Irish Folk Music

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the New Ulm St. Patrick’s festivities listening to traditional Irish tunes with world class musicians Charlie Heymann and Chad McAnally. Beyond providing a healthy dose of traditional Irish music, Charlie and Chad will also talk about their instruments and the different types of tunes played in the tradition, tell a few stories about how particular tunes got their names, and about the musicians who composed or handed down the tunes and songs they play.

During the performance a variety of rare acoustic instruments used in Irish and American folk music will be presented and explained. These include the well known: guitar and accordion, to the more unusual: Gaelic harp, wooden flute, penny-whistle, cittern and bodhran (goatskin drum). Participants will also be encouraged to sing, laugh and dance along to the music during this amazing show.

Irish traditional music started in the seventeenth century when the harp had been patronized in its time by the aristocracy in Ireland, this trend died out in eighteenth century. Turlough Carolan was the most famous at that time and there are over 200 known compositions that he has made. He had a certain style that is defined as baroque that is classified as classical music and now, it is being played by many popular musicians today. In the Belfast Harp Festival, Edward Bunting collected most of the last known harp tunes of Ireland in 1792. There are other known collectors of these tunes which are found with Petrie and Francis O’Neill. Folk musicians are usually soloists, by the nineteenth century ensembles playing had become rampant and common.

If there’s Irish music then there is traditional Irish dancing as well in band playing reels, hornpipes and jigs. Polka dancing arrived in the nineteenth century that was spread by itinerant dancing masters and mercenary soldiers that were returning from Europe at that time. Set Dancing arrived in the eighteenth century with a mix of imported dance signatures such as mazurka. After sometime, the diversity of Irish instruments had emerged addingbodrah, flute and fiddle and the uilleann pipes. Source travelinireland.com.

Charlie Heymann & Chad McAnally

Charlie Heymann & Chad McAnally

Traditional Irish Folk Music

Great Irish Fair of New Ulm
Holiday Inn Conference Center
Gallery Ballroom
507-359-2941

Address: 2101 South Broadway
New Ulm, Minnesota 56073
Performance: March 14 – 5 pm to 7 pm

About Charlie Heymann

Charlie’s experience in Irish music began at Irish céilís and parties in the Chicago area during the early 1970’s, and in 1974 Charlie was asked to join a touring Irish group, The Dayhills Irish Band. Charlie married in 1976 and his wife Ann joined the group in 1978. In 1979 Charlie and Ann left The Dayhills to perform as a duo under the name Clairseach. This new role brought him more into the spotlight, not only accompanying Ann’s featured harp playing, but his voice now became the foundation of their ballads, recitations, and stories. Subsequent travels with Ann have brought the two of them to 38 of the 50 states, much of western Europe, Australia and Taiwan. Charlie has studied Irish button accordion under Paddy O’Brien of Co. Offaly and Gaelic song interpretation with Daithi Sproule from Co. Derry.

Charlie has recorded three albums with Ann: Let Erin Remember (1979), Ann’s Harp (1981), and Héman Dubh (1997). He co-produced Ann’s The Harper’s Land (1983) recording with Alison Kinnaird for Temple Records in Scotland and was the producer of Ann’s solo release Queen of Harps (1995) for the same label and of Ann’s tracks on Christmas in the King’s Court for Silver Bells Music, Nashville TN. Charlie and Ann have completed numerous tracks for Planxty Productions of Montclair, NJ and Compass Productions of Minneapolis, MN, and they appear on a 1994 video history of Irish music in America entitled Far Away From the Shamrock Shore.

Recent stages upon which Charlie has appeared include the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland; the Lorient Interceltic Festival in France; the National Folk Festival in Australia; the Irish World Music Center, Bank of Ireland Arts Centre and National University of Ireland at Galway in Ireland; and the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

About Chad McAnally

Since childhood Irish harper Minnesotan Chad McAnally has been passionately involved in traditional music. His musical journey took him to the heart of the modern revival of the early Irish wire strung harp, the crux of ancient Gaelic secular and sacred music alike.

He holds an MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Minnesota and studied with master harper Ann Heymann who pioneered all aspects of the Gaelic harp’s revival. In 2009 Chad won the prestigious National Scottish Harp Championship and served as Artistic Director for the Center for Irish Music of St Paul until 2011. He continues as the school’s harp and hammered dulcimer instructor.

As a harper Chad has performed professionally for over 20 years in venues such as the Festival of Nations, Minnesota Revels, The Minnesota State House of Representatives, the Winnipeg Folk Festival and numerous others throughout the US, Canada and Ireland. Active as a collaborative artist he has performed with Tom Dahill, Dr. Chris Granias, Ann and Charlie Heymann, Todd Menton, Brian Barnes, The St. Katerine’s String Quartet, Harpsichordist Henry Lebedinsky, The Twin Cities Ceili Band, Uilleann piper Tom Klein and was a member of traditional bands “Legacy” and “Rumgumption”.

A veteran of the studio he has done session work with ensembles ranging from medieval music to traditional to rock. 2011 saw the release of his first solo CD “Bards and Beggars.” This month sees the release of his second solo album “Chasing the Winter Sun”- music for the Christmas season, both available from New Folk Records.

This art activity is funded by the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council with an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund. Additional funding was received from the New Ulm Area Foundation, the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau and the Gislason & Hunter Law Firm.