"Barefoot in the Park" Opens at the Embassy Theatre PDF Print E-mail
Written by Trish Morgan   
Friday, 28 July 2017 08:45
CUMBERLAND, MD - Opening night for Embassy Theatre's version of Neil Simon's classic "Barefoot in the Park" will kick off on Saturday, July 29 at 8 pm. The theatre is located on the downtown Cumberland Mall at 49 Baltimore Street.

The Barefoot Extravaganza will open in the Embassy's lobby at 6:30 pm Saturday - where party and theatre-goers walk inside the theatre barefoot, carrying their shoes and theatre tickets in hand.

Attendees will have the option of entering the Big Foot and Pretty Feet contests, where foot measurements are taken for Big Foot and pedicures rated on confidential score sheets for Pretty Feet.

All those attending the Barefoot Extravaganza and theatre production following will enjoy complimentary finger foods and Cranberry Pizzazz Punch, and have chances to win a bottle of Barefoot Pink Moscato wine for the contests. There will also be two doorprizes awarded at 7:30 pm- and prizes will be: 1) a full, luxurious pedicure at Envy Nails in LaVale, and 2) a relaxing footbath massager.

Complimentary appetizers served at the Extravaganza after the 6:30 pm admission will include cocktail meatballs, mini ham sandwiches, assorted fruits and veggies with dips, pretzels and peanuts, and souvenir Iced Foot Cookies with Toe Jam.

"To set the perfect ambiance for the event, local musician Jason McDonald will provide live music on the guitar in the lobby - creating a Barefoot groove for the intimate affair. Using strong vocals accompanied by guitar, Jason takes classic rock and blues and adds his own style. He performs works by Ella Fitzgerald, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash and more," says Embassy's PR director Trish Morgan.

The Barefoot Extravaganza is open to anyone age 21+ who purchases tickets to attend opening night of "Barefoot in the Park." Ticket purchase is required, but the Extravaganza is free from 6:30-7:30 pm.

"For every pair of bare feet that walks through the door during the Extravaganza, that person receives a ten-toe-discount of $1.00 for Saturday'sadmission only. Regular admission price is $16 adults, $14 seniors," adds Morgan.

At the opening night event, group shots of feet only and other interesting feet shots will be taken by the photographer attending, and will be used throughout the production's promotional efforts.

Embassy Theatre is also in the midst of its "Feet Campaign" on social media. Cast and director's feet are posted anonymously, with chances to guess the identity. Visit embassytheatrecumberland on Facebook.

Glass Canvas Productions will create and post a video/slide show on social media to showcase the cast's efforts at rehearsals, as well as candid stills of the production itself.

Additionally, according to event chair Don Llewellyn, the first-ever "Barefoot in the Park" set artwork has been designed, created and donated by local artist William C. Pfaff, and limited pieces will be autographed and available for purchase in the lobby. "These are exclusive pieces of art, and they will be grabbed up in no time," explains Llewellyn.

Cast is as follows: Lisa-Anna Maust, Kirk Yutzy, Linda Julien, Tom Vogtman Sr and Matt Armentrout. 

Tom Valentine will be directing the production. Other personnel involved are Jerard Puckett, producer; Lisa Castleman, stage manager; Sam Bennett, photographer.

City Lights American Grill & Bar will be partnering with Embassy Theatre for this "Barefoot" production on Saturday, July 29, and Friday and Saturday, August 4-5. Reservations are required through Embassy Theatre.

Cost for a single package is $45 and a couples package is $85. The package includes City Lights' menu as follows: Side House Salad, Lemon Thyme Chicken, Asiago Red Skin Mashed Potatoes, vegetable medley, rolls and butter and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, non-alcoholic beverage, gratuity, theatre admission, complimentary cocktail or beverage at Passport Cafe in the lobby, reserved VIP seating and optional photos with the cast after the show.

"These dinner/theatre packages are fan-favorites, so call for your reservations as soon as you can! Dinner, Extravaganza, the production, the VIP seating, the complimentary cocktail and SO MUCH TALENT...what a terrific night out," sums up Morgan.

