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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Alabama Celtic Association

Celtic Alabama News
Volume 2 Issue 9
Och hey!  for the splendour of tartans!
And hey for the dirk and the targe!
The race that was hard as the Spartans
Shall return again to the charge."
Pittendrigh MacGillivray (1856-1930), The Return
Alabama Highland Games hosting the 2002 North-South Challenge Cup!
The North-South Challenge Cup, an annual team competition between the best six amateur athletes in the North and the best six athletes in the South, will take place at the Alabama Highland Games on the Shakespeare Festival Grounds in Montgomery on September 28, 2002. Each team will be comprised of 5 men and 1 woman. The NSCC has been hosted previously in New Orleans LA, Kalamazoo MI, Allentown PA and Jackson LA.  The winning team keeps the trophy until the next competition. The South Team is defending its title for the second year in a row.  It's a colorful and exciting event - one of the best Scottish Athletic meets in the country. 
The Alabama Highland Games has a wonderful array of offerings including:  Bagpipe Band competition, Border Collie Sheepherding, Shetland ponies, Scottish Highland Dance competition, The Gathering of the Clans, Celtic vendors and foods and much more!  Lord Hugh Montgomerie will be an Honored Guest. Featured Celtic entertainers will be, Jack Tamson's Bairns of Scotland and Jennifer Roland of Cape Breton.  Both are critically acclaimed in Celtic music circles and we look forward to seeing them perform at this event!  The Alabama Highland Games are the last weekend in September so mark you calendars today!  Details to at . 
Fiddler Brian Conway and Friends Performing at Killarney's on September 4
On Wednesday, September 4, renowned Irish fiddler, Brian Conway will appear at Killarney's Irish Pub in Birmingham with vocalist Julie Glaub and guitarist Don Tenzene at 7:00 p.m.  Well known in the New York Irish/Celtic community, Brian is acclaimed in fiddle circles as being THE premier sligo-style fiddler. He has won numerous All-Ireland fiddle competitions, and has been called by The Smithsonian "one of the best fiddlers of his generation".  His body of work reveals a musical conservationist, preserving and passing along the best of the past while melding it with the talent and imagination of the present.  They will also appear at Laser's Edge in Homewood at 5:30 p.m. to play a few tunes, meet people and sign CD's.  

Caledonian Society of Alabama  - Scottish Fall Picnic and Open House on September 7
The Caledonian Society of Alabama invites friends who are interested in Scottish heritage and culture to join them at Oak Mountain State Park for their annual Fall Picnic.  Bring a covered dish and dress comfortably (kilts are welcome!).  The gathering is from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the White Oak Pavilion, Oak Mountain State Park.  For more details, call Angus MacQueen at  205-907-9281 or .
Birmingham Irish Dancers to Perform at CelticFest in Mississippi, September 6-8
Irish Dancers from the Birmingham School of Celtic Arts will be taking the stage at CelticFest, Mississippi's annual celebration in Jackson. CelticFest attracts many Alabama participants who take advantage of the top drawer entertainment and workshops. It's a great time to come out and support Alabama's Irish Dancers.  This year’s CelticFest will feature Liz Doherty (the virtuoso fiddler from County Donegal, Ireland) and guitarist Dave O’Neill (an Australian of Irish descent who is widely acclaimed as one of Australia’s finest multi-instrumentalists), Brian Conway (the outstanding NY/Sligo-style fiddler and winner of numerous All-Ireland fiddle competition titles) along with traditional Irish singer Julee Glaub, and Irish balladeer Danny O’Flaherty, as well as over 25 additional music and dance groups. CelticFest is held September 6-8 at the Agricultural and Forestry Museum on Lakeland Drive in Jackson, Mississippi. For more details, visit .
Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill coming to Birmingham on October 5, 2002
The Birmingham Music Club is bringing Irish fiddle virtuoso Martin Hayes and American guitarist Dennis Cahill to town as part of the World Music Series 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 of 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." .  Tickets for the show are $15 and $22 and are available by calling 205-975-2787.  SPECIAL NOTE:  ACA has planned an Advanced Fiddle Workshop with Martin Hayes for Saturday afternoon (October 5) in Birmingham.  There are only two spots remaining (class limited to 12) for the hour and a half session and the cost is $25.  For more details, contact
"Battle of the Celtic Bands" coming to Killarneys September 23 - 28
Beginning on Monday, September 24, Killarneys Irish Pub will host the "Battle of the Celtic Bands", a week full of the best Irish Music in the region.  The winning band will be determined by both audience response and a board of Judges from the Celtic community. There will be a $50.00 entry fee for each band.  Killarney's will give a $1500.00 First Place Cash Prize and $750.00 Second Place Cash Prize. Music will begin around 7p.m. each night throughout that week.  For more details, call 205-595-4088.
