Join us for an exciting evening of piping and strings featuring two duos well versed in the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland. Will Woodson & Eric McDonald will join forces with Joey Abarta & Nathan Gourley on Friday, April 8, for an 8:00 PM concert at the Fountain Arts Building on the campus of the Dublin School in Dublin, NH. Admission is $12/$9(Sr/Jr/Advance).
Will Woodson & Eric McDonald are two of the finest young proponents of traditional Scottish music today. With an unusual blend of wind and plucked strings, they bring a breath of sensitivity to a tradition that is often known for its high velocity. Their unique approach, while rooted in the indigenous music of Scotland, is also informed by the vibrant traditional music scene of their native New England. Border pipes, wooden flute, tin whistle, guitar, mandolin, and voice fuse together to create a detailed fabric of tunes and songs. Soaring reels and swinging jigs give way to more contemplative ballads, each displaying the organic chemistry of the duo. Their music is equally at home in a concert, festival or pub atmosphere. You can see them touring across the country bringing their unique brand of Scottish music to the stage as well as around the thriving music scene of Portland, Maine, where they reside and share a teaching studio.
Joey Abarta & Nathan Gourley are two fine young musicians living and collaborating in the Boston area.
Will Woodson is an innovative and powerful performer of traditional and contemporary music on border pipes, wooden flute, and tin whistle. He he holds a master’s degree in the performance of Scottish music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. He’s recently returned to America from Scotland, and before heading north to Maine, he spent a year in Brooklyn, New York where he performed and taught music, also helping to develop the thriving IONA session. He has performed across America, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, and a good bit of continental Europe, appearing at major festivals like Piping Live and Celtic Connections in Glasgow. He’s shared stages with the likes of Phil Cunningham and Mick Maloney, and he has brought his teaching skills to events such as Maine Pipes and Fiddle and the Upper Potomac Pipers Weekend. Will has studied with some of the greatest living exponents of the tradition, including Allan MacDonald, Finlay MacDonald, Marc Duff, and Hamish Napier. His knowledge of border pipes reaches beyond performing, and he currently works as apprentice for pipemaker Nate Banton. Will plays a unique and highly developed set of his and Nate’s design. Will is known for his highly personal musical style, which utilizes the full extent of his singular instrument.
Eric McDonald is one of New England’s premier acoustic performers and instructors, known for his versatility in many styles. Born and raised in the Boston area, he grew up steeped in Beantown’s vibrant music scene. He studied at Berklee College of Music under world renowned musicians John McGann and Eugene Friesen. While studying he toured with full time folk acts like The Dave Rowe Trio and Matching Orange, and acted as music director for productions by companies such as Actor’s Shakespeare Project. His accompaniment on DADGAD guitar can be heard on albums by those such as Katie McNally and Brendan Carey Block, whom he can also be seen with on stage. He has performed across the country and overseas alongside major artists such as Archie Fisher, Malinky, Rodney Miller, Hamish Napier and Ian Robb of Finest Kind. He is a member of the Scottish power trio Cantrip and the contemporary old time group The Knockbox Stringband. He has been seen on stage at such events as the New World Festival, the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and countless others. Eric’s teaching is practiced and well developed. He spent five years on staff at the Passim School of Music in Cambridge, MA and brings his skills every summer to Maine Fiddle Camp.
Joey Abarta has spent the last ten years touring North America, Europe, and Asia, teaching and performing music on the uilleann pipes. A Los Angeles native, he first received instruction on the pipes from Dubliner Pat D’Arcy, a founding member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club. His musical skills have been further honed by several visits to Ireland, a year-long stint working in Japan, and continuing relationships with master pipers. In August of 2009, Joey’s accomplished playing won him an All-Ireland championship, placing second worldwide at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. Currently based in Boston, Joey divides his attention between performance, teaching, and recording. In addition to performing solo, he tours with Mick Moloney and the group The Green Fields of America; while at home, he organizes the meetings of the Boston Pipers Club, teaches for Comhaltas’ Boston Music School, and organizes various traditional music concerts and events.
A former member of Chulrua, the Doon Ceili Band, the Two Tap Trio, and the Máirtín de Cógáin Project, fiddler and guitarist Nathan Gourley started playing music at age five. While living in Minnesota he had the opportunity to collaborate with such renowned players as Paddy O’Brien of Chulrua, Daithi Sproule of Altan, Brian Miller of Bua, and Norah Rendell of The Outside Track. He was a finalist in the Sean O Riada fiddle competition in 2014 and winner of Boston’s Fiddler of Dooney competition in 2013. Nathan can be seen playing at concerts, ceilis, sessions and festivals in Boston and throughout the United States and Ireland.