To make reservations, call (240) 362-7183. Tickets can also be ordered directly through Eventbrite. Seating is limited, and sell-outs are anticipated.

All events and activities at Embassy Theatre are supported in part by Maryland State Arts Council, The Allegany Arts Council and the City of Cumberland.

 
“Kayaktivists” to Call On Gov. Hogan To Reject TransCanada Fracked-Gas Pipeline in Protest on the Po PDF Print E-mail
Written by Denise Robbins   
Friday, 28 July 2017 08:41

*Original date of 7/28 changed due to weather.

 

SHARPSBURG, MD — On Friday, August 11 at 1:00 pm, dozens of activists — many in kayaks — will span the Potomac River in a powerful showing of opposition to TransCanada’s proposed pipeline under the Potomac. The activists will paddle down the Potomac with large protest banners, drawing attention to the treasured river through which the pipeline is proposed to be constructed and calling on Governor Larry Hogan to reject the project.

 

The kayaktivist action will be the latest stage in a months-long rolling encampment titled “Standing Rock to Hancock: Camp Out to Stop the Potomac Pipeline,” which is taking place throughout the summer with camp-outs along the C&O canal near Hancock, Maryland. Momentum is building and the encampment is growing as part of efforts to urge Hogan to reject the Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project. This three-mile long pipeline would carry dangerous fracked gas from Pennsylvania through Maryland and into West Virginia.

 

Campers will be available throughout Friday and Saturday morning for interviews. There is also an option to join a cave tour at 11:00am before the press conference to view the region’s fragile karst geology, which makes the proposed pipeline an even greater threat to our drinking water.

Speakers at the press conference will include Patricia and Dean Kesecker — West Virginia residents whose land has been taken by eminent domain for the construction of this pipeline — and Maryland State Senator Richard Madaleno, who supported the recently-passed statewide ban on fracking.

 

What: Citizens and environmental advocates to kayak down the Potomac Pipeline with protest banners as part of “Standing Rock to Hancock: Camp Out to Stop the Potomac Pipeline.”

Where: Taylor’s Landing, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath, Sharpsburg, MD 21782

When: Friday, August 11, 1:00 pm

Speakers:

  • Sen. Richard Madaleno (D-18)

  • Patricia and Dean Kesecker, landowners whose land was forcefully claimed by Mountaineer Gas to build the pipeline;

  • Tracy Cannon, organizer with Eastern Panhandle Protectors;

  • Brooke Harper, Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Environmental Chair for the MSC NAACP

 

Background Information

 

On June 30, a coalition of area citizens, elected officials, and environmental advocates announced the launch of a protest encampment to stop TransCanada’s proposed pipeline under the Potomac River. This encampment is the first of its kind in Maryland history to protest fossil fuels. The proposed pipeline would threaten millions of residents in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. who rely on the Potomac river for drinking water. The protesters are camping out to draw attention to the issue and demand Maryland Governor Larry Hogan reject the permit required for construction of this pipeline.

The encampment, titled “Standing Rock to Hancock: Camp Out to Stop the Potomac Pipeline,” will take place throughout the summer with camp outs along the C&O canal near Hancock, Maryland. The coalition intends to draw attention to the many concerned citizens, environmental advocacy groups, and elected officials who are opposed to endangering drinking water for a pipeline that won’t benefit Maryland citizens.

TransCanada’s proposed Eastern Panhandle Expansion project would transport fracked gas from Pennsylvania to West Virginia by way of Maryland underneath the Potomac River and C&O Canal. The encampment will take place at McCoy’s Ferry, near the pipeline’s proposed route.

 

"Fracked gas and the supporting infrastructure has no long term benefits to the State of Maryland, and this pipeline project puts an enormous amount of risk on Maryland residents,” said Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper. “Drilling under the Potomac River --the drinking water source for millions of people -- for a fracked gas pipeline in sensitive karst geology that threatens water quality is not a plan we support. And strong arm tactics, like threatening eminent domain, don't play well out here. But they're trying it anyway."

