|My Johnny was a Shoemaker
|My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains|
|Time Draws Near|
The next Gathering on Friday, April 9th, will be very special. CFS, in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of English, will present An Evening of Irish Poetry and Song. Dr. Edwin Wilson, beloved Wake Forest University professor, will read selected poems by William Butler Yeats. Little Windows, renowned for their beautiful vocal harmonies, will perform Irish verse in song. The concert begins at 7:30 PM in the Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue, in downtown Charlotte. The doors open at 7 PM; Dr. Wilson has many fans and it would be wise to come early to be sure of the seat of your choice.
Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly, open to the public, and free. Donations, which support the series in part, are greatly appreciated. The hour-long concert and poetry reading will be followed by refreshments, a song circle, slow and fast jams, and the Charlotte Appalachian Dulcimer Club meeting. Free surface parking is available adjacent to the Stella Center, as well as in a parking deck nearby. Exit the deck freely after 8 PM.
Edwin G. Wilson is Provost Emeritus at Wake Forest University. Dr. Wilson has long been a favorite professor of Wake Forest students and his British Romantic Poetry Class has always had a waiting list. He is an expert on Blake, Yeats, and Thomas and, by means of his beautiful, passionate recitations and commentary, he truly makes poetry come alive to all ears. He has been called the "heart, soul, spirit, and character of Wake Forest University." Besides serving in the Navy during WWII and pursuing doctoral study at Harvard, Dr. Wilson has spent his entire adult life at Wake Forest, influencing and inspiring countless students and colleagues with his passion for the British Romantics, his devotion to and belief in the ideals of the university, and his contributions on campus and in the Winston-Salem community. He has held the positions at Wake Forest of professor of poetry, Assistant Dean of the Undergraduate College, Acting Dean of the College, Dean of the College, Provost (the university's first), Vice President for Special Projects, and Senior Vice President. He received Wake Forest's Medallion of Merit in 2004.
Dr. Wilson has been closely associated with the Piedmont Opera Theatre, the Winston-Salem Arts Council, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Reynolda House Museum of American Art. He has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Belmont Abbey, Board of Advisors of Elon College, Board of Development of Lenior-Rhyne College, and Board of Trustees of Winston-Salem State University. Dr. Wilson has been honored by North Carolina Governor Easley as one of the State's Citizens of the Year.
You can listen to Dr. Ed Wilson reading To Autumn, by John Keats, here.
The duo of Julee Glaub and Mark Weems perform as Little Windows. Based in Durham, they tour and teach at festivals, camps, and venues throughout the United States, England, and Europe. Their renditions of traditional Irish and Appalachian songs feature tight vocal harmonies, with accompaniment on combinations of guitar, fiddle, banjo, flute, and bodhran. Fiona Ritchie has featured their recordings on NPR’s The Thistle & Shamrock.
Through these little windows that Julee and Mark have carefully arranged for us, we hear music at its best, as it was meant to be sung and played: spare, intense, eloquent, and, always, stunningly beautiful. Open the window and listen.
-- Si Kahn
Julee Glaub grew up in Charlotte and studied music and literature at Wake Forest University. After graduation, she spent seven years working with the poor in Dublin and studying with masters of traditional Irish singing. Upon returning home, she became involved in the Irish music scene here in the United States and quickly became recognized as one of the best traditional Irish singers in this country.
Songbird is a term that was often used in the 18th and 19th Centuries to describe the rare female vocalist whose singing is as natural and pleasing as the singing of a songbird. As I listen to Julee move seamlessly from the Appalachian music of her native North Carolina to the music of her Celtic roots, I realize she truly is a songbird.
-- Bobby Horton, Birmingham, AL
Mark Weems plays guitar, old-time banjo, fiddle, and piano, but is best known as a singer and composer. A well-known figure on the North Carolina traditional country and old-time scene for nearly ten years, he has been singing and studying the nuances of all types of country music for over twenty years as a veteran of the Stillhouse Bottom Band, the Weems-Gerrard Band, and his own honky-tonk band, the Cave Dwellers. "Mark's elegant singing brings us closer to the ballad style that carried these old songs through the generations." -- John Cohen (New Lost City Ramblers) Sing Out! magazine recently proclaimed Mark "an exceptionally talented interpreter of old-time vocal and instrumental tunes" and "a gifted composer of timeless music."
Julee and Mark hold a week-long singing workshop, Camp Little Windows, each September in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Independence, Virginia. In 2009, they opened the North Carolina School of Traditional Music in Durham. Julee is Coordinator of Traditional Song Week at the Swannanoa Gathering Folk Arts Workshops, where they both teach classes. Visit Little Windows' website here to learn more.
Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are made possible, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.