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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Alabama Celtic Association

Volume 3 Issue 2
"Be green upon their graves, O happy Spring!
For they were young and eager who are dead!
Of all things that are young, and quivering
With eager life, be they remembered!"
James Stephens 'Spring - 1916'

A Celtic Evening: Many Thanks for a Successful, Sold-Out Show!
A Celtic Evening continues to be an outstanding and well-received showcase of Alabama's great array of outstanding Celtic talent. The 2003 show featured:  The Birmingham Society of Piping, The Good Fortune Ceili Band, The Birmingham School of Celtic Arts, Redhill, Hooley, Heritage Pipes and Drums, The Alabama Academy of Irish Dance, Henri's Notions, Larry Brown and Co, as well as guest artists Cynthia Douglass, Russell Hopper, Beau Goss, Sinead Maher and Mary Dougherty, Bob and Alex Tedrow, Jil Chambless, Marty Connors and Jim McRae, . ACA is deeply grateful for these artists' participation and support of this annual fundraiser.  Special thanks also go to emcee, Lance Kinney, for being a wonderful host and 'ringmaster', to Event Director Randy Palmer for putting a great show together and to Stage Manager Dan Gainey for his professional guidance and staging of the show !    The people who made the show work behind-the-scenes include:  Barbara Bell (hospitality), Mary Dougherty (sponsors/adv.), Nathan Tucker, Brendan Harkins, Chalmer Wayland, Libby Wayland, Marci Wofford, Leighanne Gray, Leah Copper, Susan Baker, Paris Farzaud, Roberta Stamp and Austin Farley. Thank you all so much!

A Celtic Evening 2003 was supported by:  Guinness, Birmingham Irish Cultural Society, Innisfree Irish Pub, Lamplight Music, Oak Mountain Highland Games, Celtic Heritage of Gatlinburg, The Celtic Music Society of Montgomery, The Tartan Heirs, Homewood Musical Instrument Company, Caledonian Imports and Killarney's Irish Pub and Restaurant.  Thank you for supporting the Celtic Arts in Alabama.  Our continued appreciation and gratitude go to WorkPlay for inviting the Celts to descend on their fantastic venue for another outstanding Celtic Evening!

Karan Casey's Montgomery Show Adds Celtic Music All-Stars!
Cillian Vallely (piper with Lúnasa -- formerly of Riverdance) and Niall Vallely (concertina) will be joining Irish singer, Karen Casey for her concert date in Montgomery on February 23.  Armagh Brothers Niall Vallely (concertina) and Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes) have joined forces recently to release one of the freshest traditional albums of the year. Callan Bridge is a collection of mostly old tunes, into which the brothers breathe new life and vigor. The Vallely Bros. are highly-respected and fantastically talented musicians who will make this already great show into something truly amazing!   Find out more about Niall and Cillian at: .
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.  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. More on Karan at
The Celtic Music Society of Montgomery presents Karan Casey and Friends 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 with world-class musicians!  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 . (submitted by Gwen Orel)

First Annual Irish Music and Flute Festival - Mobile, February 20-21
Skip Healy will be the guest artist for the First Annual Irish Music & Flute Festival presented by the University of South Alabama Department of Music on Thursday and Friday, February 20-21, 2003. Activities for the two-day event will include Skip in concert, workshops, classes, sessions and fun! All classes and the Thursday night concert will take place at the USA Laidlaw Performing Arts Center. Admission to any single event is $10 (students/seniors $5) . Admission to all festival events is $20 (students/seniors $10.) USA music students admitted free to all events. This event is made possible, in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Southern Arts Federation and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. For those of you freezing in the North, a trip to the warm and sunny South in a few weeks might be just the thing to cure those winter blues. These dates also coincide with the beginning of the Mardi Gras season in Mobile. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Andra at the USA Music Department at 251-460-6696; home at 251-607-0606; or by email  at . (Submitted by Andra Bohnet)