 

The pipeline would cross sensitive karst geology, which is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves and is easily susceptible to transmission of pollutants through connected underground aquifers. The pipeline could degrade pristine streams and further threaten public and private water supplies. Using hydraulic directional drilling under streams in karst geology would create pathways for water to drain down the bore holes and dissolve the limestone around the piping. This activity can create sinkholes that could impact the integrity of the pipeline, causing subterranean ruptures and even explosions, further threatening the Potomac River.

 

There is already a growing movement of opposition among citizens that live along the route. When TransCanada held a forum about the pipeline, more than 100 residents of Maryland and West Virginia showed up to oppose its construction. In order for the pipeline to move forward, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) would need to grant the 401 Water Quality Certificate under the Clean Water Act. Hogan has the ability to direct the MDE to reject this certificate.

 

Organizations participating in the encampment include the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Eastern Panhandle Protectors, Potomac Riverkeepers, Food & Water Watch, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, and the Sierra Club MD Chapter.

 
Published Writers Teaching Future Authors at Frostburg’s WordQuest PDF Print E-mail
Written by FSU News and Media Services   
Monday, 17 July 2017 16:10

For middle-school booklovers and creative writers, WordQuest is the place to be inspired this summer. Taught by the staff of Frostburg State University’s Center for Literary Arts, the weeklong day camp beginning July 31 at the 22 E. Main St. center and other Frostburg locations introduces incoming seventh- to ninth-grade students to creative writing and the literary scene.

Students have the opportunity to write poems or stories during the course of the week alongside a community of writers in the same age group. On the final day, students build books and celebrate their works with a reception at the Center for Literary Arts, where they get the chance to share their finished work with an audience of friends and family.

WordQuest runs from July 31 to Aug. 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuition costs $75, and includes a week of studying with a published writer, as well as daily snacks and an end-of-camp reception. The registration deadline is July 24.

To register or for more information, email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call 301-687-4340.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

 
Canal Place Presents Movies Under the Stars- Moana PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steven Leyh   
Monday, 17 July 2017 16:07

Canal Place will host Movies Under The Stars this Saturday, July 22 at dusk. Featured movie will be Moana, 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is Rated PG – Parental Guidance Suggested, some material may not be suitable for children.

The film introduces Auli'i Cravalho as Moana and features the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, and Alan Tudyk. The film was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year at the 2017 Academy Awards. 

The film tells the story of Moana, the strong-willed daughter of a chief of a Polynesian tribe, who is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite a mystical relic with a goddess. When a blight strikes her island, Moana sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demigod, in the hope of saving her people.

Movies Under The Stars at Canal Place are free community events and takes place on the crescent lawn at Canal Place. Moviegoers are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair (no alcohol or glass containers allowed) and relax under the stars. Movies will begin after sunset or approximately 8:45 p.m., but guests are encouraged to visit early enjoy shopping and dining at the Shops at Canal Place. 

Movie titles are subject to change and cancellations may occur due to weather conditions. Like Canal Place on Facebook at www.facebook.com/canalplacemaryland to stay up-to-date on weather cancellations or visit their website at www.canalplace.org

 
Board of Public Works approves funding for clean water and the Chesapeake Bay PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jay Apperson   
Thursday, 06 July 2017 08:03

Board of Public Works approves funding for clean water  and the Chesapeake Bay

Grants will reduce pollution, improve drinking water  and wastewater infrastructure, save energy

BALTIMORE (July 5, 2017) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $92 million in grants today to reduce pollution, improve water quality and save energy and money. The Board is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

"These are smart investments to protect public health, prevent water pollution and save money and energy in Maryland communities and the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Department of the Environment thanks Governor Hogan for his leadership as the new head of the six-state Chesapeake Bay Program and his support for local investments to protect a national treasure,” said Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles. “Providing nearly $100 million to upgrade key sewage treatment plants, septic systems, drinking water systems and clean energy projects will help us to green and grow the state’s economy and lead in the race to protect and restore Chesapeake Bay watersheds.”

