and culture. He comes from a musical family which includes 3 piping brothers. His first lessons in piping were from Angus MacIntyre, whose family came to Cape Breton in 1826, were descended from Duncan MacIntyre, MacDonald of Clanranald’s 1750s family piper.

An accomplished musician, Barry has performed at concerts and festivals throughout North America, as well as in Scotland and Europe, a highlight of which was a live to air broadcast on Radio France where, along with other well known CB musicians – the late John Morris Rankin of the Rankin family, the late violinist Jerry Holland and multi-instrumentalist David MacIsaac, the unique, uplifting and wonderful sound of Cape Breton music was introduced to a wide European audience in 1990.

In 1981 Barry performed with Stan Rogers and John Allan Cameron in a series of concerts in both Nova Scotia and Scotland. His own CD, ‘A Cape Breton Piper’ is his tribute to this traditional, Gaelic- based piping style and has been very well received, not only by lovers of bagpipe music but to fans of all forms of Celtic music. Barry is also a composer of pipe tunes and, along with winning third prize in a world-wide piping composition contest sponsored by the famous Highland single malt scotch producer Grant’s Distillery on its 100th anniversary, his original compositions and arrangements have appeared in books and recordings of other Celtic musicians. In addition, Barry has played the role of a piper in the television movie “Baby” with Farrah Fawcett, Keith Carradine, and Jean Stapleton; performed and arranged the bagpipe music for the critically acclaimed Canadian movie ‘Margaret’s Museum’ starring Helena Bonham Carter and Clive Russell.

Originally a competitive piper, Barry has won the Champion Supreme trophy for Professional piping in Nova Scotia 6 times and holds the Pipe Major Certificate from the Canadian Armed Forces (Reserve), (1980) as well as senior piping and teaching certificates from the College of Piping in Glasgow, Scotland. In late 1978 he moved to Scotland to take lessons in piobaireachd from Captain Andrew Pitkeathly, The Army School of Piping, Edinburgh Castle.

The Shepherdstown Piping Collective combines the talents of Shepherdstown piper, Robert Mitchell with piper, Sean Reidy, percussionist Anna Oyler and multi-instrumentalist, Nicholas Blanton.  Known for an ecelectic repertoire of piping melodies and subtle harmonies, their spirited arrangements will set the mood for the concert.

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.

The Reel Sisters

Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 4pm

St. Peters Lutheran Church

A reel, for those not in the know, is not just for fishing or films. It is also a lively Scottish or Irish dance. And, though The Reel Sisters are not real sisters, they are good friends who have grown closer through their love for traditional Scottish and Irish tunes.

Rosalind Buda plays the Scottish smallpipes, a smaller and quieter cousin to the bagpipes. Kelly Brzozowski plays the Scottish harp. Both Buda and Brzozowski have classical training as well as experience playing traditional folk music. And, while they may not be blood relatives, The Reel Sisters share an easy, familial camaraderie that makes their concerts extra enjoyable.

Rosalind Buda holds a BMUS from the University of Iowa and a MM from New England Conservatory in Bassoon Performance. She has taught and performed throughout the US and Europe. She teaches and performs classical chamber and orchestral music and Celtic music in her in her home of Asheville, NC and throughout Western North Carolina. Keeping to the mountain tradition, Rosalind plays banjo for fun and enjoys contra dance.

Kelly Brzozowski holds a BMUS and a Masters Diploma in Harp Performance and Musicology from the University of North Wales. She has taught and performed throughout Europe and the US. Kelly lives in Atlanta where she maintains a large teaching studio and performs both classical and Celtic music. When she is not performing or teaching, she is homeschooling her son. You will often find them designing and conducting experiments.

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.

Fiachre and Sophie with Andre Marchand

Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 4pm

Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

Sophie, Fiachra & André are a group of “musiciens sans frontières who refuse to let the Atlantic sunder their love of their own and one another’s Irish and Québecois musical traditions”.