Scotia Dancers Growing By Leaps and Bounds!
Until recently, the Scotia Dancers, based in Hoover, have enjoyed the company of a core group of 6-8 dancers on a weekly basis.  Even through such calamities as foot surgery, the birth of babies, and car crashes, the faithful have come to dance, and we've had a great time.  However, in the last couple of months we've welcomed 4 new members to our class.  One of them is even attending the Spring Workshop held by the Atlanta Branch of the RSCDS, in Dillard GA, at the end of February.  It's not unusual for us to have visitors and they are always welcome.  On the last Thursday in January we had 6 visitors from Birmingham-Southern College.  It's not clear whether they will become regulars or not, time will tell. In light of the fact that we've had so many new folks lately, the class agenda has shifted to better accommodate beginning dancers.  Usually, we warm up, stretch and then work on dances for upcoming workshops and dances some of us may be attending.  This tends to be intimidating to new dancers, so we are going back to basics in an effort to make our class more beginner friendly.  The plan is to cover the basics every quarter.  The next section will start the first Thursday in April.  We'll begin with basic steps and figures and use them as a foundation to learn more intricate dances later in the quarter.  I'll also include a more advanced dance every week for the more experienced members of the class.  Hopefully, that will keep everyone happy, dancing and learning!  Scottish Country Dancing is a wonderful way to get exercise while meeting nice people.  You don't need a partner or any dancing experience.  Wear comfortable clothes and soft soled shoes.  Ballet or Jazz shoes work best but any kind of flexible shoe will work for you to start out with.   There is a quarterly fee of $24 payable to the Hoover Park and Recreation Department .  It can be paid in class on the first Thursday of each quarter. If you would like more information about the class you can reach me at (205)978-8394.  If there's no answer please leave a message and I'll return your call as soon as possible.  Thanks, and happy dancing! (submitted by Karen Cunningham RSCDS)

ACA welcomes Mobile's "Mithril" to the Celtic Alabama Music Page
Mithril is the latest collaboration between Andra Bohnet and Tom Morley, both founding members of the Silverwood Quartet. In 1999, Silverwood performed along with Windham Hill recording artist (and Nightnoise member) Brian Dunning at the National Flute Association Convention, and this experience, among others, sparked an interest in Celtic music in the two musicians which has become an obsession. This passion has resulted in an exciting new band and their debut CD, "Banish Misfortune," which was released in November 2002. You’ll hear Tom on fiddle, guitar, mandolin and Irish bouzouki, and Andra on the traditional Irish wooden flute, fife, whistle and Celtic harp. These amazing players have applied their wealth of musical experience to repertoire which includes energetic reels and jigs from Ireland and Scotland, beautiful slow airs which will bring a tear to your eye, and some exotic tunes from along the Silk Road with a Celtic twist.  "Celtic music and its performance offers us such an incredibly wide range of possibilities," says Morley. "Many people think that Celtic music is just jigs and reels, but it is so much more. The Irish have been influenced by many cultures over the centuries, and their music is reflective of that." To which Bohnet adds, "This is music into which we can pour our hearts, but also express the incredible joy we get from playing our instruments. Passion and energy, what could be better than that?"  Tom Morley has performed professionally in almost every style of music, from country and Celtic, to jazz, pop, and symphonic. Before moving to Fairhope in 1993, he worked for many years as a studio musician and performer in Nashville, where he earned a gold album.  As a jazz violinist, he performs with his own group, Classic Jazz (formerly 78 RPM), was part of two European tours with the New Orleans Jazz All-Stars, and has two CDs in national release. He is a founding member of Silverwood Quartet, which has released three CDs and performed throughout the Southeast and in Japan. He maintains an active teaching studio with many of the area’s top young violinists, and is in demand as a Elderhostel instructor and string workshop clinician.  Andra Bohnet is Professor of Music at the University of South Alabama where she teaches flute, music literature and chamber music. She is the principal flutist with the Mobile Symphony and the Gulf Coast Symphony in Biloxi, MS and has been a featured soloist with both orchestras. Also a founding member of the Silverwood Quartet and their primary arranger, her arrangements have been recorded on all three of the Silverwood CDs. Her interest in traditional styles of flute playing has led her to study and perform regularly at the Boxwood Festival in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and the Wind on the Bay Symposium in East Greenwich, Rhode Island with Celtic flutists Chris Norman and Skip Healy. She was also recently selected to be the artist performer in a groundbreaking research project involving historical flutes from the 19th Century in collaboration with researchers from Australia and Canada.  (submitted by Andra Bohnet)

