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Alabama Celtic Association

Volume 3 Issue 1

 "Here are we met, three merry boys,
Three merry boys, I trow, are we;
An' mony a night we've merry been,
And mony mae we hope to be!"
Robert Burns (1759-1796) from Willie Brewed a Peck O' Maut

A Celtic Evening: Music and Dance from Scotland and Ireland - January 25, 2003 at WorkPlay

The Alabama Celtic Association's annual benefit, A Celtic Evening, will include the best of Alabama's Celtic talent onstage at Birmingham's coolest, cutting-edge venue, WorkPlayA Celtic Evening 2003  will feature:  The Birmingham Society of Piping, The Good Fortune Ceili Band, The Birmingham School of Celtic Arts, Hooley, Heritage Pipes and Drums, The Alabama Academy of Irish Dance, Henri's Notions as well as guest artists Cynthia Douglass, Rick and Karen Cunningham, Kevin Nicholson, Russell Hopper, Beau Goss, Bob Tedrow, Scott Miller and Larry Brown and Co.  The evening's emcee will be Lance McKinney, host of Bama Bluegrass.  The evening will also include a bit of Burns, a bit of Gaelic and plenty of toasts!  The 2003 showcase is being produced by Randy Palmer and Don Neil. Last year's show sold-out in ten days with standing-room only crowds on the night of the event, so don't delay getting your tickets for A Celtic Evening 2003 (to check out last year's show, visit Celtic Evening 2002).    Tickets are $15 and can be reserved by calling 205-979-9653. (Tickets are not confirmed until payment is received - reserved tickets will be at the "will call" window at WorkPlay on the night of the event. Patrons may receive preferred seating ). Tickets will also be available at Killarney's Irish Pub (205-595-4088) and Castlebay Cafe (205-437-3484).  Any businesses, events or organizations that would like to purchase advertising in the Celtic Evening Program, may call 205-979-9653 (deadline for ads is January 20).  Folks interested in working as volunteers for A Celtic Evening may call Paige Smith at 205-655-7259 or e-mail

Irish Set Dancing Workshop in Birmingham on January 7, 2003 
Birmingham's chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann (CCE) is sponsoring a Set-Dancing Workshop on January 7 from 6 P.M. to 9 P.M. at the German Club, 2318 2nd Ave. N in Birmingham. Yutaka Usui & Doriane Rencker, Int'l Irish Set Dancers with Irish Music and Dance Festivals on Tour, are touring the South offering set-dancing workshops. They are known for their teaching of the traditional West Clare style battering steps for the reels sets which they have been teaching in the Baltimore-Washington area for a number of years, as well as at workshops in the Midwest, Canada and Europe. They are able to break down the unusual footwork into simple parts to enable dancers of any level to learn it quickly. They can also teach numerous more advanced variations of the step to dancers who have already mastered the basic Clare battering step. If you are interested in participating and would like more information, please contact Kate Weatherly at (Submitted by CCE and Roberta Stamp) 

Celtic Pub Night at Killarney's - Wednesday, January 8, 2003

Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant hosts the first  "Celtic Pub Night"of 2003.  It's a great time to gather with others in the Scottish and Irish community to share news, swap stories and have a pint.  Musicians are special guests, kilts are part of the acceptable dress code and everyone is welcome.  Treat yourself to dinner and a pint when you join the Celtic crowd this Wednesday, January 8 at Killarney's from 8 P.M. until 11 P.M. (Tickets for A Celtic Evening will be on hand for purchase at Killarney's as well!)More details at 205-595-4088.

Check out Alabama's On-Line Celtic Message Board -

The ACA Message Board on the web site is a public forum for folks to share ideas and news with each other.  Currently, ACA collects much of information and distributes it - but the Celtic Alabama News isn't always the best medium for exchange between various folks seeking other Celts, breaking news or unique questions and answers. The Message Board is a great communication tool to connect Alabama's Celtic community.  Check out the ACA Message Board or go to and click on the Message Board link on the left side of the page to meet other AlaCelts, to ask/answer questions, and to share news with the rest of Alabama's Celtic community!

BOOK SALE! - ACA Fundraiser with Unicorn Limited/Scotpress

Unicorn Limited is moving its retail book business to Alabama in March of 2003.  As part of the effort to reduce inventory before the move - Unicorn Limited is 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 News.  Don'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 . Visit them at .

