The Jefferson Center, Roanoke VA
Long ago, the sparkling fiddle tunes & haunting ballads of the British Isles came across the water – taking root in the hills of Virginia, mingling with southern hymns & African spirituals, creating the soulful music we call Appalachian. The people of the mountains raise their communal voices in celebration of daily life – love, singing, dancing, and prayer.
In this program we explore the communal journey of these Celtic immigrants, who left their island homes with sadness, but also with great hope. Their stories involve many young men who had to leave their sweethearts behind in Scotland or Ireland; many young women who had to face the choice of a dangerous and unknown life in the wilderness of the New World, or the seemingly certain poverty and hopelessness of remaining at home in Ireland; and many children who made joyful games for themselves amidst the hard-working poverty of their parents. The stories, the sorrows and the shared laughter of these immigrants are told in the ballads throughout the program.