Welsh Production Company Looking for Welsh Connections to the American Civil War
Welsh production company Element Productions in Cardiff is currently conducting research for a new program they are producing for the BBC. The program idea is based on the Welsh involvement before, during and after the American Civil War. The series will be in English and will be shown by the BBC in 2003.  "We are looking for families who have a Welsh family history relating to

  • the emigration of the Welsh to America, particularly in 1800's

  • the Welsh during the American Civil War

  • the aftermath

  • "Ideally contributors will posses some sort of memorabilia relating to the period but at the moment we would be happy to find people of Welsh descent who have the above history." The series adviser Geoff Mungham will be in the USA in July and August this year, collecting materials and interviewing Welsh-Americans. He is especially interested in trying to locate Welsh-Americans in your area who can trace their family connections back to the period before the Civil War and would particularly like to meet Welsh-Americans who had family/relatives who fought in the Civil War. Contact Geoff Mungham by e-mail: or phone:  44+2920+876186  or leave a message with Nerys Evans at Element Productions. (submitted by Billy Price)

    5th Annual "Irish Evening" - Huntsville's Celtic Benefit for UCP
    Huntsville will celebrate St. Patrick's Day weekend in style with the 5th Annual Irish Evening.  The event will feature live music from Henri's Notions, Irish Dance, Irish Cuisine and more.  The Irish Evening will be March 15, 2003 at the Marriott Huntsville, 5 Tranquility Base (U.S. Space and Rocket Center) in Huntsville, Alabama. Tickets are $50 (or $500 per table).  for More details,  256-859-4900 or (all proceeds benefit United Cerebral Palsy).

    WorkPlay welcomes Celtic Spring and Colin Grant-Adams for Celtic Show in March
    Celtic Spring is an exciting and unique fiddle and dance band composed of the five Wood family children on fiddles and in dance shoes, joined by their father on the traditional Irish drum, the bodhran. Performing spirited reels, jigs, and hornpipes, dancing in both the graceful soft shoes and the powerful hard shoes, they create the dynamic interaction between the music and the dance.  Ranging in ages from 17 to 6, the Wood children began studying the violin, fiddle and Irish dancing at the age of four!  Referred to as the "Von Trapp Family of Celtic music", Celtic Spring is loved by audiences of all ages.  Featured on "Good Morning America", this show will definitely be entertaining.  For more on this amazing family, visit ! Scottish Balladeer Colin Grant-Adams will also be entertaining this evening with his amazing repertoire of songs and unique brand of Scottish humor!  Celtic Spring and Colin Grant-Adams will take the WorkPlay stage on March 14, 8 P.M. - tickets are $15. For more information, go to . (submitted by WorkPlay)

    Local Irish Dancers to Join Eileen Ivers on Stage at Alys Stephens on March 22

    Eileen Ivers is coming to Birmingham!  Her performance is scheduled for Saturday, March 22, 2003; 8 P.M. at the Alys Stephens Center. She has invited dancers from the Birmingham School of Celtic Arts and friends to join her on stage during her Birmingham appearance! 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.  For more details visit:   Tickets available at

    Scots-Irish in America Series Author to speak in Birmingham

    Billy Kennedy will be speaking at the Birmingham Genealogical Society's March meeting on March 29th.  The event will be held at 2 P.M. Saturday afternoon in the third floor auditorium in the Linn-Henly library in downtown Birmingham.  The event is free to the public and all are invited. Billy Kennedy, a native of County Armagh, Northern Ireland, has written several books on the migration of the Scotch-Irish in America.  He has also  compiled and edited books on cultural traditions in Ireland. For more information please contact Scott Martin at 205-254-8227 or . (submitted by Scott Martin)

    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 .

