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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Alabama Celtic Association

Celtic Alabama News
Volume 2 Issue 10
 "A grey haunted wind is blowing in the hall,
And stirring through the shadowy spears upon the wall,
The drinking-horn goes round from shadowy lip to lip -
And about the golden methrs shadowy fingers slip.
--From The Shadow House of Lugh, Anonymous, Irish, 8th Century
Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill - World Class Celtic Music in Birmingham

Irish fiddle virtuoso Martin Hayes and American guitarist Dennis Cahill will be performing in Birmingham on Saturday, October 5,  2002. Both have garnered international acclaim for taking traditional Irish music to the very edge. Hayes, a six-time All-Ireland fiddle champion is renowned for his slow building, fiery performances to which Cahill provides the perfect harmonic and rhythmic accompaniment. The Sydney Morning Herald says of Hayes, "He is just so much better than anything you've seen before. He redefines your concept of excellence and reveals levels of beauty and artistry that previously hadn't existed in your frame of reference." Learn more on Hayes and Cahill at and

If you are part of Alabama's Celtic community and would like continue to see more fantastic entertainment like this in Alabama - it's VITAL that you support these events with your attendance.  The Hayes/Cahill concert has great seating still available so don't delay getting your tickets today.  Your patronage of the Celtic Arts will ensure that it continues to thrive.  Don't delay - get your tickets today!Tickets for the show are $15 and $22 and are available by calling 205-975-2787. 

ACA Fundraiser with Unicorn Limited/Scotpress - BOOK SALE!

Unicorn Limited is moving their retail book business to Alabama in March of 2003.  As part of their effort to reduce inventory before the move - they are offering a HUGE list of Scottish/Viking/Irish/Celtic titles (books and newsprint booklets) for only $2 each.  Furthermore, they will donate $1 from every book to ACA - if you mention you found this Book Sale through the Celtic Alabama NewsDon't miss this fantastic opportunity to add to your Celtic Library AND support your local Celtic non-profit!  Click HERE to review the Books on Sale.  Be sure to mention ACA when placing your order. For a complete Book Sale list via-e-mail - send request to: . To order:  304-379-8803 or e-mail .

ACA Seeking Additional Board Members

If you would like to become a volunteer Board Member of the Alabama Celtic Association, now's the time to step forward!  The Alabama Celtic Association is especially looking for friends in Montgomery, Florence, Mobile, Anniston and Tuscaloosa who would like to represent Celtic interests in their region.  The ACA Board of Directors meets quarterly to plan and approve projects, review progress and look for new ways to ensure Alabama's Celtic legacy.  If you would like to become a part of this mission, please send a brief bio of your work/participation in the Celtic community (or curriculum vitae) to Randal Massey at or or mail to P.O. Box 724, Trussville AL 35173.  Bios must be received by October 15, 2002. 

NEW!  Celtic Music Society of Montgomery

Founded in 2002, the Celtic Music Society of Montgomery is already on the move with one 'sold-out' House Concert and more in the works. The CMSM is dedicated to presenting acoustic musicians in private settings and to sponsoring at least one band per year in a larger public venue.  CMSM's series of concerts will help introduce new fans to the world of Celtic music and hopefully encourage more international Celtic performers to add Alabama to their U.S. Tours.  The CMSM is looking for folks to join them on this project.  If you would like to work with the Celtic Music Society of Montgomery and take an active role in bringing the best Celtic music to South Central Alabama, contact Gwen Orel at or Lori and Chris Fly at .  For more details  on CMSM visit their web page at .

The Full Moon Ensemble is a HIT in Scotland - Review by Les Oman

It is my pleasant task, on behalf of the Mull of Kintyre committee, to thank all the members of the Full Moon Ensemble’s entourage for gracing our Festival’s 10th Anniversary celebration with their collective presence. Within a few short days, The Full Moon Ensemble’s performances in Campbeltown have become the stuff of legend. If we could have bottled and distributed the heady mixture of music and emotion (smiles and tears!) that was evident in the Victoria Hall on Saturday, we would be well on the way to making the world a better place! From Allison’s wonderful soaring voice, through Scooter’s lyrical guitar playing and Tony and Doug’s subtle but urgent rhythm section, to Daniel’s astonishing fiddle sound, FME grabbed the audience by the heart from the very start, and engaged with them in a way that is very rarely seen. Lee’s virtuoso performance on the mixing desk on Friday and Saturday may have had a small part to play as well…..! Individually the band members are incredible virtuosi, as witnessed informally at the sessions that we had the pleasure of sharing with them.  There is no doubt that the Full Moon Ensemble have conquered Campbeltown in a big way and that your new found fans will be looking for an early return. (Editor's Note: FME appearance at Mull of Kintyre helped the event completely sell out in two hours.  Appearing with Capercaille and Four Men and a Dog, FME sold more CDs than both groups combined.)