Irish Singer Karan Casey Coming to Montgomery - February 23, 2003
Described in the Calgary Herald as "at once spiritual, sensual and strong", Waterford-born Karan Casey has, as a solo artist and former lead singer of U.S.-based band Solas, been acclaimed from Japan to America as one of Ireland's most important voices of recent years. Karan has been singing a variety of musical genres, learning from locals (Lupeta Sheehan and the Foran family) in her own parish of Ballyduff Lower, in school and in the church choir.  Moving to Dublin in 1987, she studied piano and voice and in 1993 Karan immigrated to New York.  She joined the group Atlantic Bridges and later Solas which recorded three albums in just four years, and won the ANIRD/AFIM Indie awards for each.  They played with Bela Fleck, Iris Dement, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, The Chieftains, Donal Lunny, Sharon Shannon and Paul Winter while touring extensively in America, Europe and Japan. In 1997 Karan recorded her first solo album, 'Songlines', which received universal critical acclaim.  Other recording projects have included:  Paul Winter's Grammy-award winning 'Celtic Solstice';  the PBS docmentary (and Rykodisc album) 'Africans in America' with Sweet Honey in the Rock's Bernice Reagan Johnson;  Michael McGoldrick's 'Fused' album; the album from the TV series 'Tacsi';  'Siol' a benefit album for the Irish Seedsavers Association;  and a children's album for the Music for Little People label, entitled 'The Seal Maiden'. For the last few years Karan has been touring extensively with guitarist Robbie Overson and concertina virtuoso Niall Vallely in North America and Europe as well as appearing with Tim O'Brien's 'The Crossing' and the Michael McGoldrick Experience. One of Ireland's most original, distinctive and thought-provoking vocalists, Karan Casey, has recently released her second solo album entitled 'The Winds Begin to Sing' on the Shanachie Records label. 
The Celtic Music Society of Montgomery presents Karan Casey at Club 1048 in Montgomery on February 23, 2003.  This is a rare opportunity to enjoy one of the most distinctive voices in Celtic Music today!  Tickets are $18 until February 14 and then $22 until the day of the show. Tickets must be reserved in advance by calling Gwen Orel at 334-356-4593 or e-mail at: .  More on this event at Celtic Music Society of Montgomery .
Gibson Rivers McKenzie Receives Heritage Award from St. Andrew's Society
The St. Andrew's Society of the Middle South recently honored Gibson McKenzie with a special Heritage Award for his many contributions to Scottish efforts and events in the Southeast.  Over several decades, Gibson McKenzie has been an important pioneer in many Scottish cultural efforts in the region.  He has participated in the founding of many Scottish Games, organizations and Clan Societies - including the Caledonian Society of Alabama,  The Clan MacKenzie Society of North America (first convenor and president), founder of the Oak Mountain Highland Games and The Tartan Heirs dance group.  As the proprietor of Caledonian Imports, a Scottish merchandise resource, Gibson has also contributed to the creation and growth of Scottish Highland Games across the South.  Congratulations, Gib!  See Photo Here
Attention Alabama Fiddlers:  Here's a New Web Site for You - "The Fiddler's Corner"
Marty Bostick, a fiddler in the Birmingham area, has created a web site devoted to the fiddle player.  Whether you are an experienced player, novice or enthusiast - you will find a welcome here.  Marty is working to foster an Alabama-based community of fellow fiddlers with similar interests.  Tips, tricks, news and photos pertaining to fiddling are welcome and encouraged.  The site is geared toward the Celtic fiddler but open to Bluegrass, Swing and Classical fans as well.  Be sure to visit The Fiddler's Corner, a great new forum for fiddle players and fans.  You can check out this new resource by visiting
Celtic Alabama News posted on Electric Scotland Web Site

Electric Scotland is a web site bringing those with Scottish heritage together from around the world. You'll find over 8,000 web pages of information on Scottish history and clans as well as people and places of Scots interest. Electric Scotland also features books on Scottish history, recipes for you to enjoy, Scots language and stories in Real Audio to listen to, travel information on Scotland and much more.   Electric Scotland, in conjunction with The Family Tree, has offered to post Celtic newsletters on the Electric Scotland web site for free.  You can find back issues of Celtic Alabama News  at by clicking on 'The Family Tree' and then clicking on 'Newsletters'.  Thanks Electric Scotland and Family Tree!

Auburn University - Seeking Support for a Celtic Studies Program

Auburn University has begun a committed effort to establish a Scottish, Irish and Celtic Interdisciplinary Program.  The vision for this program is the development of a comprehensive course of study that will begin with the establishment of an undergraduate minor, covering Celtic history, culture, literature, music and the arts.  The larger goal is to continue expanding the Celtic area of study into an academic major. Developing a Celtic Studies Major at Auburn University would make it one of the very few in the entire country. The success of this venture depends on external funding from private sources, alumni and Celts who would like to see Celtic Education in the United States take a huge leap forward. The College of Liberal Arts is working to spread the word and invite anyone with an interest in Irish, Scottish or Celtic Culture to become part of this endeavor. Full-color brochures are available on the program.  Please contact Jonathan Ahern at 334-844-1432 - or Mary Baird at 334-844-1141 - .

