Hang on to your Heart…

February is bringing some great happenings from SMaD… Be in the the know… join the new Mail Chimp SMaD email list at: http://eepurl.com/bG_Q8X

Ron Buchanan calls lively contra and square dances to the fine music of the Contrarians, a contra dance band from West Virginia. Featured are Paul Epstein on fiddle, John Longwell on mandolin, saxophone and banjo, Andy Park on guitar and Will Carter on bass. 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. Fabulous potluck snacks at the break. Admission is $12 adults, $8 SMD members, $5 dancers under 12 years old.

On Valentines Day, we bring you a concert with the Irish Supergroup Runa, sure to win the heart of the one you love… timed perfectly to be followed with a nice dinner on the town!

Runa
Sunday, February 14, 4:00pm
Shepherd University, Reynolds Hall

Quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music’s new “super-groups”, RUNA has been enchanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music, since their formation in 2008.  Interweaving the haunting melodies and exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of bluegrass, flamenco, blues, jazz, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music.

The group has been honoured internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and an Independent Music Award for Best World/Traditional Song.
 
“Timeless and flawless…”Jim Allford, PA Music Scene

Seeking to preserve and continue a traditional culture in a modern age, RUNA creates the backbone of its signature roots sound from the musical and geographical diversity of its individually established band members.  Their strive for excellence and creativity blazes a trail for the future of folk music, earning them the reputation as one of the most innovative Irish folk groups of this generation.

Best of all, RUNA sounds like no one else.” – Travis Rogers, Jr., Music Life and Times

Members of RUNA have played with Solas, Riverdance, Slide, Clannad, Fiddlers’ Bid, Moya Brennan, Eileen Ivers, Hazel O’Conner, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Barcó, Téada, Jonathan Edwards, and the Guy Mendilow Band.

RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Dave Curley of Galway on mandolin, vocals, bodhrán, and step-dancing, and Maggie Estes of Kentucky on the fiddle.

Receiving lavish praise on both sides of the Atlantic, RUNA recently released their fourth album, “Current Affairs”, a cross-pollination of RUNA’s signature roots sound with the overtones of Appalachia and Americana.  Hailed by Marcene Bronson, (The Celtic Crier) as “an incredible masterpiece”, “Current Affairs” has been nominated in the 2014 Irish Music Awards for “Best New Irish CD” and in the 2015 Independent Music Awards for “Best Bluegrass Song” (Ain’t No Grave) and Best World/Traditional Song (False Knight Upon the Road).
Tickets: Advance tickets are $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students and $25 adults, $22 seniors and $20 members at the door.. Advance tickets on sale at O’Hurley’s General Store, or by mail. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email updf@earthlink.net.

Drive the Cold Winter Away

Tis the season!!  Be up to date: Sign up for our email list here!

Wednesday, December 23: Renaissance Christmas Concert at St. Peters Lutheran Church 8pm.

Tina Chancey (longtime director) of HESPERUS joins with Niccolo Seligmann and Brian Kay from DIVISIO, a Baltimore-based group mixing Early music and Early magic designed to drive the cold winter away.
DIVISIO’s musical influences cut a broad swath – from Spain, Italy, Greece, to Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, and Northern Africa. Grounded in these living traditions, Divisio sends roots into cultures long gone and wide branches into cultures still in development. Together the three musicians play more than a dozen early and traditional instruments from oud to viol and kamenj to tar,combined in a program that will energize and delight you.
At St. Peter’s Lutheran Church at 110 N. King St. in Shepherdstown, WV. Admission is $22 adults, $20 seniors and $18 members and $10 for students. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email updf@earthlink.net.

Saturday, January 2: January Contra Dance at 8PM
Come out for a wonderful post-new year’s dance with Will Mentor calling to the Stringrays, with extraordinary New England fiddler, Rodney Miller, along with guitar and mandolin player, Max Newman who is also busy with his feet!, and the incredible Stuart Kenny on bass and banjo.  It promises to bring great delight!  Beginner’s workshop at 7:30, dance starts at 8pm.  Potluck snacks at the break.