Do You Like the Celtic Alabama News and the ACA Web Site? Become an ACA Patron!

ACA depends on the support of our friends in the Celtic community for all of its operating expenses. Patrons make ACA Possible!  ACA Patrons receive four quarterly issues of the deluxe version of Celtic Alabama News for as well as the occasional preferred seating or ticket option.  It's a great way to show your Celtic Pride and ensure our cultural legacy in Alabama! You can become a Patron of ACA today by sending a $25 check to:  Alabama Celtic Association, P.O. Box 724, Trussville AL 35173.  Please include your preferred mailing address.  (For more details: Click Here for ACA Patrons)

Castlebay Cafe - Rave Reviews and Celtic Tunes

Birmingham's Scottish-themed cafe' and coffeehouse, Castlebay Cafe will feature Classical and Celtic Guitar by Aubie Shields from 6-8 on October 4.  Queen Anne's Revenge, a Celtic trio from Tuscaloosa, will be performing the evening of October 18.  Celtic Harper, Cynthia Douglass, appears on Wednesdays.  For more details about music at CC - call 205-837-3484.  Castlebay Cafe' recently received a very high rating from local food critics for The Birmingham News - Congratulations!  See Photos from Castlebay Cafe

Alabama Celts Join Festivities at CelticFest in Jackson MS -  by Mary Dougherty

During the second week-end of September, a group of dancers from BSCA, and their families went to the Jackson Celtic Fest in Jackson Mississippi.  Thiswas my fourth year to attend the event and I hope there are many more in my future.  The first year I went  as the guest of Rick and Karen Cunningham. They were long-time festival goers and wanted me to experience the magic that is Celtic Fest. As I drove home that first year, late on Sunday night, every muscle in my body was sore from dancing and already I was counting the days until next year.  The following three years, the organizers of Celtic Fest invited dancers from BSCA to come over and perform.  One year we actually had 80 people (dancers and their families) representing BSCA in Jackson.  I have never been so proud as I was to see all our lovely dancers on stage and sharing their joy of dance with members of the audience. This year was extra special for all of us involved in the dance side of Celtic Fest.  Every year, our own Mary Ann Swaim TCRG of the New Orleans School of Irish Dance leads the ceilis and workshops for dancers.  Mary Ann is tireless and her enthusiasm and joy are contagious.  Mary Ann was seriously injured in a fall this past year and none of us, including Mary Ann, were sure if she was going to be able to attend.  Miraculously, Mary Ann was able to come to Jackson.  She taught workshops from the seat of her wheelchair and treated each and every dancer with such love and respect, her courage and determination are an example for me everyday. Jackson Celtic Fest held many special moments for us all this year. From 4 year old Alden Battle getting her first pair of ghillies and wearing them proudly along with her "bumpy socks" all week-end, to Catherine Dinsmore (a BSCA veteran of approx. three weeks) dancing on stage for us all, to late night sessions with Scott "I don't want to go to bed" Miller and Paige "is there someone here I haven't met yet" Smith, the week-end allows us to take a step back from the daily grind of our lives and reflect on what is important about what we all strive to do..and that is keeping the flame of the music and dance alive in our hearts and igniting it in the hearts of those to come after us! (submitted by Mary Dougherty)