Comprising of Irish uilleann piper Fiachra O’Regan, Québec fiddler/singer Sophie Lavoie, and guitarist André Marchand, the trio take traditional Irish and Québécois traditional music, blended with Lavoie’s “lithe and masterful” compositions. Their choice of songs will “captivate the most casual listener”

Sophie Lavoie is a fiddler, pianist, singer and composer from Lac-St-Jean in Québec. She has played in various Quebecois bands including L’attisée and Tu m’en diras tant. Since 2008, she has been touring with Irish piper Fiachra O’Regan. “One of the rising stars of Québécois music” (fRoots Magazine), Sophie has recently been awarded a scholarship for a Masters in ethnomusicology at University of Montreal. Her research involves the fiddle style and repertoire of her native region, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

Fiachra O‘Regan, from Connemara, on the West Coast of Ireland, plays Irish music on the Uilleann Pipes, tenor banjo, and whistle, He is a senior All Ireland Champion on both these intruments. Fiachra has performed throughout the world, touring in his own group as well as with many other artists and groups. He is also sought after as a teacher in private lessons and at festivals.

The duo Sophie & Fiachra has recorded three albums: Sophie & Fiachra (2010), Rewind (2014) and Un Canadien errant (2016), the latter was nominated for Best album of the year at both ADISQ and Canadian Folk Music Award in 2016.

A figurehead in the Quebec Trad scene, André Marchand’s career is marked by artistic projects that have marked the history of traditional music over the last 40 years. Guitarist, singer and composer, he started as co-founder of La Bottine Souriante. From 1976 to 1990, he toured Quebec, Acadia, Canada, the United States and several European countries and participated in the recording of the first six records of La Bottine.

From 1990 to 2009, he became sound engineer and director. He contributed to the birth of nearly 200 projects, giving voice to several emerging artists and other well-known properties, actively contributing to the emergence of the environment.

A singer with a deep voice, warm and well posed, André is a character endearing to the quick wit and the overflowing humor. His unique style of guitar accompaniment, all in nuance and finesse, influences several generations of guitarists evolving today in the Trad Québécois milieu.

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.

Genticorum

Saturday, November 16. 2019 at 8pm (concert) Workshop 3-5pm

Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

Over the past 18 years the trad Quebec group Genticorum has become a fixture on the international world, trad, folk and Celtic music circuit. The band’s six albums met with critical acclaim in Canada, the United States and Europe, assuring the band a brilliant future. Known for its energy and its stage presence, Genticorum has given more than a 1000 concerts in more than 15 countries.

Firmly rooted in the soil of their native land, the energetic and original traditional ‘power trio’ also incorporates the dynamism of today’s North American and European folk cultures in their music. They weave precise and intricate fiddle, flute and accordion work, gorgeous vocal harmonies, energetic foot percussion and guitar accompaniment into a big and jubilant musical feast. Their distinctive sound, sense of humour and stage presence makes them a supreme crowd pleaser.

Pascal Gemme is a leading light in Quebec’s traditional music scene.Known as much for his original compositions as his fine interpretation of traditional tunes, Pascal is the fiddler, singer and arranger of the band, Genticorum, whose CDs have met with critical acclaim in several countries.    From a young age, the fiddle music and songs of his native province have captivated him.  After graduating with a degree in composition and band arrangements at Montreal’s St Laurent College, he immersed himself in the traditional music around him, playing, collecting and recording music found all over Quebec.  Pascal has developed a vast knowledge and is a leading exponent of the music.

Yann Falquet is a very active and creative acoustic guitar player on the Québécois music scene. He has explored many styles of music and completed a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz. Since then, he has developed a personal guitar style for Québec folk music, inspired by the playing of the accompanists of different cultures (Brittany, Scandinavia, Ireland, North America).   His involvement in the province’s traditional music scene has brought Yann to perform on numerous recordings, and to tour regularly throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia with Genticorum but also with JUNO award-winning Celtic and world group The McDades, the Jean-François Bélanger Trio and with cellist Natalie Haas.

Nicholas Williams has developed a reputation as a versatile and sought-after musician in the traditional music scenes of Québec and New England.  His rhythmic yet nuanced style of flute playing draws from Irish and Scottish traditions, as well as from his studies of classical North Indian music.  After completing a BFA in world music and composition at York University, Nicholas moved to Québec in 2000,  where he has enjoyed exploring the common ground of his own diverse musical experiences with the rich Québécois musical tradition.  Also an accomplished accordion and piano player, he has been a member of the band Crowfoot since 2005, plays with fiddler Laura Risk, and in the Alex Kehler & Nicholas Williams duo.

