Thomas Nelson Community College Presents a Folk Life Series at Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium

Published: September 14, 2005

Thomas Nelson Community College presents a season to remember at the Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium with the presentation of a Folk Life Series. The season starts on September 24 with the Paschall Brothers, followed by the Itinerant Band, Mike Seeger and The Celtibillies. Each of the four performances in this series will be introduced by historian Dr. Jean Haskell. Tickets for the Folk Life Series performances are $10 for students and seniors and $13 for adults. Tickets will be on sale at the door or by calling 825-2779. Additional information on each of these performances and others to be offered during the 2004-05 academic year can be found at

TNCC Folk Life Series:

  • Saturday, September 24, 7:30 p.m. : The Paschall Brothers
    • It takes only a few opening notes for the artistry of the Paschall’s to claim the listener’s ear. The Paschall Brothers sing gospel in the tradition of unaccompanied religious singing, traced back to plantation life in the south. The amazing group has been singing together through several generations and has represented this tradition at several national festivals, including the Roots of American Music Festival at the Lincoln Center, and the Smithsonian National Folklife Festival in DC. This show is the first of a series introduced by Appalachian Studies expert Dr. Jean Haskell, whose many credits include interviews for CNN, 60 Minutes, the Washington Post and the New York Times.
  • Saturday, November 5, 7:30 p.m.: The Itinerant Band
    • The Itinerant Band is made up of seven musicians from the Tidewater region of southeastern Virginia. They come from diverse musical backgrounds and have a shared passion for history that has led them to specialize in the music of early America. They perform tunes and songs from the Irish, Scottish, English and French traditions that would have been heard in 17th and 18th century America. In the spirit of the itinerant colonial musicians whose style they emulate, you may find as few as two or as many as seven of them at any given time and place performing everything from airs to sea chanties to dance tunes. When all together the group consists of George Bame on guitar & vocals, Paul Brockman on fiddle & vocals, Bob Clark on hammered dulcimer, Susan Lawlor on flute, whistle, & recorder, Dave McNew on Appalachian dulcimer, bodhran & vocals, Mary Normand on Celtic harp, and Marsha Wallace on guitar, mandolin & vocals.
  • Saturday, March 11, 7:30 p.m.: Mike Seeger
    • Mike Seeger was born in 1933 and reared in Maryland, near Washington, DC. His parents, composers and musicologists Charles and Ruth Crawford Seeger, raised Mike and his three sisters, Peggy, Barbara, and Penny, with traditional folk music and introduced brother Pete to it as well. As a child, Mike listened to early field recordings of traditional folk music, and family singing was daily musical fare. At age 18, Mike started teaching himself to play string instruments, and at about age 20 began collecting songs and tunes on a tape recorder from nearby traditional musicians. By the time he was 23 he had produced his first Folkways documentary recording. Over the years, he has absorbed traditional styles of music through direct association with master traditional musicians such as Elizabeth Cotten, Maybelle Carter, Dock Boggs, and many others. He is a founding member of the vanguard old time string band the New Lost City Ramblers, which was formed in 1958. As a full- time musician and collector since 1960, Mike has toured throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan either solo, with the New Lost City Ramblers, with traditional artists such as Tommy Jarrell and Roscoe Holcomb, or as director of traditional music festivals. He sings a wide variety of traditional rural songs and plays a number of styles on banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, autoharp, lap dulcimer, trump (jew’s harp), harmonica, and quills (pan pipes). In the music he makes, he strives for both variety and depth of feeling while maintaining his own identity by creating within the boundaries of true traditional music. Mike has produced 30 documentary recordings of traditional music and another 38 of his own music. He has also produced several instructional audio and video tapes for instrumentalists and a documentary videocassette/book, “Talking Feet,” on Southern traditional step dance.
  • Sunday, May 7 at 3 p.m.: Celtibillies
    • “A masterful work of art that transcends all musical genres”. That’s how Bluegrass Unlimited described the music of Celtibillies. Formed in 1994 as a contradance band, Celtibillies began exploring the deep rooted connections between Celtic music and the Appalachian music of their home region of southwest Virginia. Their music expanded beyond dance tunes to include a wide range of traditional Celtic and Appalachian Old-Time music and song as well as original music. The band features Becky Barlow on hammered dulcimer, keyboard and bodhran, Jack Hinshelwood on fiddle and guitar, Tim Sauls on banjo, bouzouki and guitar, and Jeff Hofmann on bass. Celtibillies performances are an energetic mixture of duet vocal arrangements and spirited jigs, reels, waltzes and breakdowns. Celtibillies was selected to represent the best of music from Appalachia at the 37th Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the largest annual cultural event in the U.S. capital. Over the years, the Folklife Festival has featured exemplary tradition bearers from throughout the world that embody the creative vitality of community-based traditions. The music of Celtibillies was featured in the sound track of “In the Company of Strangers”, an independent full length motion picture that won Best Dramatic Feature Film in the 2002 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. Celtibillies performed for the film premier at the beautiful Valentine Theatre in Toledo, Ohio.

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