Irish Session to benefit ACLU

February 27, 2017

Fiddle and beerThis Sunday, March 5th join Irish musicians from around the country, in participating in the Sanctuary Sessions, traditional music for civil rights.

Whether you live in Vermont, Massachusetts, New York or Oregon, you too can make a difference.

This is a massive session taking place around the country, and in Ireland, to help raise money for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), an organization that strives to protect the civil rights of all people.

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This land was made for you and me

February 17, 2017

Being able to play traditional Irish music is truly a blessing. Not just because it’s beautiful music that spans hundreds of years, but because it brings people together, from around the globe.

I have traveled through the US and many countries and sometimes have hopped in to listen to or play in a session. And even at the sessions where I didn’t speak that country’s language, I could still sit down and play a tune, have a laugh, and even make a new friend. It’s magical and it’s one of the things that makes this music so special.

With all the divisiveness going on in this country right now, I think what the world needs is a little more music and a lot more empathy for people who are different from ourselves. When you actually sit down to play or listen to music together,  you’ll likely find, we all have more in common than you think.

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Winter Cape Breton Fiddle and Dance Camp

January 28, 2017

One of the best ways to work on mastering your instrument is to immerse yourself completely in the music as much as you you possibly can. Music is just like a language and the more you hear it and are surrounded by it, the more you pick up.

Coming up next month, you’ll have an opportunity to spend the weekend immersing yourself in some Cape Breton music and dance with the Winter Cape Breton Fiddle and Dance Camp with fiddlers Troy MacGillivray, Wendy MacIsaac and Beth Telford.

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Celtic Winter Gathering – This Weekend Jan 21-22nd

January 18, 2017

Celtic DancersIf you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, check out the Celtic Winter Gathering and Green Mountain Performing Arts Winter Dance Showcase at Main Street Landing in Burlington, VT.

Here is the press release:

Celtic dancers from the northeast U.S. and Canadian provinces will convene in Burlington, VT, Saturday, January 21 from 9:00 am-3:00 pm to compete in a Scottish and Irish dance competition.

The competition, now held at Main Street Landing on the Burlington’s waterfront, has received worldwide attention by combining the Irish and Scottish culture and dance into one event which offers a unique experience for attendees.

Workshops will take place for beginners through advance dancers with Mitchell DeSimone, a performer with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, and Natalie Quick, a former world champion Highland dancer Sunday morning, January 22. All are welcome to participate – visit Green Mountain Performing Arts for rates and times.

Scottish and Irish inspired food will be available during the event at the Celtic Cafe. In addition, Green Mountain Performing Arts (GMPA) presents its Winter Showcase on Saturday night at 6:30pm and Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm at Main Street Landing. The two showcase dance performances will feature all levels of Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Breaking and Musical Theater offered at GMPA.

For more information about the event contact: Heather Morris, Executive Director, Green Mountain Performing Arts, (802) 244-8600, gmpavt@gmail.com or visit the website.


The drippy side of the flute

January 10, 2017

Christy Barry, flute playerIf you’ve ever played at a session and sat next to a flute player, you know full well what the drippy side of the flute is. It’s not pretty, the condensation, I mean. The sound of a good flute player is, however.

Though the drip can be a drag, listening to the flute sing effortlessly in your ear can be quite mesmerizing and worth the drip.

There is something about the sound of a flute, that almost feels like a massage for your ears. It has this woody tone that is full and sweet and I’m not sure it can be replicated.

If you are lucky enough to play this beautiful instrument and want to improve your chops, flute and whistle player extraordinaire, Christy Barry will be giving a master class for Irish traditional flute players from 11am-4pm at the Florence Civic Center in Northhampton, MA. The cost is $50. Preregistration is required as spaces are limited. For information on email Sally or visit the Facebook page.

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The joy of coming full circle

December 26, 2016

The London EyeEverything comes full circle and I’m reminded of that more often than not. Take for example, bell-bottoms and leg warmers. Who would have thought they’d be cool twice in my life-time? Or platform shoes, of which I’m still afraid to walk in.

Even when it comes to my writing. I come up with an idea, I start writing. I take my words in another direction (maybe a few) yet I always end up writing about my original concept. Coming full circle.

For the last 4-5 months, I’ve been learning various other genres of music on my fiddle other than Irish music. I’ve been practicing some jazz, blues, folk and everything under the sun except for Irish music. It was not intentional. I was taking a class and Irish music was just not on the syllabus. I’ve also been participating in drum workshops and dance workshops that are completely unrelated to Irish music. Read the rest of this entry »


Irish sessions: because playing with others is more fun

December 7, 2016

Irish flute playerNo matter how many tunes you learn, or how good you play them, it’s always more fun to play with other people. Whether it’s just getting together in someone’s house, performing for an audience or playing in a session, music is a social thing and is meant to be shared.

One of the things I love about living in Vermont besides the beautiful scenery and the fact that people care about each other, is there is a large community of Irish musicians and sessions all around the state to play in.

Aside from the weekly Saturday session at Bagitos in Montpelier (from 2-5pm), there are two more sessions coming up in the next week to play in or listen to:

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