    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

    Hooley's New Home -
    Be sure to visit the Birmingham-area Celtic band, Hooley, at their new home on the web.  Fresh with new photos and a slick new look is worth the visit! (submitted by Trent Bradford)

    Birmingham School of Celtic Arts - New Beginners Class Starting in April
    New Beginners classes for Irish Dance will begin in April as soon as Children's Dance Foundation moves into their new studio.  If you know someone who would like to sign up, please have them contact Mary Dougherty at  Open Studio will continue every Sunday from 1-3  $5.00 per session  1-2 Soft Shoe 2-3 Hard Shoe.  BSCA will be performing at Child Times Camp Fair-Brookwood Village  Feb 22nd.  2:00 PM, Castlebay Cafe from 7 P.M. til on February 22nd as well. (submitted by Mary Dougherty)

    BSCA and Castlebay Cafe Host a Mini-Ceili on February 22nd
    Come early for dinner at Castlebay Cafe' - dinner served until 7:00.  Then the floor will clear for informal Instruction for Irish Ceili Dancing from 7 - 7:30 P.M.  Dancing begins at 7:30 - all welcome!  BSCA Irish Dancers will also be performing.  Coffee, teas and desserts will be available after 7:00.  Come join the fun!  Details at (submitted by Mary Dougherty) 

    MasterSingers of Montgomery present "Irish Blessings" February 7
    The Montgomery Mastersingers, Linda Gill, director present, Irish Blessings, An evening of Irish love songs and stories featuring Tomaseen Foley Native Irish Storyteller and musician  Friday, February 7, 2003  at 7:30 P.M. 109 Goodwyn Hall Admission. General admission at the door will be $10.00. $25.00 patron tickets (includes a pre-concert wine & cheese reception [off  campus] from 6-7 P.M. may be purchased by calling 834-3968.(submitted by Gwen Orel)

    St. Patrick's Day Parade in Birmingham Welcomes Participants!
    It's time to start making plans to take the street on Monday, March 17 - when the Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade makes its way through Birmingham.  Everyone is encouraged to attend - and if you're really in the spirit of things...Join the Parade!  The Parade is a great time to show off your Celtic Canines (Shelties, Irish setters, Irish Wolfhounds, Scotties).  Just add some green to the leash and they become their own show.  Homeschool groups, civic clubs, equestrians, show-offs, crazy cars - everyone is welcome to take the pavement from Five Points South to Lynn Park for the St. Patrick's Day promenade!  For more details: contact .

    Scottish Society of Mobile - Meetings and Tartan Day
    The Scottish Society of Mobile will be meeting on the Thursdays of  February 20, March 20, and April 17.  The Scottish Society of Mobile will be helping at the Oakley Historical Home in Mobile on National Tartan Day which is Sunday, April 6.  The Society will be displaying a wide range of tartan banners and be on hand to share more on Scottish heritage with visitors. (submitted by Harriet Nihart)

    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 Larry Hogan and Richard Bennett)

    Savannah Irish Festival - Brings in Great Line-up for Feb 14-16
    The 2003 Savannah Irish Festival will feature: Black 47, Clancy, O'Connell and Clancy, Cathie Ryan Band, the McKrells, Seamus Kennedy, Brendan Nolan, and Tuckers' Tales Puppet Theater plus over 150 Irish Dancers, four stages including a Children's Stage and more. For more details on this event, visit .(submitted by Jimmy Buttimer)

    Boys of the Lough coming to Atlanta (FYI)

    A fun loving approach to Celtic music has made the Boys of the Lough one of folk music's most influential groups. The 'Boys' have established a reputation for technical brilliance and integrity in their performance of Irish and Scottish music. A ready wit and sense of fun enliven their onstage performance while their original arrangements and dynamic interactions between the two major strands of the Celtic tradition keep the music always bright and fresh.  BOYS OF THE LOUGH will be performing at Variety Playhouse 1099 Euclid Ave, Atlanta, GA  30307 Saturday, March 5th, 8 P.M..  Tickets are $20 and are available at the Variety Playhouse box office, all Ticketmaster locations including and also at . 

