Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Night to Remember

Before moving on to another topic, I want to report on the October 12th Mercy Center Benefit concert advertised in my previous post. The concert itself was phenomenal. The audience was receptive and responsive, the performers were outrageously good, and everyone seemed pleased to be able to support the Mercy Center. The music had a lively edge because it was recorded for future release by Compass Records to raise additional funds for Mercy Center. Paul Keating of the Irish Voice (weekly newspaper) wrote a lovely article which captures the evening quite well, so I encourage you to click here and let him relate the details.

The Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra (WSHSO) was scheduled first in the sound check lineup, so we arrived six hours before the concert was to begin. We didn't actually do our sound check until around 4 pm, but we had a grand time chatting with other performers and gnoshing on sandwiches and other taste treats. We rehearsed a little and shared some tunes with other musicians as well. Here are a few pictures taken before the show in the "green room,"

Don Meade, Gail Neely, and me
photo by Lizabeth Kennedy, used with permission

In the foreground (left to right): Tony Horswill, Liz Hanley, Gail Neely
Along the mirror: Lisa Farber, Dan Neely, Lizabeth Kennedy
Reflected in the mirror: Don Meade, Brendan Dolan, and Ivan Goff

photo by Linda Mason Hood

The WSHSO played three sets immediately following the intermission. I played Irish flute on the Curlew Hills barndance set, F whistle on The Isle of St. Helena (sung by Liz Hanley), and on Dan O'Hara (sung by Donie Carroll) I played D whistle and sang on the choruses. You can hear all of these selections, by the way, on the WSHSO MySpace site.

While this picture doesn't show all 15 of us, somehow I was lucky enough to be included. I'm on the far right in the second row.

The program included lots of dancing. The kids below study dance at the Niall O'Leary School of Irish Dance.

At the end of this 3-hour extravaganza of music and dance, everyone came onstage for an exuberant grand finale. What a night! This picture conveys our high spirits, but it would be impossible for any picture to communicate how supremely happy I felt at this moment:

I am standing behind and to the right of Joanie Madden (flute player in the red shirt). Continuing left to right after Joanie is Mick Moloney, organizer of this event and WSHSO sponsor, Tommy Sands, and Robbie O'Connell.

All 3 onstage photos belong to Lizabeth Kennedy and were used with permission
Thanks Liz!

© 2008, Linda Mason Hood
Truffles, Turtles & Tunes Copyright Statement

Friday, October 10, 2008

WSHSO in Benefit for Mercy Centre

Just want to let everyone know that on October 12 - that's this Sunday! - I'll be playing with the Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra (WSHSO) in a spectacular concert that will benefit a wonderful cause.

Founded 35 years ago in the slums of Bangkok by Father Joseph Maier,
The Mercy Centre runs over 30 neighborhood schools, four orphanages, a hospice for adults with HIV/AIDS and a 500-pupil kindergarten. It provides a loving home to over 180 abused, abandoned and orphaned children – one third of them born with HIV. Its anti-trafficking program protects the most vulnerable children living on the streets. Since 1973 the foundation has built over 10,000 houses in the slums. Everything they accomplish is in partnership with the poor.

My group, the WSHSO, is thrilled to be one of the performers in this all-star cast of Irish musicians and dancers as well as some English and Appalachian friends. Artists include The Green Fields of America (with Mick Moloney, Billy McComiskey, Ivan Goff, Jerry O'Sullivan, Dana Lyn, Athena Tergis and Robbie O'Connell), Joanie Madden and a Cherish the Ladies reunion with special guest appearances from Joe Madden and Mike Rafferty, Tommy, Moya and Fionan Sands, Frank Crocker, Jimmy Crowley and Donie Carroll, Mac Benford and UpSouth, The Burns Sisters, John Roberts and Tony Barrand, Dan and Bonnie Milner, The Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra (with Don Meade and Brendan Dolan), Matt and Shannon Heaton, Dan Gurney, Niall O'Leary and his School of Irish Dance with Kieran Jordan and more.

All performers are donating their services pro bono. All concert proceeds go to the Mercy Center.

Sunday, October 12th, 8 pm
Symphony Space (95th & Broadway)
Tickets: $50 / $35 / $25. $5 off with student ID.
For more info and tickets call 212-864-5400.
To purchase tickets online, click here: Symphony Space.

If you are planning to come, get tickets NOW - they're going fast and the concert is expected to be a complete sellout!!

Irish Musicians for the Mercy Centre is being made possible through the support of The Mercy Center, The Irish Arts Center, The Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra, and The Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation, Inc.

© 2008, Linda Mason Hood
Truffles, Turtles & Tunes Copyright Statement