Covington County 4-H Group Forms Beginner Pipe Band

Members of a newly organized 4-H bagpipe band project in Covington County Alabama made their first visit to the Alabama Highland Games. As many of you know, 4-H is the youth outreach arm of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. The National 4-H organization is celebrating it's 100th anniversary this year and our project is certainly in keeping with the traditional concept of innovative programming for our youth. Members include:  Hannah Cross, Heather Cross, Rochelle Turner, Teri Turner, Evan Brooks under the tutelage of County Extension Agent, Charles Simon. The 4-Hers have been playing the practice chanter for 5 months and competed in their first pre-chanter competition at this year's Alabama Highland Games. Our judge was Ms. Theresa Gordon, piper with the St. Andrews Pipe and Drum in Montgomery. Ms. Gordon and the band have been extremely helpful in our little project and I want to thank her and the band for their time and effort they have given us. Challenges for the future are raising money for pipe sets and recruiting a few drummers (willing to learn highland style drumming) possibly from our local school bands. Big challenges but we are willing to meet them head on. For more information about the Covington County 4-H Pipe Band or how to support their efforts, contact: . (submitted by Charles Simon)

Ruffner Mountain Moonlight Concert Features Celtic Music from Hooley

Holley will be the featured entertainment at Moonlight Music at Ruffner Mountain on October 12, 2002, from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.  Ruffner Mountain is Birmingham's natural preserve nestled in Greater Birmingham.  Concert guests will be guided on a 1 1/2 mile hike to the limestone quarry; listen to music and enjoy wine, cheese and other light refreshments. Flashlight hike returns to nature center. This is a moderate hike. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water and something to sit on. We'll have some lanterns for light. There are no bathrooms, but there is a conveniently located boulder area.  The cost is $15 per person including refreshments. Prepaid reservations required by Oct. 10. We are limiting it to 100 people. The event is sponsored in part by Cabot Creamery Cooperative, which is donating some very fine cheese (  The event planners are also seeking 5-7 volunteers, over 21, who can help with setup and crowd control. They can attend for free, but can't drink during the event.  For more details and tickets, call Lisa Harris at 205-833-8264 or . (Submitted by Lisa Harris and Trent Bradford)

Huntsville's Good Fortune performing with Isla

The Huntsville Traditional Music Association will be hosting a Celtic concert with Isla, from Nashville and Huntsville's own, Good FortuneCeltic tradition is in the heart of Isla, but since the members have ‘eclectic musical interests,’ one may listen closely to hear melodic nuances from Eastern Europe, French Canada, Medieval England, and the American Appalachian Mountains.  The concert will be Saturday, November 9, 2002, 8:00 PM,at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Chan Auditorium (Administrative Science Building).  Tickets are $10 available beginning October 18th at the HTMA coffeehouse and at the Fret Shop.  Additional information available at or 880-9482. (submitted by HTMA and Larry Hogan)

Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant Featuring More Celtic Music !

Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant in Birmingham is offering a growing menu of Celtic music and activities each month.  Hooley will be performing on October 10 and October 25. Every Saturday night features Celtic music from Birmingham's own, Sean TamShillelagh Law brings on the Celtic Music every Sunday night. Killarney's is also hosting its first Halloween Bash on October 31.  The First Wednesday of every month features the gathering of The 1759 Guinness Society for Guinness devotees.  The Second Wednesday of every month continues to be Celtic Pub Night - the time for area Celts to gather for good company, food and pints.  For more information on Killarney's events and activities, call 205-595-4088. (submitted by Trent Bradford and Chalmers Wayland)

Piping and Drumming Workshop in B'ham with World Champion SFU Instructors

October 16-17, 2002

The Birmingham Society of Piping is bringing two members on the 4-time World Pipe Band Champions, Simon Fraser University of Canada, to Birmingham to work with all pipers and drummers who would like to take advantage of their expertise.  They are piper Alan Bevan and drummer Duncan Millar.  Alan will arrive Wednesday evening Oct 16 and will be available for private and/or band sessions on Thursday morning and afternoon.  BSOP has scheduled a session for Thursday evening from 5:00pm to 9:00pm at Bell Theater at UAB.  Duncan and Alan will be available on Friday morning for individual or band sessions. For information and scheduling, please contact Jim MacRae via e-mail at or by phone at 205-821-5148. (submitted by Jim MacRae)

Celtic Music Sesssion - Every Third Thursday in Madison

The Madison Coffee Co. in Madision, AL will host regular Celtic Music session on the Third Thursday of each month, featuring members of Good Fortune.  Everyone is welcome to join in or just come enjoy some great tunes and good company.  This month the session will be October 17, starting around 7 p.m. For more details,

Don't Miss NEW Photos in the This Month's Photo Gallery!

