The Front Porch Music Festival is coming up again this Saturday, June 8 in the Longfellow neighborhood in Iowa City!
FUN?! √ √ √
This year, I am delighted to be joined by several of my fiddle students. We will play from 4-5 pm on the Front Porch at 611 Oakland but there will be all kinds of music from 2 to 5:30 pm.
Nothing makes me merrier than celebrating Christmas with Iowa’s finest Irish dancers as fiddler for the Champagne Céilí Band.
Join us on Saturday, December 15 at 2 pm at North Liberty South Slope Community Center.
Tickets are $16 at the door.
Introducing Althea and Naomi, my featured musicians for November and December!
I am delighted to introduce a wonderful family who I have been very lucky to make music with for many, many years now. Althea and Naomi have been with me since I was teaching in our smaller house when my sons were very small, they stayed with me when I taught in the West Music conservatory for several years, and they are my stalwart Friday friends in my current home studio.
I have seen a huge amount of musical development from each of them over the years and I have also had the real privilege of being alongside them as they grew and gathered many other interests and continued to keep music in their lives while they explore ballet, taekwondo, basketball, art and many of the other pleasures of life. I encourage you to read their answers above to see all the wonder they find in the world.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, I get a real surge of joy from seeing my students making music with their family members and so I especially love when their dad Ryan joins them on mandolin and guitar and their mom Jen joins them on piano and flute. Our fellow beloved Family Folk Machiners and audience members also know what marvelous singers they all are.
This family of truth seekers and kindness givers weaves their love of music into the splendid landscape of life’s many treasures and I stand in awe of all the beauty they share with us.
This was our 13th year attending the wonderful St. Louis Tionól! We look forward to it every year.
I have several videos to upload from our Friday night performance so I’ll be back with those once more pressing household responsibilities have been attended to but in the meantime I leave you with some photos from our weekend.
Here we are walking to my favorite event of the weekend, the Sunday morning brunch/session at McGurk’s.
I really love this panoramic shot that Joe got at the session. I have known, loved, and played music with many of these good people for years and years now.
The kids’ favorite part of the trip is having special grandparent time in St. Louis while Joe and I are busy with music but on the way home, we also had a memorable day together at the fantastic St. Louis Zoo. This zoo is a world leader in global conservation efforts.
We eagerly await our 14th Tionól in April 2019!
Tom Stoeffler and I loved playing for the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance‘s Christmas Céili 2017.
Awesome job, dancers! Thanks for including us.
As a proud returning member of the Champagne Ceili Band, I warmly invite you to join us on Saturday, December 16 at 2 pm at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.
Christmas Ceili 2017: Christmas in Killlarney will be an afternoon of dance, music, fun, food and community.
From the Facebook event page:
Watch your favorite Irish dancers perform both traditional and contemporary Irish dance along with some seasonal favorites! Then join in for a jig yourself!
Ceili (social dance)
Tickets sold at the door: $16
3 and younger free (on lap please)
Participating in the band of the Family Folk Machine is one of the great joys of my life and my husband Joe equally loves being a member of the intrepid bass section.
I will only be able to participate in the Sunday concert but my fellow fiddlers Caleigh Stanier and Ben Sauder will have the fiddle situation well in hand at the Friday concert also.
If you’re not yet familiar with the Family Folk Machine, we are a non-auditioned, multi-generational community folk choir directed by Jean Littlejohn. We are all devoted to and in awe of our wonderful director. She brings unmatched musical integrity as well as boundless joy with her to every rehearsal and performance.
The art for this poster is by one of our fellow choir members, Susan Stamnes. I love it so much.
Please join us!
Friday, November 17, 7:00 pm at the Iowa City Senior Center
Sunday, November 19, 3:00 pm at the Old Capital Senate Chamber
Citizens of Coralville, tomorrow is the big day for you to cast your vote for Meghann Foster for Coralville City Council! The polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm. If you’re unsure of your polling place, it’s easy to confirm by following this link.
Meghann has been endorsed by The Gazette, the Iowa City Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, Local 1260 and AFCSME Council 61. You can also read a number of endorsements from private citizens on Meghann’s website, including my own enthusiastic endorsement.
I have found this year to be very discouraging politically and I have desired at times to find a way to unplug from the whole system. It has been a battle to not allow my cynicism to take over my dedication to do whatever good I’m able to do in this world.
“I cannot do all the that the world needs but the world needs all the good that I can do.”
When my husband Joe and I marched in the 4th of July parade in support of Meghann for City Council, I felt such relief and true pride to be supporting to be a candidate who is so smart, so richly experienced and so equally committed to all of the citizens in our community. I remember saying to Meghann’s husband Nick that I had never felt so patriotic on our nation’s Independence Day as I did that day.
As stated on her website: “Meghann Foster is a mother, community volunteer, and small business owner who is running for the open seat on the Coralville City Council. Meghann is committed to ensuring that Coralville is an inclusive place for all its residents.”
Please join me in casting your vote for Meghann Foster tomorrow.
Introducing Stella, my featured musician for November and December!
How awesome is the self-portrait that Stella provided for her featured musician poster?!! I hope you can tell that the shirt she is wearing reads “Be Who You Are”. Stella embodies that message so well.
It also delights me to no end that Stella’s mother Katie captured a photo of our very first fiddle lesson together 4 years ago when she was just shy of her fifth birthday.
Since that first lesson, Stella and I have learned so much together. We sing in nearly every lesson because two people who love to sing as much as we do just can’t help ourselves when we get together. We are also both shameless multi-instrumentalists. The more music, the better! I’m actually quite jealous of Stella’s collection of musical instruments and I highly doubt the collection is complete.
Stella draws deep inspiration from performing and I believe it stems at least in part from her generous spirit. She truly understands how much joy a passionate performance brings to the audience and she loves to spread happiness. There is very likely a genetic component as well, given how richly blessed Stella is on both sides of her family with a legacy of performance and music making that goes back many generations.
Please join me in wishing Stella a happy birthday and a hearty congratulations on all her musical accomplishments past, present and future!
Introducing Dannye and Rob, my featured musicians for September and October!
There is a special place in my heart for family music-making so it’s an extra thrill to be featuring a mother and son for the first time in my featured musician series.
In addition to making music at home, in school ensembles and at church, Dannye and Rob as well as Rob’s two sisters regularly bring their musical gifts to enrich the guests and staff at The Russell and Ann Gerdin American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. I find it truly beautiful that they are so committed to using their talents to share joy and inspiration.
You can follow some of Dannye’s other creative pursuits at her writing website DannyeChase.com.