Celtic music—-Irish, Scots, English, Welsh—is some of the most exciting and interesting music in the world. While it is “in the folk tradition,” it is classified as “Traditional” music rather than “Folk” music. Celtic Traditional music is ancient. Most of it is so old that the origins are only known by the styles of the music itself.
During the 1600s and 1700s, Turlough O’Carolan was one composer who is known. His works are well documented. An early Irish, blind harper, O’Carolan composed and sang his own songs. He was admired for a gift of melodic composition. O’Carolan is considered by many to be Ireland’s national composer. He wanted to be a classical composer and his works are more intricate than the usual Traditional music. Much of it is also very beautiful.
Ancient unknown or known Traditional Music will be the order of the day on November 11, 12, 13 in Yachats, Oregon (remember we went there for the mushroom festival!). This year is the 16th year for Yachats Celtic Music Festival. It grows every year and there will be more activities, groups and individuals than ever. The variety of musicians, groups, callers, storytellers, dancers and a piper (bagpipes) are too numerous to name here. If you have never seen Morris Dancing, you are in for a real treat. The music is intricate and unusual and the dancing is very energetic.
All of the Celtic Traditional music will be represented, along with the strains of O’Carolan in the air. Our good friend, Jennifer Sordyl, will be there with her band, “Celtic Swing,” that also includes Beth Brown and Don Berg.
For an entire weekend of fun, toe-tapping music, don’t miss Yachats this weekend! You’ll be glad you did. And don’t forget to stop in at Umpqua River Haven as you go by to say “Howdy!”
Meanwhile…..back in Ohio. Speaking of Celtic music—-please meet the Moorhens. Berlin Heights, Ohio, is a very small Ohio community in the midst of apple orchards and corn fields. The Moorhens leader and her hubby have an apple orchard right in town. Driving down Main Street past Gilhuly’s
on most any Sunday afternoon, you can hear the notes of mostly Scots Traditional Music floating out the Berlin Heights Community Center doors and floating across the street to Pitstop Pizza where gents park their classic cars and sit on the patio to kabitz.
The Moorhens rehearse together weekly at the BHCC, and are hired to play many “gigs” throughout the year. They will be especially busy this year during the holiday season. While much of their music is from Scotland, they also play Irish and English Traditional and American Old Time. The musicians play a variety of instruments including fiddles, mandolin, recorder, penny whistle, guitar, mountain dulcimer and bodhran. Every once in awhile one of the musicians shows up with an additional instrument not seen in the group before.
Visit the Moorhens Facebook page and learn more about them. The new gig schedule is up, so, if you are in Northern Ohio, you can find where they are playing. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009904996373
Everyone has fun when the Moorhens play!
Left to right: Keith Shively, Ginny Mamere, Bonnie Gordon, Linda Phillips, Ann Baker Not pictured: Owen P and Ellen Templar