Kitchen Ceili brings folk music to Southern


Jenna SteplemanGeneral Assignment Reporter

Irish and Scottish folk music lit up the Engelman C112 Recital Hall Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m when Kitchen Ceili performed in front of a lively crowd of SCSU students.

The band features Dora Hast as a vocalist, tin whistle and recorder player along with her husband and bandmate Stan Scott as a vocalist, mandolin, and guitar player; finally George Wilson is another vocalist who also plays fiddle and banjo. The show was about an hour long with interactive and fun Irish and Scottish folk music.

Hast told the crowd she has taken at least 12 trips to Ireland to study the culture and music. She was also the first to teach the Music 115 class here at Southern.

The crowd, which was mainly composed of Southern students, was large by 7:45 p.m. as the show got off to a tad of a late start. After that, the crowd participated in rounds and sang along to the tunes.

Mara MacNeal, a junior recreation and leisure major, accompanied her roommate to the show. It worked out perfectly because she also happens to love Irish music.

“I used to do Irish Dance in high school, and I really do love the music. So when my roommate told me she had to go for a class, I was excited,” MacNeal said.

The first tunes were Irish jigs. To introduce them, the band explained the concept of a “Blarney stone.” In Irish folklore this is a stone with magical properties; if you kiss it upside-down, it will give you the ability to convince people with your speech.

“The Blarney,” was part of the inspiration for the first song the crowd sang along to, which was about a young married couple

MacNeal said she wanted to dance while the performers were playing but was feeling a little shy since no one else was.

Dakota Summer, a senior IDS major and MacNeal’s roommate, came for a class requirement but also has a passion for the music.

“My world music class assignment was to come, but I was happy to anyway. I love the energy of the music, and with music being one of my passions it doesn’t really feel like work anyway,” Summer said.

Working the soundboard and set up, Professor Bill (William) Ahearn could be mistaken as an assistant to the band performing, but was actually helping out the recital hall. He too has a love for music.

He teaches Music 117 here at SCSU this semester and also has a recording studio off campus. He also is an Irish music lover, as was some of the decently-sized crowd.

“I like that the band catered to the audience of music students and got them involved. It made the feel of the room less serious and we all enjoyed the music together,” Ahearn said.

“I’ve set up about 3 shows just to help out and I like the music so really it’s not all that work intensive.” Professor Ahearn said.

As the crowds left that night, the band got a standing ovation and cheers for an encore. Regardless of whether or not they got one, the show was certainly popular with the SCSU crowd.

Photo Credit: Jenna Stepleman

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