Festival 2013 Events

Sunday, March 3rd

Lecture: "Was Champlain the First European to visit the Champlain Valley" with Dr. Jim Gorman  1:00 p.m.

Was Champlain the First European to Visit the Champlain Valley? This will be a talk with slides of a site here in Vermont indicating possible habitation by Celts prior to Champlain's visit to the area. There is evidence of stone structures of the type found in Ireland and other sites of Celtic habitation. This will be the third in a series of talks presented by Dr. Gorman about the relationship of stone and the Irish people.

Location: Fletcher Free Library, College Street, Burlington, VT

Admission: Free, Donations Welcome

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Monday, March 11th

Handsome Molly  5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

A traditional Irish harp and fiddle duo steeped in the traditions of Irish music and song. They will be singing lively Irish songs and beautiful ballads with haunting harmonies, and they'll have you up and dancing to the lively jigs and reels at the heart of Irish traditional music!

Location: Ri Ra Irish Pub, 123 Church Street, Burlington, VT

Admission: Free

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Tuesday, March 12th

Concert for St. Patrick featuring Tommy Sands  7:00 p.m.

Tommy Sands, County Down's singer, songwriter and social activist, has achieved something akin to legendary status in his own lifetime. From the pioneering tours with the highly influential Sands Family, playing Carnegie Hall to Moscow's Olympic Stadium, he has become one of Ireland's most powerful songwriters and enchanting performers. He enjoys celebrity status in many parts of the world, tempered by artistic integrity and the sorrow of personal tragedy in his war torn homeland.

Walking the road between two cultures, he dreams of an Ireland without conflict. Indeed, his songs speak to all that Ireland is, from its troubled past to its indomitable spirit and a vision of "a land of dreaming". And his work around the globe speaks to our common heritage, using music to bridge cultural differences. In this way he shares a vision with songwriters instigating social change such as Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, and close friend Pete Seeger. His music moves from traditional Irish to contemporary folk, and his lyrics evoke images of Ireland and make edgier commentaries on social consciousness.

Co-presented by St. Michael's College and Young Tradition Vermont

Location: McCarthy Performing Arts Center, St. Michael's College, Colchester, VT

Admission: $20 suggested donation, reservations by emailing mrksustc@together.net

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Wednesday, March 13th

Irish Music Session  9:00 p.m.

Radio Bean has a regular Irish music session that helps keep our traditions alive here in Vermont. Come to play or come to listen. The session is open to musicians and singers. Fine local musicians bring their best Irish tunes. This is not a slow session, so sit down and strap yourself in. Come ready to play, sing, dance or tap your toes and try to keep up.

Location: Radio Bean, 8 North Winooski Avenue, Burlington, VT

Admission: Free

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Friday, March 15th

Lecture: "The Role of the Irish in the American Civil War" with Liam McKone  Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Liam McKone, author of Vermont's Irish Rebel, presents the role of the Irish in the War of the Rebellion, as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the tragic conflict. From the well-known Irish Brigade commanded by Thomas Francis Meagher to Burlington's own Emmet Guards led by Captain John Lonergan, Irish soldiers on both sides were justly noted for their gallantry in battle.

Popular duo O'hAnleigh, Tom Hanley and Cindy Hill, will provide interludes of Civil War music with a focus on those songs related to the Irish soldiers in the conflict. Following the event at the library, they will also perform at the Ri Ra Irish Pub 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Mr. McKone will have copies of Vermont's Irish Rebel for sale.

Co-presented with Burlington City Arts

Location: Community Room, Fletcher Free Library, College Street, Burlington, VT

Admission: Free, Donations Welcome. CDs for sale

Handsome Molly  6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

A traditional Irish harp and fiddle duo steeped in the traditions of Irish music and song. They will be singing lively Irish songs and beautiful ballads with haunting harmonies, and they'll have you up and dancing to the lively jigs and reels at the heart of Irish traditional music!

Location: Ri Ra Irish Pub, 123 Church Street, Burlington, VT

Admission: Free

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Saturday, March 16th

Children's Stories and Crafts  10:00 a.m. - Noon

Share the Celtic heritage with a new generation - or expand your children's cultural horizons. This event features stories and images of the Irish and Irish-Americans. Hear classic Irish tales and create some Irish themed crafts. All ages are welcome.