Fiddle Retreat Fun!

Fiddle Summit: Friday, January 8 at 8pm
This annual concert presents some of the finest fiddlers from a variety of traditions with some extraordinary accompaniment. Featured artists include national Scottish fiddle champion Emerald Rae, Pascal Gemme, the driving force behind the French Canadian supergroup Genticorum, David Kaynor, known for his solid New England style and graceful Scandinavian fiddling, bluegrass and old-time fiddler and mandolinist Danny Kniceley, 6-time WV fiddle champion, Jake Krack, Ken Kolodner on dulcimer and fiddle, the fine flair of English country dance music from Peter Barnes (piano, flute) and Mary Lea and Paul Oorts. 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. At the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. Admission is $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students.
Tickets will be available at the door.
For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email updf@earthlink.net.
Fiddle Retreat Contra Dance: Saturday, January 9
David Kaynor calls to the immense “wall of sound” from the Fiddle Retreat Open Band led by David Kaynor, Pascal Gemme, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes and more. *No beginner’s workshop.
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.

Squeeze the Bag!
Saturday, January 16, 8pm
Four kinds of bagpipes will be featured in this showcase concert, including the tiny Northumbrian pipes of England with Ian Lawther, the uilleann pipes, performed by, Cillian Valleley, joined together with flutist Kevin Crawford, and fiddler, Colin Farrell who form the heart of the supergroup Lunasa. The Scottish section of the concert will feature pipers Mike MacNintch, Nick Hudson, and EJ Jones along with his accompanist, bouzouki player Frances Cunningham all 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. Admission: $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email updf@earthlink.net.EJ Jones with others from an earlier Squeeze the Bag… this year’s program with provide lots of variety!

End of the Holiday Post…. earlier posts below!

December Events

ATTENTION! We have just started a new media rich email list on Mail Chimp.  This will soon replace our old list. To add yourself to this list, please go here.

Saturday, December 5: Annual Holiday Potluck and December Contra Dance

Join us for our annual holiday potluck dinner, for all of our members and friends who love traditional music and dance.  This community gathering is a chance to gather together with old friends and meet new ones and share a meal of everyone’s favorite potluck dishes.  No need to stay for the dance, but we hope you will.  The potluck starts at 6pm… bring a favorite dish to share.

Dugan Murphy calls lively contra dances to the fine music of Blackjack Grove, with Bethany Waickman on guitar, Glen Loper on mandolin and Julie Metcalf on fiddle 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 information contact Becky at (304) 870-4118 or see the web page at http://www.smad.us .
Wednesday, December 23: Renaissance Christmas Concert
 at St. Peters Lutheran Church 8pm.

Tina Chancey (longtime director) of HESPERUS joins with Niccolo Seligmann and Brian Kay from DIVISIO, a Baltimore-based group mixing Early music and Early magic designed to drive the cold winter away.
DIVISIO’s musical influences cut a broad swath – from Spain, Italy, Greece, to Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, and Northern Africa. Grounded in these living traditions, Divisio sends roots into cultures long gone and wide branches into cultures still in development. Together the three musicians play more than a dozen early and traditional instruments from oud to viol and kamenj to tar,combined in a program that will energize and delight you.
At St. Peter’s Lutheran Church at 110 N. King St. in Shepherdstown, WV. Admission is $22 adults, $20 seniors and $18 members and $10 for students. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email updf@earthlink.net.