The following projects were approved today:

Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrade project – Baltimore City, Baltimore County

A $46,219,057 Bay Restoration Fund grant to Baltimore City will help fund the planning, design and construction of Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrades at the 180 million gallons per day Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to Back River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. The plant is currently achieving phosphorus discharge levels that are better than the ENR goal. Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. ENR upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

Baltimore City multiple sewershed projects — Baltimore City

Bay Restoration Fund grants totaling $16,999,258 to Baltimore City will help fund a continuation of Baltimore City’s efforts to prevent sanitary sewer overflows as required by a consent decree initiated by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The projects entail the planning, design and construction of improvements to the existing Baltimore City sanitary sewer infrastructure in the Patapsco, Herring Run and Lower Level sewersheds. Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County share the cost of some of the projects because they share the sewer infrastructure. A change in state law in 2015 allows Bay Restoration Fund money to be used for this purpose.

Upgrade Septic Systems – Statewide

Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling $15 million will provide funding for counties to upgrade on-site sewage disposal (septic) systems to significantly reduce the discharge of nitrogen, one of the most serious pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. Counties will focus on upgrading septic systems located within the critical area. All 23 Maryland counties will benefit from the grants.

Betterton Wastewater Treatment Plant Biological Nutrient Removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrades – Kent County

A $5,905,336 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the town of Betterton will help fund the planning, design and construction of biological nutrient removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades at the Betterton Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrade, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 90 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to the Sassafras River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. ENR upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

New operation and maintenance grants for upgraded sewage treatment plants – Statewide

Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling $4,776,900 will provide funding for operation and maintenance costs for 41 wastewater treatment plants operating at enhanced nutrient removal levels in 20 counties. The Bay Restoration Fund provides for up to 10 percent of the annual revenue generated from wastewater treatment plant users and deposited with the Maryland Department of the Environment to be allocated for such costs. The grant for each plant is up to $30,000 per million gallons per day of design capacity, with a minimum award of $30,000 and a maximum award of $300,000 per year for any plant.

Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades allow facilities to significantly reduce the amount of nutrients discharged to local waterways and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. The plants receiving these grants have reduced nitrogen discharges by more than 4,547,000 pounds per year and phosphorus discharges by more than 542,000 pounds per year. ENR upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

Combined Sewer Overflow Elimination Phase VIII-B Grant Street project – Allegany County

A $2,135,875 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the City of Frostburg will help fund the next phase of the city’s efforts to separate its combined sewers and reduce the frequency and volume of combined sewer overflows during wet weather. This phase includes the installation of new sewers and storm drains to separate the combined sewers along Grant Street. The project will significantly reduce wet-weather sewage flows to downstream sewage treatment facilities in Allegany County, the Town of LaVale and the City of Cumberland, and it will reduce combined sewer overflows to George’s Creek, the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake City Water Storage Tank project – Cecil County

A $1,027,515 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant to Chesapeake City will help fund the construction of a 300,000-gallon elevated water storage tank at the Bohemia Manor School Complex property. The new tank replaces the town’s outdated tanks. It will provide water storage for emergency use in the event of a disaster and for fire service, and it will serve the existing water distribution system, including the school complex.

Prince Albert/Sunnyside Water Project – Allegany County

A $150,000 grant in the form of forgiveness of a Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan to Allegany County, along with a second $150,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan, will help fund the Prince Albert/Sunnyside Water Project. The project includes the design and construction of waterlines, valves and fire hydrants to extend public water service from Allegany County’s Mt. Savage Water System to the Prince Albert/Sunnyside community, where residents are experiencing problems with their private wells and have asked the county to extend public water service. The new extensions will provide safe and reliable drinking water and fire protection.

