Irish Music Comes to Millstream Park

Going green is a common phrase these days and the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council invites you to go green with a musical performance by the Free State Trio on August 5. This versatile band brings traditional dance music, topical songs and ballads in a style unique to Maryland. With a rotating membership that includes Maryland’s foremost Irish Traditional musicians and singers, Free State Trio members have established a local repertoire and style that distinguish Maryland as a center for Irish Traditional music on the world stage.

The Millstream Park performance will feature Peter Brice (button accordion, songs), the director of the Baltimore Singers Club, Dan Issacson (flute, uillean pipes), an accomplished motivator of Baltimore’s Irish music community, and internationally sought accompanist Matt Mulqueen (piano).

Brice plays button accordion and sings old songs in a traditional style.  A protégé of legendary accordionist Billy McComiskey, he founded  the Baltimore Singers Club with singers Andy O’Brien and Pat Egan in 2007 to promote traditional singing in Maryland.  He is active in the community as a grant writer, graphic designer, and promoter of music and dance from the oral tradition.  Peter is presently compiling an ethnography of the late ballad singer Thomas Moran from Drumrahill, Co. Leitrim.  He holds a BA in Irish Traditional Music and Dance from the University of Limerick.

Isaacson plays the concert flute, uilleann pipes, tin whistle, and bouzouki.  He came to Irish Traditional music in Boston, where he learned from some of the most esteemed living Irish and Irish-American traditional musicians.  He incorporated their musical dialects into his own playing and, over years, developed a style that is tradition-steeped, but thoroughly individual.  Isaacson recorded and produced two albums with The Magic Square, his own ensemble; his first solo recording is expected in the summer of 2010.

Playing on piano, Mulqueen was born in Baltimore, Maryland to a musical family.  His older brothers played button accordion and fiddle, and his sister became a champion step-dancer. His instruction started early and included important musical mentors such as Donna Long. In 2010, Matt and Donna were awarded a Master/Apprentice grant from the Maryland State Arts Council’s  Maryland Traditions program.

The series is presented by the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council and sponsored by the Maryland State Arts Council, and the United Way of Queen Anne’s County with media sponsorship by Tidewater Trader. Bring blankets or chairs; picnicking is encouraged and food will be available for sale. Concerts will be held rain or shine. Contact the Arts Council in the event of extreme weather conditions or alerts. For additional information or to receive a concert schedule call 410-758-2520 or email: exhibit@arts4u.info

The Arts Council is a non-profit organization committed to promoting, expanding and sustaining the arts. Office and auditorium are located at 206 South Commerce St. in Centreville, MD. Summer office hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9am to 1pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

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