The trio will teach a workshop for musicians from 3-5pm on French Canadian fiddle and repertoire.  The workshop costs $25, preregistration is advised as space is limited to 12 students.

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.

Traditional Music from Denmark with Gangspil

Friday, November 29 at 8PM

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church

Gangspil, (Sonnich Lydom (accordion, harmonica),Kristian Bugge(fiddle) and Vidar Skrede (guitar) will take you on an entertaining and variated journey through the traditions of Danish folk music. These lively musicians performs old dance tunes and songs from every corner of their Scandinavian home country. From rural islands like Læsø to the metropol Copenhagen, including a few of their own compositions. Expect everything from wild polkas and jigs to lyrical waltzes, fiery reels and happy hopsas, plus the exotic “Sønderhoning” dance tunes from the famous Island of Fanø, and long forgotten songs from all over the country. An unforgettable live experience spiced up with humor and stories from their many years on the road. They perform and have performed with some of the most exciting and well-know musicians from the Danish and Nordic folk scene.  In 2016 after releasing their first album, Gangspil received the”Tradition Award” at the Danish Music Awards (Danish Grammy.)

Sonnich Lydom (accordion, harmonica, vocal) is a master of Irish, French–‐Canadian, and especially Danish traditional tunes. During the last 25 years he’s been leading the revival for diatonic accordion and harmonica in the Danish folk music. Sonnich holds a special place in his heart for the music from the Western Island of Fanø, where his family is deeply rooted. He is best know from his work with the ULC trio and later quintet (adding jazz pianist Peter Rosendal and bassist Mads Vinding). ULC recieved the Danish Music Award (Danish “Grammy”) in the category “Folk Album of the year” in 2001 and 2004.

Kristian Bugge (fiddle) has specialized in the strong Danish folk music traditions. He is very active on the Danish and Scandinavian folk music scene as well as in the rest of Europe and North America, both as a musician and teacher. His debut CD was awarded “Danish debut of the year”, and “Danish Folk Instrumentalist of the year” at the Danish Music Awards Folk 2006 (Danish “Grammy”). At the same occasion in 2012, Kristian recieved the prize as ”Danish Folk Artist of the Year!” In 2016 Kristian was once more awarded “Danish Folk Instrumentalist of the Year”.

Vidar Skrede (guitar) (from Haugesund, Norway) is a freelance Nordic folk musician on guitar, harding fiddle, fiddle and Greek bouzouki. He has a background in the traditional music from Rogaland (South West of Norway), and has a master degree in Nordic folk music at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Vidar has appeared on national television in Norway and Iceland, and has been heard on radio across the Nordic countries and throughout the USA. Vidar has released several CD’s which received many awards and great acclaim in his native Norway. Vidar is a leading musician on the Nordic folk music scene and a popular tune writer – his compositions are played and recorded by bands like Fiddlers’ Bid and Blazing Fiddles besides with his own projects.

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.

Italian Holiday Concert with Rosa Tatuata

Sunday, December 22, 4PM

Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

Love of Sicilian and Southern Italian roots music drives Rosa Tatuata to passionately interpret the traditions and melodies of their ancestors.

For this concert, Michela Musolino and the band bring you seasonal favorites of Sicily. “These aren’t the familiar Christmas songs one would expect to hear, simply being sung in Italian. These ancient carols are exclusively Sicilian, and pre-date many common traditions. Yet somehow they convey the universal spirit of the season without the overt references to fireplaces, reindeers, wreaths, and snow!”, Musolino quipped.

She continued, “Our name, Rosa Tatuata, comes from Tennessee Williams’ beloved play about the happy, raucous collision of immigrant and American cultures in the 1950’s. In performance, we relate that incredible, exciting, commingling to the audience through song and dance. We think our band’s name is quite apropos!”

Research into traditional instruments fuels their compelling presentation. Expect to hear the tammburro (Sicilian frame drum), marranzanu (jaw harp), brogna ( conch shell), friscalettu (reed flute) and zampogna (Italian bagpipes)— rare sounds indeed! The enchanting mix of ballads and dance tunes will take your imagination to sunbathed Southern Italy and the clear, crystal-blue waters surrounding Sicily.
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 Papaer Tickets , by mail (send a check to SMaD, PO Box1293, Shepherdstown, WV  25443 with your order), or for full price at the door.