Tuscaloosa St. Andrew's Society hosts Exhibit During September
The Tuscaloosa St. Andrew's Society is creating an exhibit to be shown at the Tuscaloosa Public Library throughout the month of September.  This exhibit is in celebration of Scottish Heritage Month.  Additionally, on Sunday, September 8, from 3-5pm, the Society will host a reception in the Rotary Room of the Library. They are looking forward to meeting other Scots in Tuscaloosa community as well as those who are interested in Scottish culture and history.  The Tuscaloosa Library is located on Jack Warner Parkway near downtown Tuscaloosa.  For more details, contact Serena Blount at 205-349-3173 or
Alabama's Own Seanachie, Margayle Williams, Carries Tales to Kentucky
The Seanachie, Margayle Williams, just returned from a storytelling evening at The Homeplace, at Land-Between-the-Lakes National Recreation Area, in Kentucky.  The Seanachie inaugurated Homeplace's new program, "Tales at Twilight". Homeplace is a working re-creation of an 1850's farm.  The evening featured homemade lemonade and springhouse-chilled watermelon, a session of singing, with everyone joining in and stories told by the Seanachie until the full moon rose over the meadow and it was almost too dark to walk up the path. Margayle Williams is a Seanachie, or the Irish story-teller. Always proud of her Irish heritage, Margayle uses stories and verse to preserve and share the rich Irish culture, and has delighted audiences all over the Southeast as The Seanachie. She is a charter member of the Alabama Celtic Association. Margayle was trained from childhood in the theater and has directed drama companies from Oklahoma, to Alabama, to Germany. Retired from The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Margayle enjoys reading, traveling, --- and spoiling her four grandchildren. She lives in Huntsville with husband, Paul, two dogs, and a multitude of cats! 
The Birmingham Celtics - Birmingham's Own Scottish/Irish Soccer Club!
The Birmingham Celtics are a Club Soccer team, run by a former Glasgow Celtic player, Sean McBride, who played for the Celtic Under 21's for four years (1986 to 1990). The Birmingham Celtics have both male and female players on the same team. They had a good season last year and are looking to bigger and better things this year. They have played two games so far, winning both. The Birmingham Celtics want to build a successful club are looking for new members who want to play and of course, supporters would be VERY welcome.  Some supporters also get together and contribute as season ticket holders for live telecasts each week of Glasgow Celtic's games from Scotland at Bennett's Sports Cafe. Visitors or weekly members can also come to select Games and pay $10 per game ($20 for the big rivals or championships).  For more details, contact Dan Shields at 205-967-1747/205-956-4509 or Sean McBride at 901-3206 /  
Erin Higginbotham  Makes the Grade at National Scottish Dance Championship !
At her first US Championship, Huntsville resident, Erin Higginbotham received Judges Points.  Erin got judges points in all her dances and placed 6th in the sword at North American Championship on Sunday.  The top 90 dancers in the country were in Denver. This was a great showing for her first time to the Championships! Congratulations, Erin - we are all so proud of you!
Gerry O'Beirne at "House Concerts" in Birmingham and Montgomery
Irish songwriter, guitarist and singer Gerry O’Beirne was born in Ennis in County Clare and raised in the West of Ireland and in Ghana in West Africa. Gerry is not only a self-taught master of the six and twelve string guitar, he is also a renowned songwriter. He has toured around the globe with several bands and artists including Patrick Street, The Sharon Shannon Band, Midnight Well (which featured his unique slide guitar playing), The Waterboys, Andy M. Stewart, Martin Hayes, Kevin Burke and Andy Irvine. He has performed at the White House, opened for the Grateful Dead, and played electric guitar with Marianne Faithfull. Up close and unplugged is one of the best ways to enjoy Celtic music.  House Concerts offer a rare opportunity to connect with an artist without the distractions in a larger venue. Seating for the two Gerry O'Beirne performances will be intimate and limited so don't delay getting your foot in the door! 

