Release date: Feb. 15, 2001
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Assistant Director, 404-727-0644, or firstname.lastname@example.org
"Roots And Branches" Concert A Highlight Of
Emory Scots-Irish Symposium
||Northern Irish ensemble Ulster Scots Folk Orchestra,
folk band the Georgia Mudcats, traditional mountain folk group Nonesuch,
fiddler Maggie Holtzberg
||A concert "Roots and Branches: The Scots-Irish Heritage in Music,
Song and Dance"
||8:15 p.m. Saturday, March 3
||Cannon Chapel, 515 Kilgo Circle, Emory
||$12.50 general admission in advance, $15 at door, $5 for symposium
registrants and students with i.d. Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb.
16. For more information or to order tickets, call 404-727-5050.
The most noted musicians in Northern Irelands Ulster Scot tradition
will share the stage with some of Georgias finest traditional
performers in a March 3 concert closing a day-long Emory University
public program on Scots-Irish history and culture. "Roots and Branches:
The Scots-Irish Heritage in Music, Song and Dance" will be presented
by the W.B. Yeats Foundation of Emory University at 8:15 p.m. in Cannon
The concert will cap the Yeats Foundations program, "Ulster
Roots/Southern Branches: A Symposium on the Scots-Irish Heritage of
Northern Ireland and the American South." The symposium will present
several of the most eminent scholars in Scots-Irish studies from both
sides of the Atlantic, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Emorys Miller-Ward
Alumni House, located at 815 Houston Mill Rd., on the Emory campus.
The concert will illustrate the symposiums theme of indigenous
cultural continuity between Ulster and the Southern United States. For
more information on the symposium, call the W.B. Yeats Foundation at
From Northern Ireland, members of the Ulster Scots Folk Orchestra will
perform a sampling of poetry, music and song from the Ulster Scot tradition.
Featured will be John Trotter (fiddle, accordion, Highland bagpipes,
vocals), Willie Drennan (fiddle, tin whistle, bodhran, wee Lambeg, vocals),
Laura Sinnerton (viola, fiddle, unaccompanied singing), Eleesha Drennan
(fiddle), Alan Niblock (double bass), and Bob Speers (folksinger/songwriter/guitarist).
The Georgia Mudcats, a band hailing from the north Georgia mountains,
will further demonstrate how the traditional music and song of Ulster
folk were preserved in modified forms by their descendants in the southern
Appalachian Mountains. Mudcats Lisa Deaton, Joel Cordle, Tom Ryan, Patrick
Shields, and David Swanson play fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, and
bass fiddle. Their recordings are played on American radio stations
and on Northern Irelands BBC network, where they also performed
a live concert during their 1999 tour of Ireland.
Other performers in the concert will include Nonesuch, a traditional
mountain folk group headed by Atlanta fiddler/singer Barbara Panter,
and Celtic fiddle virtuoso Maggie Holtzberg, director of folklife
programs for the Massachusetts Council for the Arts and one of the symposium
The Ulster Scots are the descendants of mostly Protestant Scottish people
enticed by King James I to settle in the north of Ireland during the
Ulster Plantation period starting in the early 1600s, thus sparking
centuries of conflict with the displaced Catholic native Irish. Beginning
in the early 1800s, hundreds of thousands of the Ulster Scots
progeny immigrated to America, where they are known today as the "Scotch-Irish"
Until recently in Ireland not much attention was given to their music
traditions. That seems to be changing. "Ulster Scots music has
been going through a tremendous revival in Northern Ireland in recent
years," says Willie Drennan. The recently formed Ulster Scots Folk
Orchestra is taking this musical expression to a more professional level.
"There is a growing curiosity throughout the island of Ireland
in Ulster Scots tradition," Drennan says. "The orchestra has
been booked for a festival in Limerick in late March."
The symposium and concert provide a cultural bridge between Ireland
and the United States, according to Drennan. "Along with the growing
interest in Ulster, of our roots, comes a greater awareness of the important
role that the Scotch-Irish have played in the formation of the USA,"
says Drennan. "Were certain that our involvement in this
Scotch-Irish symposium will open many doors that will lead to a greater
musical understanding of Ulster-American cultural links. This will create
an ideal platform to explore the common emotions in the music and to
examine how the differing styles have evolved."
The program receives financial support from Emory University, the Georgia
Humanities Council, the Northern Ireland Bureau and the Ulster-Scots
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