Coming up in January… musicians won’t want to miss the Early bird deadlines for Registration to get the best rates!  Look for details of the concerts and dances on our concerts web page and on on mid-December blog.
Upper Potomac Fiddle Retreat *
Friday, January 8-Sunday, January 10
Join some of our finest local fiddlers and special guests for a weekend featuring over 30 different workshops for fiddle, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, piano, and mixed instruments, and dance band classes in a variety of styles in historic Shepherdstown, WV, on the campus of Shepherd University. Weekend’s staff includes: Emerald Rae (Scottish, English), Mary Lea ( English), Pascal Gemme (French Canadian), David Kaynor (New England), Alan Jabbour ( Appalachian), Danny Knicely (bluegrass, swing, and old-time mandolin and fiddle), Peter Barnes (Dance Band, piano), Ken Kolodner (hammered dulcimer accompaniment) and Paul Oorts (mandolin and mixed-instrument band classes). Friday night features a showcase concert; Saturday night has a contra dance with the weekend’s open band led by our instructors as well as jam sessions nearby. For information see http://upperpotomacmusic.info/fiddleretreat or call Joanie Blanton (304) 263-2531 or email upperpotomac@gmail.com . Early bird registrants (before December 1) get a substantial discount on tuition fees.
Upper Potomac Pipers Weekend *
Friday, January 15 -Sunday, January 17
Weekend retreat featuring classes, individual tutoring, concert and sessions for a wide variety of bellows-blown bagpipes, percussion, flute and mixed instruments. Staff are: Cillian Valleley (uilleann pipes), Kevin Crawford (Irish flute), Colin Farrell (Irish fiddle), Ian Lawther (Northumbrian smallpipes), Mike MacNintch, EJ Jones, and Nick Hudson (Scottish smallpipes and borderpipes), Frances Cunningham (bouzouki) and our host piper Bob Mitchell (Scottish smallpipes & border pipes). All classes are held in the relaxed retreat atmosphere of the Shepherd University campus center and the surrounding historic buildings. For more information see the webpage at http://upperpotomacmusic.info/squeezethebag/ , call Joanie Blanton (304) 263-2531 or email upperpotomac@gmail.com . Early Bird registration by Dec 15 offers a substantial discount on tuition! Rental smallpipes and practice bouzoukis (restrung baritone ukes) are available for the weekend for a small additional fee for those just starting out.

End of Dec 2015 post……….

Fall update… October and November

We start off October with a lively contradance that will feel like a party!

On Saturday, October 3, Eva Murray will call a lively selection of contras to the Baltimore-based band Wombat Crossing, with Carl Friedman on fiddle, Robin Wilson on flute and Charlie Pilzer on piano and accordion.  Eva’s clear directions will have even the newest beginners dancing every dance!  A beginner’s workshop will be held at 7:30, the dance starts at 8pm.  Potluck snacks at the break, please wear clean soft-soled shoes to protect our lovely wooden floor at the Shepherdstown War Memorial Building.

Our dance prices have risen…  it now costs $10 general admission, $7 for members… dancers under 12yrs old $5.  Our annual membership is only $15/yr for a single or $25/family.  Join this season and save while attending our wide selection of concerts and dances.

Our concert with Gerdan, originally scheduled for Friday, October 2 has been moved to November 13.  Andrei and Solomeia were required for a last minute booking with the Maryland Symphony at Strathmore Hall.

Our November dance, on Saturday, November 7, features the calling of Sargon de Jesus to the music of Divine Comedy with Steve Hickman on fiddle, John Divine on guitar, and Marty Taylor on whistles and concertina. Same time, place and details as October…

And last, but certainly not least… the best way to spend Friday the 13th… with music from Transyvania and Ukraine with Gerdan!
Friday, November 13, 2015 we feature a concert with the band Gerdan at 8pm at the St Peters Lutheran Church
Gerdan2
Gerdan ensemble is named after a multi-colored, intricately woven beaded necklace from Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine. Like this dazzling and exquisite necklace, musicians bring alive rich arrangements that reflect their passion for tradition Eastern European folk melodies and rhythms. Inspired by their native roots and heritage, they create and perform their own special blend of world music that brings together the old with the new, in a style that is fresh, lively, and beautiful.

The Gerdan concert features traditional songs and folk melodies from Ukrainian, Slovak, Czech, Gypsy sources that are rich in history, and complexity. Bringing together a duo of folk and classically trained musicians consisting of flute master, Andrei Pidkivka who plays a vast assortment of folk flutes from the region, violinist Solomia Gorokhivska and special guest Richard Miller , this concert will bring to life music of the Ukraine!