In Montgomery
- Gerry O'Beirne will be appearing on Friday, October 25.  Earlybird tickets are $12 ($15 after August 12).  Refreshments are included and CDs will be available.  For more details:
In Birmingham - Hosted by Webb and Mae Robertson, the Birmingham concert on Saturday, October 26 will open its doors at 7:00 for the show which starts at 7:30. Desserts and coffee and tea will be available. Donations of $15 will hold a place for you and all proceeds go directly to the artist. If you would like to reserve a seat for the show, you need to send an email to to get on the list. Once seat availability is confirmed via email, you can send a check, payable to Lyric Partners, to: Lyric Partners, PO Box 531165, Birmingham, AL 35253.
Madison Coffee Company hosts Celtic Music Session on September 26
Huntsville/Madison area Celtic musicians will be meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 26 at Madison Coffee Co./Acoustic Cafe for session.  North Alabama Celt-o-philes are encouraged to come by and enjoy coffee, Celtic music and good company.  Madison Coffee Co. is in the Kruger Plaza at the intersection of Hughes Road and Madison Pike in Madison.  For more details, .
Welsh Page at - Check it out!  
ACA is creating web pages which will highlight Alabama's connections to Scotland, Ireland and Wales,  Each page will include biographies of Celtic settlers in Alabama, interesting facts and anecdotes about Alabama's connections to the British Isles and more.  The first page, Welsh in Alabama,  is devoted to Wales and its links to our state.  The first item for inclusion is a story about Alabama's unique and fascinating connection with the Welsh legend of Madoc!  We welcome ideas and input directed toward growing and connecting Alabama's Welsh community.  If you are interested or would like to know more, e-mail Jenny Honeycutt at
Don't Miss NEW Photos in the This Month's Photo Gallery!
Great Photos from: August Pub Night at Killarney's, Session at Castlebay Cafe', Henri's Notions and Southwind at Sundilla, Photos from the North Alabama Scottish Festival and MORE !! Visit the PHOTO GALLERY HERE
Celtic Alabama Announcements
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.
Castlebay Cafe hosts Session on September 14
Don Neil will host a Celtic music session at his new Scottish-themed shop, Castlebay Cafe' in Birmingham on Saturday evening beginning around 5 p.m.  Everyone is invited to come by the Cafe'  to enjoy Celtic company and tunes.  It's a great time to treat yourself to coffee and dessert.  For more details, call 205-437-3484 or .
Irish Dance Workshop
The Drake School will offer an Irish dance workshop, Saturday, Sept 7 from 12:00 to 3:00 at Time Step Studios in Irondale.  The cost is $30.  Mr. Karl Drake (TCRG) and World Class Champion Irish Dancer, was born and trained in Dublin, Ireland.  He came to the U.S. and established the Drake School of Irish Dance in Atlanta, Georgia and South Florida in 1990, later adding schools in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Mr. Drake is a full time professional teacher and travels regularly to all of his studios to teach.  For more details, or visit
Harp Lessons available from Cynthia Douglass
Internationally known recording artist and Harp teacher, Cynthia Douglass, will be offering lessons in Mountain Brook for those who would like to take up of the world's most beautiful and ancient instruments.  Cynthia offers lessons weekly in Mountain Brook, master's class once a month and harp ensemble for more advanced players.  For more details, call 205-879-2248. (Cynthia is playing most Wednesdays at Castlebay Cafe' in Birmingham).
Irish Dancers performing at Castlebay Cafe' on September 20
The Birmingham School of Celtic Arts will be performing at Cafe Castlebay on Sept 20th from 6:30-8:00.  Bring the family out for great-tasting food, a smoke free environment and Irish dancers showing off their steps! For more details, 205-979-9653.
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.  Previous books include:  The Scots-Irish in the Hills of Tennessee, The Scots-Irish in the Shenandoah Valley, The Scots-Irish in the Carolinas, The Scots-Irish in Pennsylvania and Kentucky, Faith and Freedom - The Scots-Irish in America and Heroes of the Scots-Irish in America. Copies of his books will be available at the lecture.  For more information on his appearance in Gadsden, contact Rosemary J. Hyatt 256-538-1122 or .
The Band that made the movie 'Titanic' rock - Gaelic Storm is coming to Birmingham!
