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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Alabama Celtic Association

Volume 3 Issue 6
"The Irish men are fine-looking and of incredible strength, swift runners, and ready to bear any kind of hardship with cheerfulness.  They are all trained in arms, especially now that they are at war.  Those who apply themselves to letters are very learned, and well fitted to the professions and sciences."  
--translated from the diary of Dr. Massari, secretary to the Papal Nuncio, visiting Ireland in 1645.

North Alabama Scottish Festival and Highland Games - Coming to Madison on June 21 !

The 2003 North Alabama Scottish Festival and Highland Games will feature:  Live Celtic music from Hooley, Good Fortune Ceilidh Band, Flora MacDonald Gammon and much more!  John Dahl will serve as Master of Ceremonies.  Clan Donald is the honored Clan this year. Stan Moore's shepherding Border Collies, Highland Cows, Scottish Heavy Athletics, and Children's activities will all be part of the 2003 event.  Additional offerings include: Scottish Highland and Irish Dance, Irish Storytelling, Clan and Heritage Tents and Scottish County Dancers.   The gates will open at 9 A.M. at Dublin Park in Madison for this outstanding event!  (Great Children's Playground on site!)  Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children 6-12, Children under 6 are admitted free.   For more details visit . (Submitted by TVSS)

Birmingham Harpers, Cynthia Douglass and Son - Take Top Awards at Glasgow Highland Games

Cynthia Douglass traveled with her sons to Glasgow, Kentucky  for the Highland Games on May 31, where she and son, Omar, both competed in the harp competition; Omar not only won in the junior division, but he also won the "Harper of the Day" award, given to only one harper, for outstanding deportment, ability to captivate their audience, etc.  Cynthia won in the senior division, and also won an award for "Most Difficult Set Played."  So the Douglass/Zamrini clan brought home the gold! Cynthia also played throughout the weekend at the Douglas clan tent, run by fellow Alabama friends, Gilbert and Cindy Douglas and company.  Congratulations Cynthia and Omar!  Cynthia Douglass recently offered a harp recital and workshop at Killarney's in Birmingham featuring solos and an ensemble piece.  SEE PHOTO GALLERY  (Submitted by Cynthia Douglass)

Alabama Celtic Association Web Site Wins Talking Hands Award

Thanks to the nominations of some of our internet visitors, the ACA web site at has received the Talking Hands Award from .  The singular purpose of the award is to reward web site authors, who through their creative excellence provide a web site which teaches, contains teaching elements in sufficient detail, and otherwise leave a visitor with something of significant value after returning to their normal daily activities. We deeply appreciate the honor and have the award displayed on the front page of .

Mobile Scots Make Tartan Day the Main Event at Historic Oakleigh Plantation

Tartan Day, April 6th, was celebrated in style by the Scottish Society of Mobile. The day was extremely festive on the grounds of Oakleigh Plantation with Scottish music in the air and highland dancing. Mayor of Mobile Mike Dow began the festivities by officially proclaiming April 6th as Tartan Day in Mobile. A great deal of thanks is due to the efforts of Bobbie and David Bayne for their tireless work in getting this celebration off the ground as well as the many members of the Mobile Scottish Society. With the excellent turnout, this proves to be an annual event in Mobile. Many clan tents were visible on the plantation grounds as well as High Tea being served. As usual, all the clan tents were manned by representatives of the many Scottish families and societies. Of note is a relative newcomer to the Clans and Societies; The Glasgow Society which not only represents the family name, but more importantly represents the Glasgow District in Scotland. "We are not a clan in the traditional sense, however we represent the area which surrounds the city of Glasgow Scotland," stated Society vice president Hugh Glasgow. Glasgows or those with roots from the Glasgow area are encouraged you to join. (Submitted by Hugh Glasgow - The Glasgow Society is now listed on the Heritage Page at ))

Alabama Celtic Association Funding Initiative Underway

ACA is looking for funding proposals from its Affiliates. The Alabama Celtic Association is currently finalizing the requirements and categories for funding opportunities.  Affiliates of ACA will be receiving in early summer, more information about how to submit funding requests.  Thanks to the outstanding support ACA has received from the Celtic Community and Alabama Celtic Artists, we are looking forward moving these funds into projects which preserve and promote Alabama's Celtic Legacy!

Henri's Notions - New Look for the Web Site!

Along with Henri's Notions' new line- up - comes a completely revision of the Henri's Notion's Web Site at .  For those of you who are fans of the music (or those who are the uninitiated curious) - the new site really illustrates the miles the Band has logged over the years, the friends made in every new town and the dues paid by these fine musicians to stay at the top of their craft.  Check out the new site and be sure to sign the Guest Book!

