Celtibillies to Bring Appalachian and Celtic Music Traditions to Ferrum College for
Valentine’s Day Performance
The Green Grass Cloggers and Rince na h’Eireann will also perform Appalachian clogging
and Irish step dance.
Ferrum, Va. (Feb. 3, 2014) – The Celtibillies, a Virginia based acoustic group whose music explores the connections
between Celtic and Appalachian traditions, will present a special Valentine’s Day
performance in Ferrum College’s Sale Theatre on Fri., Feb. 14, 2014. Joining the Celtibillies
on stage will be two dance troupes, the Green Grass Cloggers and Rince na h’Eireann,
who will further illustrate the connections between Appalachian and Celtic cultures.
Patrons may enjoy dinner at 5:30 p.m. followed by the show for $45 or just the show
at 7 p.m. for $20. Tickets may be ordered online at www.blueridgeperformingarts.com or by calling (540) 230-6600.
As the Washington Post noted, the Celtibillies “interweave Bluegrass and Irish music
on a mind-reeling collection of instruments.” In addition to Jack Hinshelwood’s fiddle,
guitar and harmonica, Becky Barlow plays hammer dulcimer, keyboards, and the bodhran,
a hand held Irish drum. Jeff Hofmann plays upright bass and Tim Sauls performs on
guitar, banjo, fiddle and bouzouki, an instrument like a mandolin only having a lower
range due to its long neck and strings. The Celtibillies are celebrating their 20th
year in 2014.
Appalachian clogging and Irish step dance represent the more formal dance styles from
each tradition where the dance is choreographed for multiple dancers and the steps
can involve the feet often being raised high off the floor. The Green Grass Cloggers
have been performing since 1971 and have inspired the creation of many other clogging
groups over the past 42 years. Rince na h’Eireann (Gaelic for Dance of Ireland and
pronounced rinka-na-herron) is an Irish dance school formed in 1994 by County Cork Ireland native Sandra Connick
who grew up immersed in Ireland’s music and dance culture. Several of the dancers
will be competing in the World Irish Dance Championships in London, England in April.
“We love to include the dance element in our performances,” says Hinshelwood. “It
sends the energy level of a show through the roof. And it helps us illustrate the
connections between these two traditions, which really are remarkable.”
The Celtibillies are part of the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) Tour Directory
and their appearance at Ferrum College is funded in part by the VCA. Their performance
is part of the College’s new Blue Ridge Performing Arts Series that began last summer
after the Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre, which made its home at the College for more than
30 years, closed its doors at the end of the 2012 season when its founders Rex Stephenson
and Jody Brown retired.
The Series, which is also partially supported by the VCA as well as the National Endowment
for the Arts, features a variety of professional performances. Events planned in 2014
include Barter Theatre’s production of “Don’t Cry for Me, Margaret Mitchell” on May
3; and a to-be-scheduled Roanoke Symphony Orchestra fundraiser featuring Bob Ravenscroft
and David Wiley in spring 2014. Additional events will soon be added to the schedule
for the 2014 – 2015 season.
Blue Ridge Performing Arts Series patrons have the option of enjoying a meal prior
to each performance for an additional charge. Show-only tickets are also available.
For a detailed performance schedule, reservations and additional information visit
www.blueridgeperformingarts.com or call (540) 230-6600.
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About Ferrum College: Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college related
to the United Methodist Church. Ferrum offers a choice of nationally recognized bachelor's
degree programs, at a cost well below the national average for private colleges. The
College celebrates its centennial during 2013-2014.