Great Photos from:  Session at Castlebay Cafe', CelticFest in Jackson MS, Brian Conway and Friends at Killarney's, The Full Moon Ensemble in Scotland,  and MORE !! Visit the PHOTO GALLERY HERE


Celtic Alabama Announcements

Heritage Pipes and Drums Make the Grade at Montgomery

John Douglas of HPD placed second in Grade 4 solo piping competition at the Alabama Highland Games. The judge was Sandy MacPhee and he was very impressed with John, giving him very high marks.  HPD was disqualified from competition because our medley exceeded the NEW time limit proposed by the EUSPBA, but HPD was still evaluated and were placed 4th and 5th out of eleven by the two piping judges! HPD is looking forward to future competition in 2003. HPD appreciates the continued support of the Caledonian Society of Alabama  and the St. Andrews Society. (submitted by Ryan Morrison)

Celtic Author Billy Kennedy coming to Gadsden, Alabama on October 15

Belfast author and journalist, Billy Kennedy, will be offering a lecture for the Northeast Alabama Genealogical Society at the Elliot Community Center in Gadsden on October 15, 2002.  Mr. Kennedy has just released the seventh book of his highly popular chronicles on the Scots-Irish diaspora, The Making of America: How the Scots-Irish Shaped a Nation.   For more information on his appearance in Gadsden, contact Rosemary J. Hyatt 256-538-1122 or . (Submitted by Billy Kennedy)

Birmingham School of Celtic Arts - "Boys Only" Class, Open Sessions

Birmingham School of Celtic Arts will be offering an Irish Step dance classfor "Boys Only" beginning Wednesday, October 2nd. There will be no class on Wed. October 9th, but classes will resume Wed. October 16th.  The class will be offered from 5:30-6:30 at Children's Dance Foundation.  Dancers from BSCA will be performing at "Alabama Celtic Association Pub Night" October 9th at Killarneys Irish Pub in Eastwood Mall. Dancers will be performing from 7:00-8:00.  No classes will be held that evening.  All are welcome to come and dance with us! Open studio times for BSCA continue on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month. Open studio for October will be held on Oct 13th and Oct 27th.  Beginners are from 2-3 and advanced (hard shoe) will be from 3-4.  Cost is $5.00 per session and they are open to children and adults alike. Please register by emailing Mary at (Submitted by Mary Dougherty)

Bagpipe Classes in Montgomery, Alabama

Huntingdon College is offering an introductory course for aspiring pipers, ages 12 to adult.  Under the expert tuition of Dr. David Rock, Huntingdon Professor and Pipe Major of the Montgomery St. Andrews Pipes and Drums, participants will learn the fundamentals of bagpipe music, including the scale, gracenote embellishments, and a few simple tunes.  No, you do not have to buy a set of bagpipes in order to take this class!  Beginning pipers learn on a "practice chanter" (available from the instructor at an additional cost.)  The classes will be on Thursdays, October 3 - November 21 from 7 - 8:30 p.m.  at Flowers Hall, Huntingdon College in Montgomery.  Tuition is $99, chanter and lesson book are $30 if purchased from instructor.  For more details, call 334-833-4522. (Submitted by David Rock)

Drake School of Irish Dance Offers November Workshop

The Drake School of Irish Dance from Atlanta is offering a workshop will be on November 7, 2002 for those interested in Irish Dance.  *Children 5&up from 5-7 p.m  *Adults from 7-8:30 p.m. The Drake School of Irish Dance is also proud to support the Birmingham Broadway Series and Lord of the Dance.  The Drake School dancers will be performing at Lord of the Dance on October 16 & 17, 2002 at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. For more details:  621-9641(submitted by Jennifer Von Barthfeld)

FREE Bagpipe Lessons being offered in Birmingham on Saturdays

Free bagpipe and drumming lessons are being offered by Heritage Pipes & Drums, Contact Ryan Morrison at home at (205) 836-2306 or work at (205) 823-1988 or e-mail at Also check out the new HPD web site at . Now's the time to take up the Pipes! (Submitted by Ryan Morrison)

Developing Celtic Music Session in the Decatur Area

Anyone interested in starting an Irish session in the Decatur area please contact Craig Pitman at Decatur Presbyterian Church 256-351-6010 or email 

Please share your Celtic Calendar Items and Announcements with us! 

