The musical traditions of Scotland and Ireland, possessing separate, distinctive personalities, nonetheless share a common heritage. Many of western North Carolina’s early white settlers were either Highlanders or ‘Ulster Scots’ – the Scots-Irish. Our Celtic Week acknowledges that varied heritage with a program that features some of the best from those traditions.
Celtic Week welcomes two new staff members, a few returning staff we haven’t seen in a while, and a lineup that features present or former members of the supergroups Lúnasa, Ossian, Solas, Altan, The House Band, Skylark, Moving Cloud, Comas, The Chieftains, Slide, Runa and Cherish the Ladies, plus the return of an outstanding group of veteran staff members. The week will feature classes, potluck sessions, concerts, jams and dances.
For those taking any of the style classes for fiddle, it is recommended that students should play at an Intermediate level: students should have mastered beginning skills, be able to tune their instruments, keep time, play the principal scales cleanly, and know how to play a few tunes with confidence. Fiddle classes are double-length, and students may take either intermediate or advanced classes, but not both. The uilleann pipes class is also double-length.
iddlers who plan on taking both Irish and Scottish fiddle should consider their stamina and the available practice time before registering for two daily 2 ½ hour classes.
For novices, “Fiddle for Complete Beginners” will cover the basics, two sections of “Fiddle Technique” will address technical problems for players of all levels, and “Intro to Irish Fiddle” will provide those new to Irish music with a repertoire of simple tunes, while “Tinwhistle for Complete Beginners” will provide whistle players with a similar repertoire.
In addition, this year, folk legend Janis Ian will be offering her “Master Class in Artistry” during all five weeks of the Gathering.
For those students bringing their families, we also offer a program for kids, but space is limited. Our Children’s Program for ages 6-12 features kids’ activities scheduled during all daytime class sessions, and evening childcare for ages 3-12 is provided at no additional cost.