Strathspey and Reel Society Annual Concert | Concord, NH

Cape Breton Duo Highlights 2011 Gala

The turkey, parades, and football games of the holiday weekend provide the perfect prelude to the Strathspey & Reel Society of New Hampshire’s 2011 Gala Scottish Concert on Sunday, November 27. Holiday festivities create just the right atmosphere for Cape Breton fiddlers and step Dancers Andrea Beaton and Kimberly Fraser. This high-energy duo highlights the 23rd annual concert of New Hampshire’s premier traditional Scottish performance group in a concert that has become a yearly tradition for delighted New Hampshire audiences.

Kicking off at 2:30 Sunday afternoon, November 27 at the Concord City Auditorium, the concert stage again welcomes the Strathspey and Reel Society ensemble of fiddles, cellos, accordions, flutes/whistles/recorders, guitars and other instruments. Master of Ceremonies Jeremy Bell will guide the audience through a two-hour program of traditional music, dance, songs, and humor. Past attendees have described this event as “the best thing about the Thanksgiving weekend.”

This year’s Gala guest performers follow in the footsteps of dozens of major masters of the Scottish fiddle from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. Kimberley Fraser, though still in her 20s, already has had a distinguished career. She has traveled the world, from Victoria to Afghanistan, performing at venues such as The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., bringing Cape Breton music with her wherever she goes. Dan MacDonald of the Cape Breton Post says about Fraser’s versatility, “She has matured to become one of the stellar players of the Cape Breton fiddle tradition, equally at home at a house party, playing for a square dance, or on stage for a concert in Bras d’Or or Boston, Scotsville, or Scotland.” Kimberley has shared the stage with the finest acts in Celtic music, such as Alasdair Fraser, Martin Hayes and Lunasa.

Andrea Beaton’s Cape Breton heritage starts with grandparents Donald Angus and Elizabeth Beaton and parents Kinnon and Betty Beaton, all of who are accomplished musicians. Her uncle Buddy MacMaster and cousin Natalie MacMaster have wowed generations of audiences. Her music is at once her own and deeply rooted in the tradition associated with the Mabou Coal Mines. And, like her father and grandfather, she is a composer in the tradition, adding fine new music to the island’s repertoire. Her first CD, “License to Drive ‘Er,” earned a nomination as Roots Traditional Solo Artist of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards. One recent listener mused about Andrea’s playing, “There’s something indefinable about music’s power to make people move. It’s nearly impossible to talk about it. But you know it when you hear it. And Andrea Beaton has it.”

Amazingly, these two fiddle masters find time to stay sharp with some of the most fantastic step-dance footwork that you will see anywhere in the U.S or Canada. They break into dance mode spontaneously and feed off each other’s energy.

Highland dance, whether a Fling, a Sword dance, or a Lilt, displays the grace and artistry of the Scots. This year’s Gala welcomes back the Highland dancers from the Calder School of Highland dancing. Highland dances may have originally signified a victory in battle, but today they showcase the dexterity and graceful skills of the dancer, and the Calder School’s dancers are some of New Hampshire’s finest.

Jeremy Bell calls himself simply “a man in a kilt.” But his exploits on stage, at whiskey tastings, and corporate events across the country have endeared him to thousands throughout the United States. Jeremy brings an irreverent Scottish sense of propriety, along with his unique brand of humor, to every event he hosts. He will surprise and delight you.

The magic of the 2011 Gala starts the minute you approach your seat this year with a pre-concert audience warm-up by Fellswater, a Boston-based Celtic performance group. Fresh off a turn on the stages of the New Hampshire Highland Games, Fellswater’s lively music will get you in the mood for the whirlwind that follows at 2:30.

Tickets prices for this year’s Gala remain unchanged from previous years and range from $20.00 ($22.00 at the door) to $10.00 ($12.00 at the door) depending on the location within the grand Concord City Auditorium. You can order your tickets here, or by calling (603) 673-5145.

Cape Breton and Scottish Music | Brattleboro


BRATTLEBORO – Twilight Music presents an evening of music and dance rooted in the traditions of Scotland and Cape Breton by Highland Soles at Hooker-Dunham Theater & Gallery on Friday, May 27 at 7:30 pm. Dancer Laura Scott, fiddler Ed Pearlman and their children, pianist/mandolinist/stepdancer Neil, fiddler/dancer/pianist Lilly and whistle-player/dancer Jesse, have performed as a family band throughout the US, and in Canada and Scotland, since 2003.

A dancer who is well grounded in tradition, Laura Scott loves to push the artistic envelope and meld Highland, Cape Breton step and Highland folk to reflect the vital pulse of Scottish music. She has presented school programs, taught at dance and music camps such as Pinewoods, Valley of the Moon and Ashokan, and performed with Natalie MacMaster, Alasdair Fraser, Battlefield Band, Joe Cormier, Tony Cuffe and many other Celtic artists.

Ed Pearlman is best known for 30 years of performing and teaching Scottish and Cape Breton fiddling. He directed the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club for 18 years, and has taught workshops at Maine Fiddle Camp, Scotland’s Blazin Fiddles Camp, Ohio Scottish Arts School, Swannanoa Celtic Week, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, Pinewoods and Ashokan. Ed has also played contra dances, swing jazz, classical concerts and pit orchestras, klezmer, Hungarian and other dance music. He has written the music column for Scottish Life magazine since 1996.

Neil Pearlman is emerging as one of the traditional music scene’s most innovative young artists. His piano style seamlessly blends Cape Breton traditions with jazz harmony and funk/rock grooves. He has performed with the likes of Natalie MacMaster, Alasdair Fraser, Seamus Connolly, Kimberley Fraser and Maeve Gilchrist.

Hooker-Dunham Theater & Gallery is located at 139 Main Street in downtown Brattleboro, VT.

Tickets for the show are $12 General / $10 Students and Seniors.

For ticket reservations and information, call 802-254-9276.

For more information, visit


Cape Breton Camp in Brookfield VT

Fiddler and step dancer Andrea Beaton will be down from Cape Breton and joining
me for a four day camp from Aug 23 – 26. The location is at the Old Town Hall
in historic Pond Village, Brookfield , VT Camp will run from 10 – 4 each day,
and the cost is $240/person. There is also a chance that we’ll be joined by Mac
Morin on Monday and Tuesday. For those of you who don’t know him, Mac is an
amazing Cape Breton piano player and step dancer. So…if there are any people
out there wishing to learn some Cape Breton piano accompaniment…..Mac is as
good as it gets.

Also the 4 day cost will be reduced to $225 if I receive a $100 deposit by
August 16th. The day rate is $70/day.

Please call for more info after August 14th…… Beth Telford 802-728-6351