From a press release:
Asheville Music School Presents WINDSONG 2014, June 19
Asheville Music School is proud to premiere WINDSONG 2014- the first in a series of historically-informed concerts. WINDSONG is a celebration of Celtic music: the folk and dance tunes of Galicia, Brittany, Ireland, Ulster, Scotland, Australia, and North America. The concert also features performances on 27 different woodwind instruments: Galician, Scottish and Irish bagpipes; modern, Baroque and Irish flutes; a couple of Civil War fifes; various concert and marching piccolos; a consort of recorders; and a quiet little 19th century flageolet…plus handmade high and low whistles galore! The concert features woodwind multi-instrumentalists Milissa Ellison and Connell Sanderson, along with guitarist David Polechko and percussionist Maggie Anderson.
The WINDSONG concert is open to the public at no charge, and is exceedingly kid-friendly. Donations are encouraged and will go toward Asheville Music School (a non-profit organization) and its affiliate program the Paul Thorpe Music Education Fund. The guided performance takes approximately an hour, and afterwards there will be a casual reception featuring a display of antique, modern and student instruments. Most of these are from the private collection of historian and lead musician, Milissa Ellison, who with her husband, master woodturner Alan Dewey, restores antique woodwinds. Ellison has a collection of roughly 100 antique and historical instruments.
“I was first a musician, then a professor of history,” Ms. Ellison explains. “Developing these concerts is my form of outreach, plus they allow me to do everything I love at the same time: play, study, and teach. First and foremost, WINDSONG is rooted in the various musical traditions of the many Celtic peoples. We also trace the strong connections between ancient and modern music forms. Where else, for example, will you hear a Cantiga from the 13th century court of Alfonso X of Spain followed by a pop song written in 1983 by a teenager in Bretagne, France? And these are related tunes! These connections are everywhere in Celtic music and we love to find them and share them.”
Connell Sanderson agrees. “Yes, it’s all that. But another love we have is working with each other,“ he added. “Each of us is eager to work outside the usual repertoire. When we come together for these productions, it’s really hard work but it’s magical. Also, there’s another kind of coming-together. These woodwinds are all in the same family, you know. Between the two of us, Milissa and I play them all. We also teach them all: you have to keep the music going. So these wonderful instruments and the glorious living traditions of Celtic music are the center. They are WINDSONG.”