Fiddle Summit Showcase
Friday, January 3, 8pm
Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

This annual concert presents some of the finest fiddlers from a variety of traditions, including French Canadian, English, Scottish, Irish, New England, and Appalachian into a showcase concert with some extraordinary accompaniment.  Sean Heely is a national Scottish Fiddle champions whose fiery renditions of Scottish and Irish fiddle music are in great demand,  Elke Bakertoo is also renowned for her Scottish chops, as well as being a popular dance musician for English, Scottish and contra dances.  French Canadian fiddler, Lisa Ornstein is the dynamic fiddler who drives the music of Le Bruit Court dans le Ville.  David Kaynor has been a mainstay of the New England contra dance fiddling for over 40 years,  and is also know for his lovely playing of Scandinavian fiddle. Rebecca Weiss is a fantastic young fiddler whose dynamic playing drives the band Tea and Honey. They will all be joined by one of the finest dance pianists, in the country Dave Wieslerwho drives all sorts of dance ensembles with his accompaniment. Old-time fiddler, Erynn Marshall has been steeped in the traditional music of West Virginia, studying with old master Melvin Wine, and will be joined by her husband Carl Jones on guitar and banjo and last, but not least, master hammered dulcimer player and fiddler, Ken Kolodner will be with us again to round out the show.   Co-sponsored with Upper Potomac Fiddle Retreat. Jam session to follow.Visit the web page to get more information to sign up for classes. Early bird discount before Dec. 1!

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.

Tickets available from Brown Paper Tickets here.  For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email updf@earthlink.net.

Squeeze the Bag!
Saturday, January 18, 8pm

Shepherd University, Reynolds Hall

The bellows-blown bagpipe is a quieter, more parlor-oriented cousin to the great highland bagpipes most folks are familiar with. You’ll see pipes that are far more likely to be played with flutes, guitars, mandolins, bouzoukis, drums and other instruments in a session-like atmosphere for concerts or dances in smaller, more intimate settings. Four kinds of bagpipes will be featured: the Scottish smallpipe, the quieter cousin of the great highland pipes, the Irish uilleann (or Union) pipes, Northumbrian smallpipes and the Border pipes which are played in the border region between Scotland and England.
The concert is divided into three sections… We’ll open with the tiny Northumbrian pipes of England with Dick Hensold then we’ll move to Irish section of the program with an outstanding uilleann piper and step dancer,  Brian Bigley whose lovely playing and lively dancing have won him a national reputation. John Skelton is one of the foremost authorities on the Irish flute and has toured with the House Band and the Windbags, his great playing and his wonderful sense of humor make him one of our most popular performers.  The Scottish section of the concert will feature piper, Rosalind Buda, a professional bassonist, and also renowned performer on highland, border and smallpipes, as well as Iain MacHarg, a versatile piper who grew up steeped in piping from French, Scottish and Irish traditions who runs the Vermont Institute for the Celtic Arts. The will  be joined by Scottish fiddle champion Sean Heely along with Scottish piper, Tracy Jenkins.  It will all be tied together by our host piper, Bob Mitchell and more, in a set of music from the highlands and border regions of Scotland and Cape Breton on both Scottish smallpipes and Border pipes.
The concert will take place at Shepherd University’s Reynolds Hall.
Co-sponsored with the Upper Potomac Pipers Weekend. Classes available in many kinds of bellows blown bagpipes, flute, whistle and mixed-instruments. More information is on the web page.

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.
Tickets from Brown Paper Tickets available here.  For more information call the Upper Potomac office at 304.263.2531 or email updf@earthlink.net. Come on out and watch these pipers Squeeze the Bag..

Master and Apprentice: Legendary Irish Fiddler, Brendan Mulvihill with Emily Martin

Saturday, February 15 at 8pm

  St. Peters Lutheran Church

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.

 Celebration of Strings: Our annual Hammered Dulcimer Showcase

Friday, March 21, 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, Belgian-born multi-instrumentalist Paul Oorts and his wife, hammered dulcimer player Karen Ashbrook who play inspiring  arrangements of Celtic and continental pieces, as well as music to soothe the soul, which Karen specializes in her work in area hospitals. Representing our dulcimer staff will be Colin Beasley, Mark Wade and Ruth Smith playing a range of repertoire from Classical to Cuban and from Celtic to Appalachian.  Come and be amazed!

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.

For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email updf@earthlink.net.