Co-presented with Burlington City Arts

Location: Fletcher Room, Fletcher Free Library, College Street, Burlington, VT

Admission: Free, Donations Welcome

The Musical Instruments of Ireland: An Introduction to Celtic Instruments  11:00 a.m. - Noon

What's the difference between Irish bagpipes and Scottish bagpipes? What's the difference between a violin and a fiddle? How did the harp come to be invented? What is the first instrument that most Irish children learn to play? Why were 500 harps burned in the city of Dublin in the 1650's? Join well-known players of Irish music Hilari Farrington and Benedict Koehler on a lively tour of Irish musical instruments, their history, and the music they play. They perform on Uilleann bagpipes, penny whistle, Irish harp, and button accordion and have shared the stage, composed and recorded with some of the finest Irish musicians of our day.

Co-presented with Burlington City Arts and Young Tradition Vermont

Location: Pickering Room, Fletcher Free Library, College Street, Burlington, VT

Admission: Free, Donations Welcome

Celtic Cats St. Patrick's Day Ceili  3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The Celtic Cats St. Patrick's Day Ceili is UVM's premier Irish cultural event. Since its inception in 2010, it has been the only strictly Irish event on campus each year. Come join the Cats for an afternoon of Irish music and dance. The three levels of dancers will showcase the performance pieces they've been working on all year to a mix of traditional and extremely non-traditional music. There will also be an opportunity for audience participation in traditional Ceili (group) dances. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided and attendees are also encouraged to bring an Irish dish to share!

For more information contact zack.warshaw@gmail.com

Location: UVM dance studio, inside Patrick Gym. Parking free anywhere in Gutterson garage.

Admission: Admission is $5 with a UVM, St. Mike's, Champlain or Middlebury affiliate ID and $7 for the general public.

The Seventh Annual Burlington Irish Music Showcase  7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Our 7th Annual Burlington Irish Music Showcase kicks off with a live dance performance by UVM's Celtic Cats! If you want to witness the beautiful, athletic energy of Irish dancing at its best, come down to Church Street to watch and listen as Burlington's finest traditional Irish musicians lay down some foot stomping tunes for the Celtic Cats. All are welcome, and the show is free!

The Showcase continues inside where there will be refreshments available from local producers, and a special selection of home-made Irish soda bread, Irish brown bread, and home-made scones, all served with a selection of local jams and preserves. A lively traditional Irish session will be taking place downstairs, with great Irish musicians driving the music forward as only Irish musicians can.

Performances will be taking place upstairs in the BCA Center where there will be two rooms of exciting music and dance, presented by your hosts for the evening, Mark Sustic and Patrick Webb.

Musicians performing on the night will include Handsome Molly, a traditional Irish harp and fiddle duo steeped in the traditions of Irish music and song. They will be singing lively Irish songs, and beautiful ballads with haunting harmonies, and they'll have you up and dancing to the lively jigs and reels at the heart of Irish traditional music!

Also playing are a brilliant, up-and-coming brother and sister duo from Vermont, Yasi and Oli Zeichner, whose command of the fiddle and Irish uilleann pipes has to be heard to be believed! These young players show that the Irish musical tradition is certainly in safe hands.

There will be more beautiful music from that most Irish of instruments, the uilleann pipes, played by Burlington's very own Anthony Santoro. Anthony has toured and performed extensively throughout the USA and Ireland, and is recognized as one of Vermont's finest exponents of the piping tradition. He will be joined on stage by Ruarri Serpa, a young Burlington-based fiddler whose musical journey has led him to study the wild, beautiful musical traditions of the Irish west coast, and the regions of West Clare and East Galway in particular. The bleak beauty of Ireland's Atlantic coast has long been a source of inspiration for Irish musicians, and the 'lonesome touch' that makes Irish music so unique will raise the hairs on your neck and bring a tear to your eye.

Other performances taking place include the debut of a brand-new, Burlington-based fiddle duo, Ceol as Sliabh Luachra, who will play a selection of tunes from the dance tradition of the Sliabh Luachra region of Ireland. This small region, between the borders of counties Cork, Kerry, and Limerick, lies along the River Blackwater, and is home to a unique style of lively, lilting dance music. It is particularly associated with two types of Irish dance tune rarely played outside of this region, slides and polkas, which are played at blistering pace at céilís and house dances in the Sliabh Luachra region. Come along and see if you can keep up!

