HURON, OH – The Firelands Symphony Orchestra (FSO) presents a performance by the guest ensemble “An Irish Rambling House: Celebrating St. Patrick”. This highly talented musical and dancing concert performs on Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the newly renovated Sawmill Creek Convention Center.
This concert is made possible with generous funding from: Randolph J. & Estelle M. Dorn Foundation, Mylander Foundation, McIntire Retirement Services, and Ohio Arts Council.
Rambling House melds the heart of Celtic and American folk music with the discipline and sophistication of Baroque music under the direction of Grammy Winning guitarist William Coulter and former Stevie Wonder Band collaborator Edwin Huizinga. Soprano Amanda Powell, of Apollo’s Fire notoriety, offers her songs with untethered joy. The presentation of music is accented with the percussive brilliance of modern Irish step dancing as choreographed by Riverdance veterans Brandon Asazawa and Alyssa Reichert. Brian Bigley, purveyor of the ethereal sounds of the uilleann pipes, and Kristen Capp Bigley, violin, are the producers of this show and of A Celtic Christmas, which performed to a thousand people last December at the Medina Performing Arts Center.
In Ireland, the neighbors would pick a house to ramble to in the evenings to share music, dance, and story. It was this setting that bore their humor, charm, and a sense of community and togetherness which is what Rambling House exemplifies. It is a joyful culture rich in spirit and warmth- like a steaming hot mug of Irish Coffee in a neighbor’s warm kitchen.
General admission tickets for this concert are available for $25 at firelandssymphony.com/tickets or by calling the FSO office at 419.621.4800 (Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Student tickets for youth are complementary, as well as for college students with a valid student I.D. at the time of purchase. For these special ticket offers, please call the FSO office or claim at the door on the day of the event.
Sawmill Creek Resort is located at 400 Sawmill Creek Drive W in Huron. When entering the site, attendees should follow signage for the conference center parking and entrance. Concessions are available and are cashless.
TOMÁSEEN FOLEY – NATIVE IRISH STORYTELLER
Storyteller Tomáseen Foley was born on a small farm in the remote parish of Teampall an Ghleanntáin in the West of Ireland. Each year from Thanksgiving until Christmas, his show Tomáseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas plays to critical acclaim and packed concert halls around the US. Tomáseen Foley’s Irish Times tours throughout the remainder of the year. The Oregon Cabaret has developed a hit musical from his story Parcel from America.
He has released two CDs: A Celtic Christmas: Parcel from America, and a live recording, The Priest and the Acrobat. Rego Irish Records says “(He) is a master of the Irish narrative and a keeper of the flame for a priceless piece of Irish culture.” Visit tomaseenfoley.com.
BRIAN BIGLEY – UILLEANN PIPES, IRISH FLUTE, WHISTLES AND TRADITIONAL IRISH DANCE
Brian Bigley has studied the Irish uilleann pipes for nearly 25 years as a player, as well as a maker, of the instrument. He has toured North America and Europe extensively as both a musician and a dancer, appearing in shows such as Tomàseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas, the Omaha Symphony’s Celtic Journey, and the Apollo’s Fire Countryside Concert Series. In 2002 and 2003 Brian competed with great distinction at the World Irish Dance Championships held in Glasgow and Killarney. He has recently released his fourth recording of traditional Irish music Dance the Town Green in conjunction with the New York School of Irish Dance.
Brian now lives near Cleveland, Ohio, with his fiddler wife, Kristen, and their dancing children, James and Kathleen. Visit brianbigleymusic.com.
WILLIAM COULTER – GUITAR
William Coulter is a Grammy Award winning guitarist who has been performing, recording, and teaching traditional, classical, Celtic and folk music for the past 25 years. He is an internationally acclaimed master of the steel-string guitar. In 2005 he won a Grammy for a track he contributed to a solo guitar compilation of Henry Mancini tunes, called Pink Guitar. William performs as both a soloist and a member of ensembles, including Isle of Skye, Orison, and the Coulter-Phillips Ensemble.
He has recorded many albums for Gourd, including the best-selling Shaker music CD Simple Gifts, and the critically acclaimed Celtic Sessions. The most recent of his seven CDs on the Gourd Music label is the acclaimed solo album The Road Home.
William earned his BA in music from UC Santa Cruz and a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory. During his classical studies he was always drawn to traditional Irish and American folk music. This led to a second Master’s degree from UCSC, earned in 1994, in ethnomusicology with an emphasis on traditional Irish music, language and song. Visit williamcoulterguitar.com.
EIMEAR ARKINS – MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST, VOCALS, IRISH DANCE
Eimear Arkins is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and dancer from Ruan in County Clare, Ireland.
She holds eleven solo All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil titles and has competed in all Ireland, European and World Dancing Championships. Eimear has toured extensively with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann on concert tours throughout Ireland, Britain, North America and Canada. She has represented Ireland in France as a performer at Rennes Expo and in Spain as a participant in La Noche Negra a cultural collaboration and exchange between the Mid-West of Ireland and the province of Asturias.
In 2014 Eimear was selected to be part of the Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland, which was put together to perform the Boróimhe Suite, a newly composed suite of music, written and directed by Michael Rooney, commemorating the life of Brian Ború.
For the past seven summers, Eimear has performed with the internationally renowned show Brú Ború and was part of the troupe that represented Ireland at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. In August 2015, Eimear traveled to World Expo 2015, in Milan with St. Louis Irish Arts where she promoted not only Irish culture but the expression of Irish culture worldwide.
Eimear has toured and performed with numerous groups including Cherish The Ladies and Téada. She is a regular teacher at St. Louis Irish Arts since and has given workshops at various festivals throughout the world including Catskills Irish Arts Week, New York; Viljandi Pärimusmuusika Festival, Estonia; St. Louis Tionól, St. Louis; Festival Interceltique de Lorient, France, Winnipeg Irish Fest, Canada and Canadian Celtic Celebration, Thunder Bay, Canada. Visit eimeararkins.com.
MARCUS DONNELLY – IRISH DANCE
From Ireland to Luxemburg and from Moscow to Paris, Marcus Donnelly’s leading performances with shows such as Ragús, Rhythm of the Dance, Celtic Legends, and most recently in the U.S. with Celtic Crossroads have created one of the most exhilarating, truly creative Irish dancers performing anywhere today.
He started dancing at the age of ten, in second-hand dance shoes his father bought for fifteen shillings on a visit to Dublin, and went on to compete with distinction in the All-Ireland and World Dance Championships before becoming a full-time professional dancer at the age of sixteen.