The Currie Cultural Village
The Currie Cultural Village is made possible by a generous contribution by the Learned Kindred of Currie, and their Commander, Mr. Robert Currie. The family of Currie (or in Gaelic, MacMhuirich – pronounced “mhic-voor-ick”) were one of many bardic families in Scotland and Ireland, however the MacMhuirichs were the most prominent of all – being the hereditary bards to the Lords of the Isles as well as the MacDonalds of Clanranald. The Currie Cultural Village provides educational opportunities as well as introductions to the perhaps lesser celebrated Gaelic bardic traditions of the Gaelic language, the fiddle, and the clarsach (or Scottish folk harp).
Currie Cultural Tent
Featuring the best in traditional Scottish Highland language and music!
9:00 - Seán Heely and Co.
10:00- Gaelic Workshop - song and language
11:00- Rachel Clemente - Harp concert and workshop
12:00- Opening Ceremonies
12:15- Gaelic Workshop
1:00 - Seán Heely and Co.
1:00 - Gaelic Workshop - Song and Language
2:00 - Rachel Clemente - Harp Circle
3:00 - Gaelic Song Competition
4:00 - Gaelic Workshop with “Waulking the Tweed!”
OPEN CELTIC JAM SESSION TO FOLLOW
Cultural Village Manager:
John Grimaldi is a professional juggler and clown of Scottish-Irish heritage. A South Carolina native, John has been a performing artist in the NYC Metro area for several decades. Over the past few years he has developed a unique act which combines Gaelic and Scots song, juggling, poetry, dance, zaniness and audience participation into a new exciting brew of theatrical excitement! He has performed with the NY Celtic Dancers, an innovative group with new ideas on traditional Scottish dance. With his partner, Bonnie Heather Greene, he has developed dance pieces that are unique combinations of Gaelic song (puirt-a-beul) with Scottish hardshoe dance. Besides his Scottish themed work, he is Artistic Director of the NY Lyric Circus and has performed at the Metropolitan Opera for the past 20 years as juggler, clown, stiltwalker and actor.
Here is what you’ll find at the Currie Cultural Tent:
Gaelic Language Gaelic was the language of much of Scotland in ancient days, and is still heard in the Highlands and Islands today as a living language. Many Highland Scottish settlers to the Carolinas spoke this language and it was the language of the home and many Presbyterian churches until well into the 19th century. The last remnants of the language could still be heard occasionally in the early 20th century here in the Carolinas. Come to the Currie Cultural Tent to learn more about the language, learn to speak a few words and phrases, sing a song in Gaelic, or even try your hand at the old Gaelic tradition of “waulking the cloth” among other things.
Gaelic Language Leader:
William (Liam) Cassidy has been involved in the Gaelic studies community since becoming interested in Gaelic during his college years. He has been a driving force within An Comunn Gaidhealach America (The Gaelic Society of America) for several decades, organizing learning groups and Gaelic language competitions (Mods) throughout the USA. He is fluent in both Scottish and Irish Gaelic as well as Manx (Isle of Man Gaelic), and is a regular commentator on USA news for the BBC Scotland’s Gaelic Radio – Radio Nan Gaidheal.
Liam will be joined by John Grimaldi and Margaret Gerardin.
The fiddle was also a prominent musical instrument in Scotland, along with the bagpipe. The fiddle was particularly prominent as the instrument for dance music in many places. American traditional music such as old-time and even bluegrass music can trace their roots to the fiddle and dance music of Scotland and Ireland. Come by the fiddle tent to find out more about the Scottish fiddle tradition and tap your foot to some great music – or bring a fiddle or other acoustic string instrument to jam with our great workshop and performance facilitators!
Scottish Fiddle Leader: Sean Heely
Champion fiddler and singer Seán Heely is one of the most creatively versatile and captivating young artists of his generation. He is a U.S National Scottish Fiddle Champion as well as an award-winning Irish Fiddler and singer in the folk and Gaelic traditions of Scotland and Ireland. Seán holds a degree from University of South Carolina in Classical Violin Performance and was a 2019 Artist in Residence at Strathmore Music Center in Maryland. An educator in demand, Seán is an Adjunct Instructor at American University, he has also been on the faculty at several summer camps such as Acadia Traditional School of Music and Arts, Upper Potomac Fiddle Retreat, and Fiddle Hell Festival. He has performed in Scotland, Ireland, and at venues in the U.S such as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Scottish Harp (Clarsach)
The harp is Scotland’s oldest national instrument. Long before the arrival of the bagpipe it was the mainstay of Gaelic courtly music. The clarsach was the primary instrument of the Gaelic courts until the introduction of the bagpipe in the 15th century and remained central to Gaelic courtly music until the mid 18th century. It also played a key role in the music of the early Celtic church. Harpers themselves were a highly trained class of professionals who spent years perfecting their art and were held in esteem second only to that of the clan poet. Come hear this “heavenly” music being performed by one of the top Scottish harpers in the world! Workshops and demonstrations are also being held for those who play the harp – come join in the sessions
Harp Leader: Rachel will be performing at the Currie Tent
Rachel Clemente has had a passion for music from the early age of five. She began her harp training as a student of the Suzuki method. In addition, she discovered her love of Scottish music through events and competitions held by the Scottish Harp Society of America and the Ohio Scottish Arts School. Her musical education then continued at renowned arts boarding high school, Interlochen Arts Academy. In July of 2018, Rachel graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow with a bachelors degree in traditional Scottish music. She also won the title of U.S National Scottish Harp Champion in 2016.