Singers appearing on the night will include Dominique Dodge, a Burlington-based Irish and Scottish harp player and vocalist who sings in English, Irish, and Scottish Gàidhlig. Dominique studied Traditional Scottish Harp and Song at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dance, and recently completed an MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance at the University of Limerick, where she added traditional Irish harp and singing to her growing list of accomplishments. She will be joined by Jennifer Culley Curtin, winner of the 2011 Times-Argus Award for Best Traditional Album, which she received for her debut recording 'Comfort for the Comfortless'. Jennifer's sweetly mournful, warm, and evocative interpretations of Irish songs and ballads has earned her the critical recognition that she so rightly deserves, and we are delighted to offer you the opportunity to come down and hear her for yourself!

For the final performance, Burlington Irish Heritage Festival are proud to present the Shillelagh Céilí Band, a group of young Irish performers who will be unleashing the full musical energy of the Irish céilí experience for all to see and hear! The uilleann pipes, the traditional Irish harp, fiddles, flutes and tin whistles, are but a few of the Irish instruments that will come together to create a great musical experience in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. We'll be playing jigs and reels, hornpipes and waltzes, marches and mazurkas, and we hope you'll all be ready to get up and dance along with us. Irish music and dancing is all about having a good time, so come along and join us for a bit of craic - it's going to be mighty!

Co-presented with The BCA Center

Sponsored by Rí Rá Irish Pub

Location: The BCA Center, 135 Church Street, Burlington, VT

Admission: $20 family, $10 individual (includes students/seniors). All tickets will be for sale at the door.

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Sunday, March 17th

Festival Ceili  1:00 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Ceili is the Irish word for a music, dancing, handclapping good time! The Annual Festival Ceili is fun for the whole family with Irish stepdancing and some of Vermont's finest Celtic musicians. Hear fiddles and flutes, Irish pipes and pennywhistles, and the bodhran, a traditional Irish frame drum. Area musicians are welcome to bring their instruments and join in for a lively seisun.

Beth Anne McFadden and students of the McFadden Academy of Irish Dance will perform and also lead audience participation Ceili dances.

NOTE: The ceili is at a different location this year - but the same great time is to be had!

Location: Mater Christi School, 50 Mansfield Ave, Burlington, VT

Admission: Free, Donations Welcome

Irish Music Concert: Solas  7:00 p.m.

The Burlington Irish Heritage Festival is happy to support the Flynn Center and the UVM Lane Series as they return one of the premier acts in Irish music to Burlington, Solas.

Solas is one of the most popular, influential, and exciting Celtic bands to emerge from the United States. From Woody Guthrie’s Pastures of Plenty, to Springsteen’s Ghost of Tom Joad, to traditional jigs and reels, the Solas brand of Irish music mixes fire tested tradition and contemporary innovation, appealing to music fans of all stripes. Solas combines lyrical song themes with an energetic blend of flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistle, guitar, bodhran, fiddle, keyboard, accordion, and concertina.

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Look for our table in the lobby to get more information and to put your name on the email listing for future events. Liam McKone will be there portraying local Civil War hero Captain John Lonergan, with copies of Vermont's Irish Rebel available for purchase.

Location: Flynn Theater, Main Street Burlington, VT

Admission: Tickets start at $15.00 and can be purchased online here or by calling the Flynn Box Office at (802) 863-5966.

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Saturday, March 30th

Master Class and Private Lessons with Tony DeMarco  10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Young Tradition Vermont and Vermont Violins present this 3rd in a series of 3 Master Classes with the masterful New York-based, Irish style fiddler Tony DeMarco. Tony has been performing and teaching Irish fiddle music for more than 30 years and is now one of leading living exponents of the New York/Sligo fiddle style. The late Paddy Reynolds, Andy McGann and Martin Wynne were very influential on Tony's playing, as was the music of New York/Sligo fiddlers of the generation prior, including Michael Coleman, James Morrison, Paddy Killoran, and James "Lad" O'Beirne.

Location: Vermont Violins & Burlington Violin Shop, 23 Church Street, Burlington, VT

Admission: The workshop is fully booked. Private lessons, also at the Burlington Violin Shop, are available for $30 per 1/2 hour, $50 per hour. To be added to the workshop waiting list, book a private lesson or for more information: mrksustc@together.net.

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Last updated on 02/24/2013
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