ACA welcomes Eileen Ivers and her Irish fiddle to Alys Stephens in 2003

Listen to the music of Eileen Ivers and you’ll sense that around the time she learned to hold a spoon, she began to wield a fiddle bow. The seven-time all-Ireland fiddle champion and musical star of the original Riverdance creates music that showcases a unique Irish-fusion sound, drawing from a wide range of musical styles. Backed by her brilliantly versatile band, Ivers’ current music weaves strains of jazz, reggae, flamenco and bluegrass, while never abandoning the Irish sound she loves dearly. The Boston Globe says that Ivers and her band “rock the house everywhere they play.”  For more details visit:  Eileen Ivers is coming to Birmingham!  Her performance is scheduled for Saturday, March 22, 2003; 8 P.M. at the Alys Stephens Center. Tickets at

Celtic Music Society of Montgomery - Busy Through the Holidays!

CMSM took a road trip to see Cherish the Ladies in Columbus, Georgia.  They played a Christmas concert with the Columbus Symphony, and were really wonderful.  Stand-out songs were “On Christmas Night” and the beautiful Irish lullaby, “The Castle of Dromore,” sung by Heidi Talbot. Of course the whistles and flutes of bandleader Joanie Madden were outstanding.  When we introduced ourselves to the band and handed them our cards, we described our first concert for Gerry O’Beirne in October and each member of the group practically swooned!  The CMSM held a holiday party 12/29 to listen to Thistle and Shamrock, which was featuring the music of Scottish harper and composer William Jackson.  Holiday CDs of upcoming musicians were given as party favors.  Billy has confirmed doing a house concert for us on May 12!  Tickets are $15, contact  or Gwen Orel at 334-356-4593.  (submitted by Gwen Orel)

We need your support!  Become an ACA Patron!

It's a great way to show your Celtic Pride and ensure our cultural legacy in Alabama! ACA Patrons receive the deluxe quarterly print issues of Celtic Alabama News with book reviews, news and articles not found elsewhere. 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)

Don't Miss The 2002 YEAR IN REVIEW Photo Gallery! 

Great Photos from Celtic events in Alabama and around the Southeast in 2002 are featured in the Celtic Alabama News Photo Gallery this month.  Be sure to check it out!  Visit the PHOTO GALLERY HERE


Celtic Alabama Announcements

Scottish Society of Mobile - Burns Night Dinner on February 1, 2003

The Scottish Society of Mobile is having their (Robert) Burns Night Supper on Feb. 1, 2003. You don't have to be Scottish to take pleasure in the fun and merriment!  On February 1, 2003 come spend an enjoyable evening with The Scottish Society of Mobile honoring Robert Burns, the Bard of Scotland, with good food, traditional music, Scottish Country dancing and good company!  This is by reservation only and reservations must be made by January 24, 2003.   For further information, please contact the Burns Night Chairperson at (submitted by Sally Roberts)

Caledonian Society of Alabama hosts Burn's Night Dinner on January 18, 2003
This annual event for the Scottish community in the Central Alabama area features Heritage Pipes and Drums, the best of Burns and much more.  Cost is $5 and guests are asked to bring a covered dish.  The dinner will be at Wald Park on Hwy 31 in Vestavia.  For more details, contact  Angus MacQueen at or 205-988-0568.

Welsh?  Where are you? 

Jenny Honeycutt is collecting interest in an informal forum for the development of the Welsh community in Alabama.  Ideas and thoughts are welcome about the form and purpose of a potential Alabama Welsh organization.  If you are interested or would like to know more, e-mail Jenny at .

Birmingham School of Celtic Arts - Inaugural Parade in Montgomery on January 20

BSCA will be participating in the Inaugural Parade in Montgomery for Governor-elect, Bob Riley on January 20, 2003. BSCA Sweatshirts are available by contacting Kathy Blanchard at 256-378-5606 or . (submitted by Mary Dougherty - BSCA)

Tuscaloosa St. Andrew's Society Hosting Burn's Night Dinner

For Ticket, Date and Location information, contact, or 205-349-3173.

Celtic Music Society of Montgomery - Membership Drive!