The Celtic Alabama News is always looking for news of, announcements for and photos of various Celtic events around the state to share around through the CAN and the web site.  We depend on you to share photos and news with us.  IF YOU DON'T LET US KNOW  - WE CAN'T LET EVERYONE ELSE KNOW - so send your news today!  ALSO - is now easier to view. We've reduced the file size on most of the photos so they will load faster. Check out the Celtic Alabama News Photo Gallery !  Also, be sure to visit the NEW Photo Gallery Archives for 2001 and 2002.

Celtic Alabama News Calendar

 October 4, 2002  Aubie Shields - Classical and Celtic Guitar
Where:  Castlebay Cafe - Hwy 280 E,  6 - 8 p.m.  Details:  205-437-3484
October 5, 2002  Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill - Live in Concert
Where:  8 p.m., Virginia Samford Theatre  Details:  Tickets $15 and $22 - 205-975-2787 -
October 5, 2002  Sean Tam  - Every Saturday Night at Killarney's
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Details:  205-595-4088
October 6, 2002  Shillelagh Law - Every Sunday Night at Killarney's
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Details:  205-595-4088
October 9, 2002  Celtic "Pub Night" at Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant in Eastwood Mall in Bham
Details:  Everyone welcome to join the Celtic crowd on the Second Wednesday of every month at Killarney's.  Celtic music open-mike, kilts are allowed  - Special Visit this month from the Birmingham School of Celtic Arts Irish Dancers!  More info:
October 10, 2002 Hooley - at Killarney's
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant, Eastwood Mall, Bham Details:
October 13, 2002  Heritage Pipes and Drums - American Village Fundraiser
Where:  4 p.m., American Village, Montevallo, AL  Details:    TBA
October 12, 2002 Hooley performing at Ruffner Mountain Moonlight Music
Where:  Ruffner Mountain, 5 - 9 p.m.  Details 205-833-8264
October 17, 2002 - Session in Madison Alabama - Featuring member of Good Fortune
Where:  Madison Coffee and Tea  Details:
October 17, 2002  Mobile Scottish Society Meeting
Where:  Botanical Gardens, Municipal Park, Mobile  Details:  251-342-4733
October 16-17, 2002  Piping and Drumming Workshop with SFU instructors
Where:  Bell Theatre, UAB, Birmingham  Details:  205-821-5148 or Jim McRae
October 16&17, 2002  Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance - Bham Broadway Series
Where:  Birmingham  Details:  205-328-8222
October 18, 2002  Queen Anne's Revenge
Where:  Castlebay Cafe, Hwy 280 E, Greystone  Details: 205-437-3484
October 19- 20, 2002  The Full Moon Ensemble - Stone Mountain Highland Games
Where:  Stone Mountain,  Georgia   Details:
October 25, 2002 Gerry O'Beirne "House Concert" in Montgomery - SOLD OUT 
October 25, 2002  Hooley - Live at Killarney's
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Details:
October 26, 2002  Gerry O'Beirne "House Concert" in Birmingham - SOLD OUT
Where:  Old Leeds Lane, Birmingham  Details:
October 31, 2002  Killarney's Halloween Bash
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant Details:  TBA
November 6, 2002  1759 Guinness Society Meeting - Guinness Fans Gather at Killarney's
Where:  Killarney's  Details:  Guinness Fans celebrate the fine Irish brew and share trivia on the First Wednesday of every month.  More info: 205-595-4088
November 7,2002 Irish Dance Workshop with the Karl Drake School of Atlanta
Where:  TBA  Details:  621-9641
November 8, 2002  The Full Moon Ensemble - Benefit Concert for Florence Civitan Club
Where:  Coffee High School, 7:30 p.m.Details:  Tickets at Ryan Piano in Florence
November 9, 2002  Isla - with Good Fortune Ceili Band
Where:   Chan Auditorium, University of Alabama- Huntsville  Details:  tickets $10, 256-880-9482 or

The on-line version of Celtic Alabama News is a free service of the Alabama Celtic Association. Help us grow the Celtic Community -  Share this with your friends!  If you do not want to receive this monthly e-newsletter, contact  Please include your name and e-mail address when making this request for removal.  If you would like to reproduce any of this copy in another publication, please credit Celtic Alabama News and author, if noted.  DISCLAIMER:  We depend on members of our community to submit information and announcements for the Celtic Alabama News. We try to confirm all details but are not responsible of incorrect details submitted for publication.  Alway call before traveling.

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