Tuscaloosa Scottish Athlete, Myles Wetzel, is Bringing Home the Gold

Spring 2003 is shaping up as the winning season for Alabama Scottish Heavy Athlete, Myles Wetzel.  He won the Highland Games in Panama City, setting new field records in the Stone and the 56 Pound Weight Toss. Alabama Scotsman, Dawayne Leitzen from Dothan captured third at this same event.  Myles made the Scottish Athletic competition in Springfield, Illinois for the Shamrock Festival on the following weekend.  Among a field of 55 athletes and Myles took second place behind Craig Smith of Indiana. In May, Myles was invited to the Masters World Championship in Illinois where he competed with the strongest 40+ Scottish Athletes.  This competition mixes Professional and Amateur competitors.  Myles, who competes as an amateur,  placed third in his division - behind two Professional Masters.  He wrapped up his Spring Season with a sweeping win at the Highland Games in Glasgow, Kentucky, bringing home to Alabama,  "Athlete of the Day" honors.  Congratulations, Myles!

Celtic Alabama News - Each New Issue Now Posted at

Because the Alabama Celtic Association's e-mailing list is so large - we take special precautions to keep your e-mail address private during the mailing process.  Some of the methods that we use (blind-copy and bundling) cause some servers such as AOL and HOTMAIL to block delivery of the Celtic Alabama News. Our goal is to make 'all things Celtic' in Alabama as accessible as possible.  We now post each issue of the CAN on the CelticAlabama web site.  Go to Celtic Alabama News Page to review each new monthly issue (as well as back issues for the year!).  We try to get them posted no later than the 10th of each month.  Thanks for your patience!

City Stages 2003 - Alabama Sampler Stage Features Four Celtic Alabama Groups!

The Celtic Music segment on Sunday at the Alabama Sampler Stage at City Stages 2003 - enjoyed some of the best weather available on the sometimes soggy weekend.   Alabama Celtic Artists entertaining the crowd included:  RedhillBob Tedrow and Friends, The Heritage Pipes and Drums as well as Irish Dance from the Birmingham School of Celtic Arts.  Alabama Sampler Stage Emcee, Lance McKinney was an ideal host for the afternoon - and was very good to the Alabama Celtic Association, giving ACA generous recognition throughout the day.  Thanks Randy and Lance!  SEE PHOTO GALLERY

What is a Singing Session?  Find Out on June 10th in Huntsville

Q. What is a singing session?

A. It’s a music session devoted to the traditional Celtic singing styles.

Q. Is this like a sing-along?

A. No. Everyone in attendance will be encouraged to share songs with the group. These songs will usually be solo performances unless the singer has asked, in advance, for participation on a chorus or particular phrase.

Q. Can I bring a Lunasa recording and do some “Irish Karaoke”?

A. If you do, you and your recording will be severely savaged by the group! Recorded music is not welcomed except to provide the opportunity to hear a noteworthy performance that illustrates a particular style. Recording devices are also not encouraged, and should only be used to record yourself or others who have specifically granted permission.

Q. Can I sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and teach the group the hand and arm choreography that goes with it?

A. That’s a lovely song, BUT, we intend to focus on the traditional singing of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Galletia and the Isle of Mann. Songs might be sung in: Irish, Scots Gaelic, Lallans, Welsh, Cornish, Breton, French, Galletian, Spanish, Manx (Manx? Nobody sings in Manx! Nobody even knows how to speak Manx anymore.) or, of course, English. The styles might be: Ballad, Sean Nos, Puirt-a-buel, Muneras, work songs, wauking songs, shanties, lilting or diddeling.

Q. So “Oh, Danny Boy” would be a great choice?!

A. “Oh, Danny Boy” was written by an English attorney, during his daily commute in London. If you can take the “slagging”, go for it!

Q. What is “slagging”?

A. The art of prolonged verbal evisceration, as elevated to the status of an Olympic sport by people of Celtic heritage. While we’re on the subject, slagging would probably also follow any of the “Tin Pan Alley Irish” songs. (i.e.: “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” or “Who Threw The Overalls In Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder”)

Q. Will there be plenty of room for music stands?

A. Bring a music stand, and both you and it will be severely savaged! Re-read “slagging”, above.

Q. But where will I put my music?

A. Put the music where it belongs, in your head. If you bring notation, it will be lit afire and you will be severely savaged. Re-re-read “slagging”, above.

Q. Can I bring an instrument?

A. Yes, you can use it to accompany yourself or you might be asked to accompany someone else. We aren’t implementing a “check it at the door” policy, but if you start noodling between songs – there’ll be a lot more savaging and slagging!

Q. OK. I have a “real traditional” song. I can sing it, while accompanying myself on the concertina, without using notation! What else do I need to know?

