the father of folk music at WWUH and in the folk venues of Greater
Hartford, died in April. With his years of experience in concert
promotion, Bill was a great source of support and encouragement to
me over the years as I put together the Celtic concert series. In
his other life, Bill was the Speediest Printer In Town. He printed
promotional flyers for over 50 Celtic concerts, the last featuring
Aoife Clancy on 5/11/01. Looking at those flyers will always produce
bittersweet memories of Bill.
The Celtic Airs concert series will continue
without Bill's support, going strong now in it's seventh year. The
next concert features Cherish the Ladies 8/16/01 in the Millard
Auditorium at 7:30 pm. Reserved seating is available through the
University Box Office, 1-800-274-8587 or 860-768-4228.
Cherish the Ladies have become the most acclaimed
group of Irish traditional women musicians in the world. In their
15+ years of existence, they've released 8 acclaimed albums, the
latest, The Girls Won't Leave the Boys Alone, in April '01.
Continuing a trend begun in album seven, At Home, which
included their fathers, they now have included their fathers and a
long list of male guest musicians.
On stage however, it's a different matter.
They're still an all female ensemble except for some of their
dancers. The personnel have changed over the years, but the
chemistry and the music is still great.
In 1983 Mick Moloney asked Joanie Madden to put
together a group of Irish female musicians to do a brief series of
concerts. Joanie (flute, whistle and backing vocals) is still the
bandleader and the "hostess with the mostest" for their
concerts. Mary Coogan (banjo, guitar, mandolin) is the only other
original member still with the band. Siobhan Egan (fiddle), another
original member, just left the band last year and was replaced by
Liz Knowles. In 1994, Donna Long (fiddle, piano, backing vocals)
became the sixth member of what had previously been a quintet. That
same year, Mary Rafferty replaced Maureen Glackin-Doherty on button
accordion. Mary also plays flute, whistle and concertina. Cathie
Ryan was the first vocalist to record with the band on their 1985
debut The Back Door. In 1995 she was replaced by Aoife
Clancy, who departed the band last year, and was replaced by Deirdre
Connolly. Deirdre also plays bodhran and whistle and is an
accomplished step dancer. I hope you'll take the
opportunity to come and enjoy a magical evening of Irish music and
dance when Cherish the Ladies return to the University of Hartford
August 16th at 7:30 pm in the Millard Auditorium.
Upcoming shows in the Celtic concert series
include Dervish Sept. 20-21 and Danu Oct. 3, more about them in the
next edition of the program guide.
We have a new sound system in the Wilde
Auditorium. Come give it a test drive! Your first opportunity will
be the Danu show.
Davey Steele, former lead vocalist for Ceolbeg,
Clan Alba, and the Battlefield Band, died of a brain tumor in April.
Battlefield Band's latest CD Happy Daze, featuring new
vocalist Karine Polwart, is dedicated to his memory.
Connecticut's own Julee Glaub, a transplant from
North Carolina, by way of Dublin, Ireland will hopefully have
released her debut CD by the time you read this. Julee sings and
plays flute and guitar. She's joined by a very talented group of
Irish traditional musicians, most NYC based. They include Brian
Conway (fiddle) who has his own new CD First Through the Gate
on the way. Brendan Dolan joins her on flute and whistle, Kevin
Goodan on bodhran, Jerry O'Sullivan on uillean pipes, Linda Hickman
also on flute, Mike Flanagan on concertina and the album's producer
Gabriel Donahue who doubles on piano, low whistle, bouzouki, guitar
and harmony vocals!
The album is a collection of traditional Irish
songs Julee collected in various archives in Ireland, some rarely if
ever recorded. I'm very anxious to hear it myself.
We hope to present Julee and friends in a CD
release concert in the Wilde Auditorium. Stay tuned to Celtic Airs
Tuesday mornings 6:00-9:00 am for more details including an in
studio visit with Julee to discuss the new album and her musical
Copyright©WWUH: July/August Program Guide, 2001