Concert Season 2017-2018

2017-2018 Concert Season

Skippers Alley
Friday, October 13 , 8pm
Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

Skipper’s Alley are a modern Irish folk band with an old-school approach. Their influences range from folk revival bands such as Planxty and The Bothy Band to rare, experimental solo players like Tommie Potts and Séamus Ennis.

Once described as “a young Irish ensemble who look like a punk band and sound like The Chieftains” Skipper’s Alley specialise in gritty, high-octane Irish dance tunes on Uilleann Pipes, Whistles, Fiddle, Bodhrán, Bouzouki, Flute and Harp, with occasional detours into the dark, sombre melodies of the Irish song tradition.

Since forming in 2013 Skipper’s Alley have garnered wide critical praise, appeared on national and international TV, and toured on four continents. Write-ups include The Irish Times (★★★★), The Living Tradition, Folk Radio UK, Folk World, and Celtic Music Radio (★★★★★). TV appearances include S4C’s ‘Lorient’ as well as RTÉs ‘Fleadh!’ and The Late Late Show. Festival appearances include Electric Picnic (Ireland), Festival Interceltique de Lorient (France), The Stan Rogers Folk Festival (Canada), Spring Fest (India) and The Dayton Ohio Irish Fest (USA).

In 2014, Skipper’s Alley’s released their self-titled debut album under the production of Trevor Hutchinson (Lúnasa, The Waterboys, Sharron Shannon). To date the record has received wide critical acclaim and sold out several repressings.

Skipper’s Alley are currently touring regularly in North America and are hard at work on a second album due for release in mid to late 2017.
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 are available at O’Hurley’s General Store or from Brown Paper Tickets.
For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email

Renaissance Holiday Concert with Tina Chancey and Brian Kay
Saturday, December 23, 8pm
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
These two fine artists return to give us more music from the Renaissance and beyond to add to the beauty of the holiday season.  Offering up soulful, heartbreakingly beautiful instrumentals, and songs to inspire your imagination, this promises to be a wonderful way to share the magic of the season with family and friends and a delightful way to spend a cold winter’s night

TINA CHANCEY plays medieval fiddles, viola da gamba and renaissance, Old Time and Irish fiddle on roots music from Sephardic and Irish to medieval and jazz standards. Her particular specialty is the five-stringed pardessus de viole. A member of Ensemble Toss the Feathers (based in France), Sol y Sal and Trio Sefardi, she is a former member of the Folger Consort, the Ensemble for Early Music, New York Renaissance Band, Blackmore’s Night and more.  Tina teaches, performs, improvises, produces recordings, composes and arranges (for the National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble, the Washington Revels, and Rondo Publishing’s Celtic Gold series), writes popular and scholarly articles and directs a Christmas Collegium,  on playing by ear and improvisation. The Versatile Viol is her 3-CD series featuring the viol in Scots-Irish music, French baroque music, and American traditional music. Tina has been given an Special Education Achievement Award by Early Music America and four Wammies for best classical instrumentalist by the Washington Area Music Association.

BRIAN KAY  is a modern-day troubadour. Hailed as “Far-ranging”, “Brilliant”, and “Exciting”,-Cleveland Classical  Brian performs throughout the US, both as a solo artist, and with a number of critically acclaimed ensembles. He has appeared on more than 10 album releases at the age of 32.  His recent projects include “Play, Music!” a one-man show featuring music and songs from the plays of Shakespeare, co-direction of a Mediterranean music program with Cleveland’s baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire, and his latest original music release Moonsong.

Advance tickets will be $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 members and $10 students,  and $22 adults, $20 seniors, $18 members and $10 students at  the door.  Advance Tickets will be available online from Brown Paper Tickets, or by mail (send a check to SMaD, PO Box1293, Shepherdstown, WV  25443 with your order).

Fiddle Summit Showcase
Friday, January 5, 8pm
Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church
This annual concert presents some of the finest fiddlers from a variety of traditions, including Cape Breton, English, Scottish, Irish, New England, Gypsy Jazz, and Appalachian into a showcase concert with some extraordinary accompaniment. Elke Baker and, Sean Heely and Laura Risk are all national Scottish Fiddle champions whose fiery renditions of Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle music are in great demand, but all are incredible versatile, and known for other styles as well including English, Irish and Quebecois style fiddling. Old-time fiddle wizard, Rachel Eddy, has been steeped in the traditional music of West Virginia all her life, and has garnered praise and prizes for her music both at home and abroad.  She regularly performs with the Pittsburgh band, The Early Mays, and with Ken and Brad Kolodner. Baltimore-based clawhammer banjo player, Brad Kolodner, represents the next generation of Old-Time musicians pushing the boundaries of the tradition into uncharted territory. Regarded for his delicate touch, expressive style, and original compositions, Kolodner has rapidly gained national attention for his unique approach to the banjo.  Joined by versatile bassist, Alex Lacquement who plays with him in the highly acclaimed band Charm City Junction, and his father, the highly acclaimed hammered dulcimer player and fiddler, Ken Kolodner, they form a powerful quartet.  Pianist and composer, Dave Wiesler is a consummate dance musician of many styles, and last, but not least, Belgian-born, Paul Oorts is a multi-instrumentalist whose fine accompaniment enriches such bands as the Gigmeisters, Gold Crest and Cabaret Sauvignon. Together, this incredible line-up promises to bring a night of enchantment to all who love the folk violin. 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!
Admission is $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email

Squeeze the Bag!
Saturday, January 13, 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 Ian Lawther, then we’ll move to Irish section of the program with two outstanding uilleann pipers, Joey Abarta and Sean Gavin who also doubles on flute in the Irish bands Teada and Bua. The Scottish section of the concert will feature pipers Tim Cummings, who has a diverse repertoire which includes French, Appalachian and other traditions, and EJ Jones, a multi-instrumentalist and award winning piper who founding the Celtic band Clandestine, and now tours frequently with the Piper Jones band including bouzouki player, extraordinaire, Frances Cunningham.  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.
Admission: $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students. For more information call the Upper Potomac office at 304.263.2531 or email Come on out and watch these pipers Squeeze the Bag.

Celebration of Strings: Cape Breton Music with Troy McGillivray and friends and our annual Hammered Dulcimer Showcase
Friday, March 9, 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, Troy McGillivray and Andrea Beaton from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on piano, fiddle and maybe a little step dance. Representing our dulcimer staff will be  Karen Alley, Tina Bergmann and Mick Doherty playing a range of repertoire from Classical to Cuban and from Celtic to Klezmer.  Come and be amazed!
Admission: $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email

Wednesday, May 23, 8PM

Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

Dulcemelos are a duo comprised of Alejandra Barrientos and Héctor Larios from Querétaro, Mexico who are working to keep alive the hammered dulcimer (salterio) repertoire in Mexico. Their diverse repertoire includes Mexican folk pieces, European baroque music, salon and chamber music from the 18th Century and more recent compositions for plucked dulcimer and piano.

Admission is $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMaD members, and $10 children.

And look forward to seeing  Bua on Sunday, September 23 and the award-winning Canadian Celtic String Quartet, amd more great concerts to come!