Pond Circle Road Water project– Allegany County

A $137,500 Water Supply Financial Assistance grant to Allegany County will help fund the Pond Circle Road Project. The project entails the extension of public water service from Allegany County’s Carlos/Shaft/Klondike Water District to about 20 residential units in the Pond Circle Road area. The project will provide clean, reliable drinking water and fire protection to the area.

Kent County Water Treatment Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plants Lighting Efficiency Upgrade project – Kent County

A $129,720 Energy Water Infrastructure Program grant to Kent County will fund upgrades to lighting systems at four water treatment plants and three wastewater treatment plants. The upgrades to LED lights and associated fixtures will reduce energy consumption by an estimated 60 percent.

 
Optimus Riff, Mustangs on the Mall Friday in Downtown Cumberland PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steven Leyh   
Tuesday, 18 July 2017 16:58

optimusriff2The Cumberland Comes Alive concert series and First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union presents ‘Optimus Riff’ to Bands on the Bricks on Friday evening, July 21. The band will be performing on the First Peoples Credit Union Historic City Center Stage at the corner of Liberty & Baltimore Streets at 6:30 pm. The performance is free of charge, but seating is limited, so don’t forget your folding lawn chair. 

Dubbed by many as the “Funk Super Group of the Mid-Atlantic”, Optimus Riff is a culmination of the area’s top musical talents. The band is comprised of four young members that have over five decades of combined experience taking the stage and melting faces.

In addition, Mustangs on the Mall will take place on Friday, July 21 from 5 pm to 10 pm. The region's best Ford Mustangs will be on display on Baltimore Street. 
If you would like to display your automobile, no registration is required. Simply show up with your vehicle between 4 pm and 5 pm and carefully enter pedestrian only Baltimore Street from either George Street or Mechanic Street and volunteers will help direct you.

Cumberland Comes Alive is Western Maryland’s premier outdoor concert series. It is presented by Burgmeiers Hauling Inc. and is produced by the City of Cumberland’s Downtown Development Commission. Bands on the Bricks concerts take place in the heart of Cumberland on Baltimore Street in Historic City Center from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm every Friday until August 25.

For more information or to become a sponsor, contact the Downtown Development Commission Promotions Director at 301-724-3655 or visit www.downtowncumberland.com

 
FSU Presents Gala Concert as Part of Summer Music Academy Concert Series PDF Print E-mail
Written by FSU News and Media Services   
Monday, 17 July 2017 16:09

As part of its Summer Music Academy Concert Series, Frostburg State University will present a gala concert featuring academy students on Friday, July 28, at 7 p.m. in the Pealer Recital Hall of FSU’s Woodward D. Pealer Performing Arts Center. A reception will follow the concert. The performance and reception are free and open to the public.

The students will perform works selected from the following:

“String Quartet Op. 18 and Op. 127” by Ludwig van Beethoven: Beethoven’s unique string quartets contain genuine emotion and contrasts characteristic of his symphonies. Each sounds almost like a mini-opera.

“String Quartet No. 1, Op. 41, in A Minor and No. 3 in A Major” by Robert Shumann: In 1842, Schumann began his remarkable instrumental explorations with the three-string quartets. Published together as Opus 41, his composition displays intensely expressive musical poetry.

“String Quartet Op. 76” by Joseph Haydn: The six string quartets form the last complete set of string quartets that Haydn composed and are among his most ambitious chamber works, deviating from standard sonata form and emphasizing the thematic continuity through the seamless exchange of motifs among instruments.

“Regenlied” and “4 Balladen und Romanzen for Vocal Duet, Op. 75” by Johannes Brahms: “Regenlied” is a distinctive work in which Brahms sets four texts to music by the poet Klaus Groth. Brahms’ Op. 75 settings occasionally take on the air of a dramatic scene in the tradition of the medieval ballad.

“Ave Maria” by Franz Schubert: Officially titled “Ellens dritter Gesang” (“Ellen’s Third Song”), this work was composed by Schubert as part of his Opus 52, a setting of seven songs from Walter Scott’s popular epic poem, “The Lady of the Lake.”