A. You’ll be expected to do a decent introduction: background on the song, an anecdote about its composer or a noted performer, history, variations, something to help “set the stage”. Remember: in the tradition, the stories behind the song are as important as the song.

Q. What is this “tradition”, and why do I have to memorize everything?

A. “Tradition is the ashes of the bones of the past, which we use to make the mortar for the foundation of the future.” Bards, Seanachies, Brehons and Chieftains must learn by heart; to insure, if everything else is taken from us, we still have our music, stories, laws and customs.

The June Singing Session will be gathering on Tuesday, June 10th, 6:30 P.M. at Grace United Methodist Church on Old Monrovia Rd, Huntsville. Details from . (Submitted by Richard Bennett, keeper of the flame and spammer of the Irish-inclined)

The Alabama Celt - Delivered to Your Door! 

Looking for a great way to support Celtic Heritage, Arts and Education in Alabama?  Subscribe to The Alabama Celt and become a Patron of the Alabama Celtic Association.  Your $25 contribution is tax-deductible and brings The Alabama Celt newsletter, right to your door for one year!  Each quarterly issue features Celtic Alabama arts news, book/music reviews and timely articles of interest to Celt-o-philes of every kind!  Become a Patron of the Alabama Celtic Association today - and help ensure a Celtic legacy in Alabama.  Details at Patrons of ACA .  (The Summer 2003 Issue of The Alabama Celt will have a Genealogy theme - book reviews, McLeod Pilgrimage to Scotland and more!)

SPECIAL ! Photo  Gallery Archives from 2001, 2002 and 2003 Updated -

Don't Miss the Celtic Alabama News Photo Gallery- Click Here! 


Celtic Alabama Announcements

Good Fortune Ceilidh Band Planning Traditional Music Workshop in Huntsville

Good Fortune is joining forces with the Railroad Bazaar on University Blvd in Huntsville to offer a Traditional Music workshop. This event will include a forum on ‘traditional music’, tunes will be taught, demonstrations of instruments played in traditional style, special guests and a Good Fortune Ceilidh Band concert. The date/time is in the first half of July (TBA).   Members of GF also meet for  “Tuneplay” on first Tuesdays at the Corner Grill and Pub in southeast Huntsville off Bailey Cove Road. In addition to your favorite traditional tunes we now have a singer who will be sharing a song or two. T-shirts with Good Fortune pocket logo on front are also available.  For more details: .  SEE PHOTO GALLERY  (Submitted by Good Fortune Band)

Birmingham School of Celtic Arts - Open Studio for Summer and Adult Irish Step Dance Class

Birmingham School of Celtic Arts will be offering open studio time this summer on Tuesday evenings beginning June 10th and ending July 22.  Soft shoe is from 5:30-6:30 and hard shoe is from 6:30 to 7:30.  Classes are open to all level of dancers.   Please reserve your slot by emailing .  An Adult Irish Step Dance class will be offered on Tuesday evenings from 7:30-9:00.  This class is for adults only.  Class session beginning June 10th and ending July 15th.  (Submitted by BSCA)

Irish Arts Workshop and Performance in Knoxville - June 28

The Michael Kennedy (Knoxville) Branch of the CCE is hosting Irish Arts Workshops on Saturday, June 28 as part of the 4th Annual Michael Kennedy Irish Festival, featuring live performance from Half Nine and Glen Road at 8 P.M. of at the Laurel Theatre in Knoxville.  The Workshops include:  Flute/Whistle (Turlach Boylan), Fiddle (Beanie O'Dell, Greg Brown), Button Accordion (Yutaka Usui), Bouzouki/Guitar (Vincent Fogarty, Mike Dugger), Gaelic Lang (Jim Pogge) and Irish Set Dance (Yutaka Usui). The Festival is sponsored by DeRoyal Industries and Cherokee Distributing. For further information, please call Wendy at 865-689-5869 or e-mail

Coming soon! All the Best of the Full Moon Ensemble

"The Best of the Full Moon Ensemble" double CD set. Featuring 32 tracks from all 4 FME CDs, re-mastered and enhanced. PLUS two additional bonus tracks never before recorded until now. Hopefully available by July 1. Info at the Full Moon Ensemble website. .

Calling All Scots in Tuscaloosa!

The Tuscaloosa St. Andrew's Society will host its annual summer Ceilidh on June 22 in Tuscaloosa.  If you are interested in attending or joining the St. Andrew's Society, please contact Serena Fortenberry at or (205) 349-3173.