September is here… and our new season is starting!

Start off your September with a contra dance to remember!

Saturday, September 5  Carol Ormand, calls to the lively tunes of the Latter Day Lizards with Dave Langford – fiddle/guitar, Bill Tomczak – clarinet/saxophone/banjo uke/dumbek and Peter Barnes – piano/guitar/flute/harmonica !

With a wide ranging and hopelessly eclectic repertoire including everything from Irish and Scottish traditional jigs and reels to Balkan, blues and swing tunes (often juxtaposed next to each other) the Latter Day Lizards bring excellent musicianship, playfulness, drama and unrelentingly infectious rhythm to their dance performances.

Video of the Latter Day Lizards…

Our October Dance on Saturday, October 3 will be Eva Murray calling to Wombat Crossing with Carl Friedman on fiddle, Robin Wilson on concertina, flute and sax and Charlie Pilzer on piano.

Coming up in November…

Friday, November 13, 2015  we feature a concert with the band Gerdan at 8pm at the St Peters Lutheran Church

Gerdan  ensemble is named after a multi-colored, intricately woven beaded necklace from Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine. Like this dazzling and exquisite necklace, musicians bring alive rich arrangements that reflect their passion for tradition Eastern European folk melodies and rhythms.  Inspired by their native roots and heritage, they create and perform their own special blend of world music that brings together the old with the new, in a style that is fresh, lively, and beautiful.

The Gerdan concert features traditional songs and folk melodies from Ukrainian, Slovak, Czech, Gypsy sources that are rich in history, and complexity.   Bringing together a duo of folk and classically trained musicians consisting of flute master, Andrei Pidkivka who plays a vast assortment of folk flutes from the region, violinist Solomia Gorokhivska and special guests, this concert will bring to life music of the Ukraine!

March brings great Irish and French Canadian Music and some great dancing

Buy your tickets early at O’Hurley’s General Store for this concert, it is likely to sell out!

The Outside Track
Friday, March 6 , 8pm
Shepherd University’s Reynolds Hall
Winner of Best Group in both the Live Ireland awards and the TIR awards, The Outside Track are one of the top Celtic acts in the world. A stunning synthesis of virtuosity and energy, their marriage of Celtic music, song, dance has been rapturously received around the world. Hailing from Scotland, Ireland, and Cape Breton, its five members are united by a love of traditional music and a commitment to creating new music on this as a foundation. They effortlessly fuse traditional and contemporary with winning joie de vivre. Recently joined by acclaimed singer Aoife Scott, the next generation of the legendary Black Family from Ireland, they blend fiddle, accordion, harp, guitar, whistle, step-dance and vocals with breathtaking vitality. ‘Among the top groups in the world. Traditional, creative, and brilliant’ (LiveIreland.com).

Admission: $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students. Advance tickets on sale at O’Hurley’s General Store, by mail. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email updf@earthlink.net.

See more information and videos at http://www.theoutsidetrack.com/

Saturday, March 7: Contra Dance  to the energetic calling of Jack Mitchell to the fine music of Triple Helix with Alexander Mitchell on fiddle, Colleen Reed on flute and sax, and Keith Gillis on guitar.

Another great concert event coming up at the end of the month… with residential workshops as a part of the Upper Potomac Spring Music’s Weekend.

Celebration of Strings: French Canadian Music with Le Bruit Court Dans le Ville and Hammered Dulcimer Showcase with KA/PO: Karen Ashbrook and Paul Oorts and more!
Saturday, 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 from Quebec, Le Bruit court dans la villefeaturing the fine fiddling of Lisa Ornstein, the lively melodeon of Normand Miron and the enchanting voice and intricate guitar work of Andre Marchand.  Representing our dulcimer staff will be KAPO (Karen Ashbrook andPaul Oorts), who have a new recording out featuring music from the Ireland, Belgium and the crossroads of Europe;Mick Doherty, a fine eclectic player from Portland, Oregon and Jody Marshall, who excels in Celtic styles on her instrument.