“Piano Quartet” and “Old American Song No. 1 for Voice and Piano” by Aaron Copland: In the 1950 “Quartet for Piano and Strings,” Copland returned to the adventurous path of his youth to produce more “modern” music. “Old American Songs” were originally scored for voice and piano, but they were reworked for baritone (or mezzo-soprano) and orchestra. Song No. 1, “The Boatman’s Dance,” is a minstrel song from 1843.

The FSU Summer Music Academy was created with the mission to promote classical music education, and its goal is to develop individual musicianship for string, woodwind, brass and piano instrumentalists in a supportive environment. The academy brings top artists from around the world to the Western Maryland region to inspire local residents and develop interest in music programs in all types of educational systems.

For more information, contact the director of the Summer Music Academy, Karen Liu, at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

 
Irish Music Trio to Perform at MCTA Sunday, July 23 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kara Rogers Thomas   
Monday, 17 July 2017 15:56

Lost ContinentFrostburg’s Mountain City Traditional Arts will present an Irish Music Trio, “Music from the Lost Continent and Other Small Land Masses,” featuring Jesse Smith, Sean Gavin and John Blake, on Sunday, July 23 at 3 PM. A donation of $15 is kindly suggested.

Touring to support their recently released CD, this trio of musicians brings a sensibility and sensitivity to their music that is second to none. Steeped in traditional Irish music,  Jesse Smith and Sean Gavin are American born from traditional music royalty, and John Blake is a talented multi-instrumentalist from a London-Irish background. While Jesse and John both make their home in Ireland currently, the group’s powerful performance demonstrates how traditional Irish music connects far-flung Irish people through time and space.

Since his debut recording at the tender age of seventeen, Jesse Smith from Baltimore, Maryland has been making a formidable name for himself as an exceptional young traditional Irish fiddle player. The intervening years have seen Smith move from his birthplace in the USA to the thriving musical city of Galway, spend three years touring with the successful young group Danú and become one of the most noted young fiddle players of recent times. Smith’s musical upbringing could hardly have been more ideal being the son of renowned Cherish The Ladies pianist, Donna Long, and having the legendary American Irish fiddler Brendan Mulvihill as his tutor from the outset. The years under Mulvihill’s wing brought Jesse into contact with some of the finest traditional musicians playing in the US at the time.

Sean Gavin’s playing on the flute, whistle and uilleann pipes reflects his lifelong immersion in, devotion to, and love for traditional Irish music. This was no doubt encouraged by his County Clare-born, fiddle playing father, Mick Gavin. As a boy in Detroit, Sean played a variety of Irish instruments until settling on the flute at age 10, inspired by Scariff flautist Leo MacNamara.  Not long after, he began work on the uilleann pipes with teacher Al Purcell—himself a student of famed piper Leo Rowsome.  Currently residing in Chicago, he deeply values his many opportunities to hear, talk with and learn from Sligo flute legend Kevin Henry. Sean is a member of the acclaimed group NicGaviskey, often performs with his family and remains firmly dedicated to playing and teaching traditional Irish music.

John Blake is a traditional Irish flute player, guitarist, and pianist. An ex-member of traditional group Téada, John has performed and recorded with the cream of Irish musicians including John Carty, Paddy Glackin, Noel Hill, Liam O’Flynn, Jesse Smith, Harry Bradley, Colm Gannon, The Kane Sisters and James Kelly. Brought up in London, John moved to Ireland in 1998 and developed a reputation as an accompanist of note, racking up several album credits. He joined traditional band ‘Téada‘ in 2001 and toured with them for 3 years, at which point he got off the road and settled into a job in Na Píobairí Uilleann (The Pipers Club) in Dublin. In 2003 John was runner-up in the Irish Echo’s ‘Irish Traditional Musician Of The Year’ and in 2013 released his debut solo album ‘The Narrow Edge’. 

Located at 25 E. Main Street, Mountain City Traditional Arts is a program of Frostburg State University – supported in part by the Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

 

 
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