Irish Music Traditions of Atlanta - Weekend Workshops (Sponsored by CCE Atlanta)

Comhaltas Ceoltiori Eireann of Atlanta is sponsoring Irish Arts Workshops and performance on the weekend of June 13-15, 2003 at Kennesaw State University.  Classes include:  Fiddle, Whistle, Flute, Guitar, Traditional Song, Gaelic Language and Bodhran.  The fee is $40 for all classes.  Donncha O'Muineachain of Dublin will also be offering an Irish Set Dance workshop Saturday Evening at 7:30 at the Garden Hills Clubhouse in Buckhead.  For more details, contact: .

After Class Performing at Riverchase Galleria in July

After Class will be playing in the food court at the Riverchase Galleria on Saturday, July 5 from Noon until 3 PM. After Class is an instrumental trio which performs many of the songs written by blind Irish harpist, Turlough O'Carolan .  After Class offers a unique interpretation of some of these tunes which include Si Beag Si Mor, Planxty George Brabazon and Lord Inchiquin, as well as complete sets of Celtic tunes, music of the Civil War era, and other melodies which made their way from Ireland and Wales to Appalachia.

Alabama Arthritis Marathon - Makes its way to Dublin!

Alabama Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation's Joints in Motion program is a marathon/hike training program.The Alabama Joints in Motion Team is currently recruiting for the Adidas Dublin Marathon - October 27, 2003 and the Wick Low Mountains Hike - October 25, Dublin, Ireland!  For more information on AF's Joints in Motion's Ireland Marathon & Hike Contact: Holly Williams, 205-979-5700, . (submitted by the Alabama Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation)

Maura O'Connell - Coming to Birmingham in September 2003

Maura O’Connell will be opening the Troubadour Series on 9/11/03 at WorkPlay.  Maura O’Connell began her professional musical journey during a six-week tour of America in 1980, as vocalist for the traditionally-based Celtic group DeDanann. The following year, she was featured on the band’s landmark album, The Star-Spangled Molly, which became something of a national phenomenon in her homeland, not unlike the 1993 compilation, A Woman’s Heart, (featuring Maura and several other popular Irish female artists), a copy of which was estimated to be in every single home in Ireland.  For more information, visit . Individual tickets will be available through 205-380-4082 in late August. (Submitted by Mae Robertson)

Celtic Alabama News Calendar

June 10 - Celtic Singing Session
Where:  Grace United Meth. Church, Huntsville, 6:30  Details:  Every 2nd Tues
June 12 - Hooley - LIVE at Ruddles
Where:  Ruddles on Bell Road in Montgomery  Details:
June 14 - Mithril - LIVE at the Celtic Nations Heritage Festival in New Orleans
Where:  New Orleans, LA  Details:  Playing at Noon - more from Andra Bohnet
June 13 - 15 - Irish Music Traditions of Atlanta - (Presented by Atlanta CCE)
Where:  Kennesaw State University GA  Details:  Weekend Workshop details from .
June 15 - Shillelagh Law - LIVE at Safari Cup
Where:  Safari Cup, 300 Richard Arrington Blvd (at 3rd Ave N.) Bham  Details:  326-0019
June 23 - Henri's Notions - LIVE Performance for Annual Helen Keller Festival
Where:  Deschler High School, Tuscumbia, AL 7:30 P.M. FREE Details:
June 28 - Irish Music and Dance Workshops (Presented by CCE Knoxville)
Where:  Knoxville TN  Details: Celtic Concert in P.M. 865-689-5869, 865-805-0792 or
June 21 - North Alabama Scottish Festival and Highland Games
Where:  Dublin Park in Madison, AL  Details: From 9 - 4 P.M. $10 Adults - $6 Kids age 6-10,  more information from or .
July TBA - Traditional Music Workshop - with Good Fortune
Where:  Railroad Bazaar in Huntsville  Details:
July 1 - TUNEPLAY with Good Fortune
Where:  Corner Pub in Huntsville  Details:  Every 1st Tues.
July 5 - After Class - LIVE Celtic Music at the Galleria
Where - Riverchase Galleria, Hoover AL  Details:
July 12-13 - Henri's Notions - LIVE at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
Where:  Near Linville, North Carolina  Details: or  
July 12- 13  Scottish Fiddle Workshop, Jam and Competition with Calum MacKinnon
Where: Grandfather Mountain Highland Games  Details:  704-932-2278
July 18 - Hooley - LIVE at Safari Cup
Where:  Safari Cup, 300 Richard Arrington Blvd (at 3rd Ave N.) Bham Details:  326-0019 or
July 26 - Hooley - LIVE at Ruddles
Where:  Ruddles on Bell Road in Montgomery  Details:
July 26 - Trent Bradford on Uilleann Pipes at Pepper Place Market
Where:  Pepper Place Market in Downtown B'ham  Details:
July 31 - Hooley - LIVE City of Gulf Shores
Where:  Gulf Shores, AL  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!    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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