    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
    February 4 - TUNEPLAY at the Corner Grill and Pub
    Where:  The Corner Grill and Pub 8 p.m. Details:  Ongoing Session on the first Tuesday of every month  - 
    February 7 -  MasterSingers Performance "Irish Blessings" featuring Tamaseen Foley
    Where:  Auburn University Montgomery Campus  Details:  7:30 P.M., tickets information Linda Gill 336-834-3968
    February 7 -  Hooley - Performing at Killarney's Opening in a New Location!
    Where:  3625 8th Ave South (in Forest Park, Birmingham, Alabama)  Details:
    February 9 - Irish Session at George's Irish Pub
    Where:  George's Irish Pub, 3346 Cottage Road, Mobile  Details:  Ongoing Irish Session every Sunday at 6 P.M. -
    February 9 - Birmingham Society of Piping
    Where:  Birmingham Marathon on Red Mountain Details:
    February 14-16 (FYI)  Savannah Irish Festival Featuring many Celtic Bands, 150 Irish Dancers and more...
    Where:  Savannah, GeorgiaDetails:
    February 16 -   Irish Session at George's Irish Pub
    Where:  George's Irish Pub, Mobile Details:  Ongoing Irish Session every Sunday at 6 P.M. -
    February 20 - TUNEPLAY at Madison Coffee Co.
    Where:  Madison Coffee Co., Madison, Alabama Details:  Ongoing Session Third Thursday of every month -
    Feb 20-21 - First Annual Irish Music and Flute Festival - February 20-21 in Mobile, Alabama
    Where:  Univ. of South Alabama, Laidlaw PAC  Details:  workshops, session, concert  - Andra
    February 20 - Scottish Society of Mobile Meeting
    Where:  TBA  Details:
    February 22 - Mini-Ceili Castlebay Cafe - Featuring the Birmingham School of Celtic Arts
    Where:  Castlebay Cafe, Bham  Details:  Dinner until 7 P.M., Dance instruction from 7 - 7:30 P.M.,  Irish Dance at 7:30
    February 23 - Celtic Music Society of Montgomery presents - Karan Casey  /  One of Ireland's most distinctive voices joined by Niall Vallely, Muireann Casey Vallely, Robbie Overson, Chico Huff , Olga Huff and Cillian Vallely.
    Where:  Club 1048, Mongomery AL   Details:  Tickets $18 til Feb. 14 - then $22 til show.  More details at Celtic Music Society of Montgomery or e-mail or call 334-356-4593
    March 4 - TUNEPLAY at the Corner Grill and Pub
    Where:  The Corner Grill and Pub, Huntsville, 8 P.M. Details:  Ongoing Session on the First Tuesday of every month -
    March 5, 2003 (FYI)  Boys of the Lough
    Where:  Variety Playhouse, Atlanta GA  Details: , Tickets at
    March 15, 2003 - 23rd Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration -  hosted by Birmingham Irish Cultural Society
    Featuring live Celtic music from Hooley, Irish Dance, More music and Irish Cuisine
    Where:  Pine Tree Country Club Details:  Tickets $50 at 205-685-9179 (all proceeds go to charity)
    March 15, 2003 - 5th Annual Irish Evening - Fundraiser for UCP
    Featuring Live Music from Henri's Notions, Irish Dance, Irish Cuisine and more.
    Where:  Marriott Huntsville, 5 Tranquility Base (U.S. Space and Rocket Center) Huntsville   Details:
    March 17 - St. Patrick's Day Parade - Downtown Birmingham at Noon
    Where:  From 5 Points South down 20th Street to Lynn Park - Great fun, Great friends, All Welcome!  For more details:

    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. 

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