FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 16, 2012
Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
Upcoming concerts celebrate N.H.’s music traditions
As part of the traditional arts celebration “Shaping Our Heritage,” two Sunday-afternoon concerts featuring New Hampshire musicians will be held at the Concord Community Music School. Both are rare opportunities to hear and see a wide range of exceptional traditional musicians from all corners of the state. There is no charge for admission.
Each featured musician is the past recipient of a Traditional Arts grant from the N.H. State Council on the Arts. This grant program funds a master traditional artist to teach an experienced apprentice in one-to-one sessions, preserving traditional crafts, music and dance so that future generations can continue to benefit from them.
The first concert will take place on Sunday, July 22 from 2 – 4 p.m. and will focus on New England fiddling traditions. Master fiddler and instrument maker Rodney Miller from Antrim will lead off the afternoon with a set of tunes representing the wide range of musical influences that have come to be known as New England fiddling. He will be followed by three of New Hampshire’s next generation of fiddlers: Brendan Carey Block, also from Antrim, spent many summers as a youngster in Cape Breton learning from master fiddlers in a community setting and apprenticed to Miller and master Scottish piper Gordon Webster; Jordan Tirrell Wysocki, originally from Canterbury, N.H., apprenticed to dance caller and fiddler Dudley Laufman as a teenager and today specializes in tunes from the Celtic world; and Patrick Ross, who hails from the far north country, is a fifth-generation French Canadian fiddler and will wrap up the program.
The second concert takes place on Sunday July 29 from 2 – 4 p.m. and will focus on our Celtic heritage in New Hampshire. The concert will kick off with Gordon Webster and his family. Webster hails from Concord and is a former piper to the Queen of England. He and his wife Lezlie head up the N.H. School for Scottish Arts in Manchester. With their children Marielle and Campbell, they will showcase Scottish Highland piping and dance. Skip Gorman, a very versatile musician from Grafton, will present Irish fiddle tunes; Regina Delaney, harpist, singer and dancer from Exeter, will present more Irish tunes; and flutist Sarah Bauhan from Hancock will play a range of Celtic tunes that have become part of the New England heritage. Closing out the afternoon will be 2011 Governors Arts Award recipient in Folk Heritage, accordionist Sylvia Miskoe from Concord.
The two concerts are part of the “Shaping Our Heritage” exhibit that opened to the public on June 11 at the N.H. State Library. The exhibit represents 16 years of Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grants and features artwork by master artists and apprentices as well as photographs of artists in their workshops and communities. Several artists showcased their skills at craft demonstrations throughout the exhibit. Originally scheduled to close on July 20, the exhibit is being held over one more week to July 27.
“‘Shaping Our Heritage’ is an opportunity for the public to learn more about the important traditions that form New Hampshire’s collective heritage and the community-based artists who make a commitment to preserving them,” said Lynn Martin Graton, N.H. State Council on the Arts’ acting director and traditional arts coordinator.
A book about traditional arts in New Hampshire, “Shaping our Heritage: Reflections Celebrating Traditional Arts Apprenticeships in New Hampshire,” is available for purchase at the N.H. State House Visitor Center, the N.H. Historical Society’s Museum gift shop, Gibson’s Book Store in Concord, the Canterbury Shaker Village gift shop and Main Street BookEnds of Warner.
For more information about “Shaping Our Heritage,” visit: www.nh.gov/nharts.
The “Shaping Our Heritage” project is made possible by a major Traditional Arts grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and by private donations from Colin and Paula Cabot of Sanborn Mills Farm in Loudon, N.H. and the N.H. Charitable Foundation on behalf of the Putnam Foundation. Generous assistance from New Hampshire businesses and organizations include the Common Man Family of Restaurants, Concord Camera, the Concord Courtyard by Marriott, Kimball Jenkins School of Art and Rowland Studio.
The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is a division of the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources. It began in 1965 with legislation designed “to insure that the role of the arts in the life of our communities will continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the education and welfare of our citizens.” Funding for programs is provided through state appropriations, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Conservation License Plate fund. Learn more about the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts at www.nh.gov/nharts.