The Hoover Library Theatre kicks off its 2002-2003 season with two performances from the contemporary Celtic quintet, Gaelic Storm.  Gaelic Storm gained fame as the "steerage band" in the movie Titanic.  Their mix of traditional Irish tunes, rousing Celtic dance music and rowdy pub songs has brought down the house from Brooklyn to New Zealand.  Gaelic Storm will be performing at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 20 and Saturday September 21. Tickets are $15 and may reserved by calling 205-444-7888.  Photo of Gaelic Storm
Birmingham School of Celtic Arts - NEW Class Schedule and Open Sessions
Classes for the Birmingham School of Celtic Arts will be held at the Children's Dance Foundation and are as follows: Tuesday 5:30-6:30 Beginners, Tuesday 6:30-7:30 Beginners Level 2, Tuesday 7:30-9:00  Intermediate 12 and over, Wednesday 7 - 8:30  Intermediate 11 and under. Special Open Sessions will be held  on the following dates from 2 p.m.- 3 p.m. for beginners and 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. for intermediate on the following Sundays: Sept. 15th, Oct 13th, Oct 27th, Nov 10th, Nov 24th, Dec 8th.  Cost is $5.00 per person and all are welcome.
Shillelagh Law - EVERY Sunday Night at Killarney's!
The famous foursome of Beau Goss, Jeremy Burns, Beth Weatherall and Jason Bailey are the band that moves the crowd at Killarney's Irish Pub every Sunday night.  Shillelagh Law leads the listeners through familiar favorites as well as tunes both traditional and new every week.  For the uninitiated - it can be surprising to see members of the audience draw drums of every size from hidden places and occasionally join in with the band. It's all part of the experience.  Shillelagh Law definitely raises the best toasts in town.  Stop by Killarney's on a Sunday, claim a seat (and a pint) and check out the Shillelagh Law experience.  Details at 205-595-4088 . 
FREE Bagpipe Lessons being offered in Birmingham on Saturdays
Free bagpipe lessons are being offered by various members of Heritage Pipes & Drums, including Ryan Morrison, Kathleen Ryan and John Douglas. Lessons offered on a first come first served basis from 9 A.M. to 10 A.M. at Reformed Heritage Presbyterian Church, 1401 Montgomery Hwy in Vestavia. Heritage is also offering free lessons for Scottish snare from John Kirkpatrick and for tenor drum from Ryan and Sherry Morrison. 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!
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 
Alabama Acadeny of Irish Dance Classes begin on September 3
For more details, call 205-324-6848
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.
How can I ensure Alabama's Celtic Legacy? 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)
Celtic Alabama News Calendar
Sept 4 - Fiddler Brian Conway with Julia Glaub and Paul Tenzene
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Details:  205-595-4088
Sept 6 -  Henri's Notions - Live Celtic Music
Where:  Humphrey Bar and Grill, Huntsville  Details:
Sept 6 - Hooley - Live at Killarney's
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Details:
Sept 7 -  Caledonian Society of Alabama Fall Picnic
Where:  10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Covered Dish, White Oak Pavilion, Oak Mountain State Park  Details: 205-907-9281,
Sept 7 - Birmingham School of Irish Dance at CelticFest
Where:  CelticFest in Jackson, MS  Details:
Sept 7 - Irish Dance workshop with Karl Drake - Drake Irish Dance School
Where:  Time Step Studios, Irondale  Details: 12-3 p.m. $30
Sept 14 - Celtic Music Session at Castlebay Cafe'
Where: 5 p.m. at Castlebay Cafe on 280 in Greystone  Details:  205-437-3484
Sept 19 - Scottish Society of Mobile Meeting
Where:  Botanical Gardens in Municipal Park, Mobile  Details:
Sept 20 - BSCA performing at Castlebay Cafe'
Where: Castlebay Cafe on 280 in Greystone 6:30 - 8 p.m.  Details:  205-979-9653
Sept 21 - Hooley - Live at Killarney's
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Details:
Sept 18-21  -  Henri's Notions - performing at Walnut Valley Festival
Where:  Winfield, Kansas  Details:
Sept 24-28 - Battle of the Celtic Bands (all week)
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub  Details:  205-595-4088
Sept 26 - Celtic Gathering and Session at Madison Coffee Co.
Where:  7 p.m. Madison Coffee Co. in Madison/Huntsville area  Details:
Sept 28 -  Alabama Highland Games - Featuring the North-South Challenge Cup
Where:  Alabama Shakespeare Festival Grounds - Wynton Blount Park  Details:
Sept 28-29 - Henri's Notions performing Cincinnati Celtic Festival
Where:  Cincinnati, Ohio  Details:
Oct 5 - Fiddle Workshop with Martin Hayes
Where:  Birmingham AL  Details: Limited space, advance reservations, $25, 
Oct 5 - Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill - Live in Concert
Where:  Virginia Samford Theatre, Birmingham  Details:  tickets and info at 205-979-2787or visit

Visit our ACA Calendar for more details and  EVERYTHING ELSE that you don't want to miss!

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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