Admission: $18 adults, $15 seniors, $12 SMD members, $8 students. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email updf@earthlink.net.

Squeeze the Bag Returns with a Bellows-Blown Bagpipe Showcase!

Squeeze the Bag!
Saturday, January 17, 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 a Scottish section of the concert that will feature pipers Tim CummingsIain MacHargBob Mitchell and special guest, in a set of music from the highlands and border regions of Scotland on both Scottish smallpipes and Border pipes. We’ll finish off the concert with the Irish section of the program featuring Sean Gavin on flute, whistle, and uilleann pipes, Joey Abarta on uilleann pipes, special guest accompanist, Pat Egan, and Kelly Criscuolo-Debutts on fiddle, flute, uilleann pipes and more.


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: $18 adults, $15 seniors, $12 SMD members, $8 students. 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.

Coming up on Saturday, February 7 :  First Saturday Contra Dance with Hilton Baxter calling to the Black Oranges, with Sarah Ford on fiddle and Gary Prince on guitar.  Beginners workshop starts at 7:30PM, Dance starts at 8.  See the dance page for more details.

Holiday Magic! Events coming up in December and January!

SORRY!  IRISH CHRISTMAS IS SOLD OUT!!!

Irish Christmas in America
Tuesday, December 16 , 8pm
Shepherd University, Reynolds Hall
The hugely popular Irish Christmas in America show, now in its 10th season, features top Irish music, song and dance in an engaging performance rich in history, humour and boundless energy. Produced by Oisín Mac Diarmada of award-winning lrish group Téada, the 2014 tour brings back the amazing Séamus Begley, (TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year) along with his daughter Méabh Begley.
This family-friendly performance features evocatively-sung Irish ballads, lively instrumental tunes and thrilling Irish dancing, while evocative photographic images provide a backdrop to some of the rich historical traditions. Take a memorable glimpse into the enchanting spirit of Christmas, as the finest traditional artists from Ireland bring you on a fun-filled start to the holiday season of 2014.
Advance tickets are $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students, tickets at the door are $25 adults, $22 seniors, $20 SMaD members and $10 students. Tickets on sale at O’Hurley’s General Store, by mail or online at: http://irishchristmasinamerica.com.

Irish Christmas in America @ CMU, Mount Pleasant MI from Musical Ireland on Vimeo.

Coming up in January!!!  Don’t Miss the Fiddle Summit Concert!

Fiddle Summit Showcase
Friday, January 2, 8pm
Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

This annual concert presents some of the finest fiddlers from a variety of traditions, including Scandinavian, Klezmer, Irish, Scottish, New England and Appalachian into a showcase concert with some extraordinary accompaniment. Andrea Hoag is accomplished in many styles of fiddle but her strongest interest in in Scandinavian fiddling, where her work with Hoag, Kelley and Pilzer was nominated for a Grammy award; this year she’ll be joined by bandmates,  Paul Oorts (guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, accordion) and Dave Wiesler (piano and guitar) from the contra band Cabaret Sauvignon.  National Scottish fiddle champion, Elke Bakeris always a treat , and she’ll be joined with frequent collaborators, Ken Kolodner on hammered dulcimer and fiddle and old-time fiddlerJoe Herrmannfor a mix of Scottish, Appalachian and   Our special guests this year are mandolinist extraordinaire, Danny Knicely,  who has expanded beyond his roots in old-time and bluegrass to play seamlessly in a variety of music genres, and fourth generation Irish-style fiddler, Graham DeZarnwho lends his considerable talents to the Childsplay fiddle extravaganza and the local Old-time band, The Hot Seats.

Contra Dance: Saturday, January 3, with Laura Brown calling to the Fiddle Retreat Open Band, led by Andrea Hoag, Dave Wiesler and Paul Oorts!

Squeeze the Bag!  Annual Bagpipe Showcase Saturday, Januay 17th! 

Join us for one of these events!  Sign up for workshops at http://upperpotomacmusic.info!