The Celtic Music Society of Montgomery is offering a great membership package for Celtic music fans.  For a $25 individual membership ($40 Family), CMSM members will receive advance notice of upcoming CMSM events, invitation to members-only pre-concert receptions, notice of concerts and 'road-trip' to events around the Southeast, invitation to member's-only listening parties and more. The CMSM has hit the ground running with one sold-out concert under their belt and more great entertainment in the works.  It's a great time to join the effort to bring Celtic music to South Central Alabama. Compilation CDs — NEW member benefits.  One of the new benefits of being a member of CMSM is complimentary compilation CDs of guest artists; the next one will be “Celtic Music for Lovers” before the Karan Casey concert in February.   For more information, visit Celtic Music Society of Montgomery or e-mail . (From CMSM)

North Alabama's Celtic Music Scene

The First Tuesday of the month is the time for Celtic musicians to gather for session at The Corner Pub  at 10300 Bailey Cove Road in Huntsville at 8 P.M..  New friends and Celtic music fans are welcome to come by.  The Madison Coffee Co. in Madison, AL will host regular Celtic Music sessions 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 January 16, starting around 7 p.m. For more details, by Denny Cannon and Richard Bennett)

St. Andrew's Pipes and Drums on Montgomery - New Web Site!

The St. Andrews Pipes and Drums of Montgomery, AL has a new web site.  In addition to contact information, photos, and a calendar of events there is also a FAQ section entitled "Beginning the Great Highland Bagpipe: A Learner's Guide" for the benefit of prospective students. The St. Andrews Pipes and Drums Web page is located at (Submitted by David Rock, Pipe Major - St. Andrew's Pipes and Drums)

FREE Bagpipe Lessons being offered in Birmingham on Saturdays

Free bagpipe and drumming lessons are being offered by Heritage Pipes & Drums (HPD). 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)

Sharing your news with Celtic Alabama News 

The Celtic Alabama News is always looking for news of, announcements for and photos from 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.  The Celtic Alabama News is usually produced between the 1st and 5th of each month.  If you have timely information, please keep this in mind. Send your news/photos to or call 205-655-7259.

Celtic Alabama News Calendar

January 7, 2003 - Irish Set Dance Workshop - Sponsored by CCE
Where:  German Club in Birmingham  Details:  jrw
January 7, 2003 - Celtic Session at the Corner Pub
Where:  The Corner Pub in Huntsville, 8 P.M.  Details: 
January 8, 2003 - Celtic Pub Night at Killarney's 
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant  Details:  Birmingham-area Celts gather. All welcome - 7 P.M on. 205-595-4088
January 9, 2003 - Celtic Session at Finnegan's
Where:  Finnegan's in Huntsville (after the Good Fortune practice)  Details:
January 10 and 24, 2003 - Hooley - Live at Killarney's
Where:  Killarney's Irish Pub at Eastwood Mall  Details:
January 12, 19 and 26, 2003 - Shillelagh Law - Live at Killarney's
Where: Every Sunday Night at Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant at Eastwood Mall  Details:  205-595-4088

January 12, 2003 - Larry Brown - Celtic Guitar

Where:  Highland Coffee Company, Birmingham AL - Sunday Brunch Series   Details:  205-802-1560
January 16, 2003 - Scottish Society of Mobile Meeting
Where:  Botnatical Gardens at Municipal Park  Details: or 251-342-4733
January 16, 2003 - Celtic Session at Madison Coffee Company - Every Third Thursday
Where:  Madison Coffee Company in Madison AL  Details:
January 18, 2003 - Caledonian Society of Alabama - Burn's Night Dinner
Where:  Wald Park, Vestavia - Covered Dish - Featuring Heritage Pipes and Drums  Details:  Angus MacQueen or 205-988-0568
January 25, 2003 - A Celtic Evening: Music and Dance from Scotland and Ireland
Where:  WorkPlay, Birmingham AL    Details:   A fantastic benefit for the Alabama Celtic Association featuring the very best of Alabama's Celtic talent.  Celtic Music, Irish Dance, Bagpipe Bands and much more - Everything in one fantastic evening. Tickets are $15 and available by calling 205-979-9653.  Tickets also available at Killarney's.
February 1, 2003 - Scottish Society of Mobile - Burns Night Dinner
Where: TBA in Mobile  Details:  Reservations by January 24th by contacting
February 23, 2003 - Celtic Music Society of Montgomery presents - Karan Casey
Where:  Club 1048, Montgomery AL  Details:  Tickets $18 till Jan. 15 - then $22 till show.  More details at Celtic Music Society of Montgomery or e-mail or call 334-356-4593

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!

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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 the information we receive but are not responsible for incorrect details submitted for publication.  Always call before traveling. 

Visit the Alabama Celtic Association at

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