Revisiting the Scottish ceilidh experience:

 I grew up in Edinburgh, where I discovered the magic of bagpipes, Scottish fiddle music, and romantic ballades. For the Scots, music is a way of experiencing and interacting with people, events, and grand celebrations. It’s also part of every routine and quotidian activities. Because music plays such a prominent role in day to day living, to be a musician means to belong to a certain culture, a way of life. It is this vision – music as a way of life – that caught my imagination as a little girl, and which continues to fuel my work and creativity as a musician. Bard and Ceilidh is my attempt to recreate a social gathering around live music making, which enables listeners to embrace, internalize, and more fully appreciate the human experience. Simliar to a Scottish ceilidh, this album includes songs (based on poetry) and instrumentals: music for introspection and music for dancing. In order to capture the spontaneous-like quality of live music, I invited some of my colleagues to join me on their instruments for some of the tracks. I return to Bard and Ceilidh on piano, fiddle, hammered dulcimer and hurdy gurdy. 

Meet the ensemble:

Laura Hairgrove Randall, renaissance flute


Laura is a classically trained flutist, traverso player and arts entrepreneur based in the Boston/Providence metro area. Known for her warm sound and expressive interpretation on both modern and historical flutes, Laura Hairgrove Randall is a creatively oriented chamber musician passionate about projects that emphasize the culture shaping potential and community building aspects of music making. Laura’s notable projects include founding and directing the Halo Ensemble, an international artists’ collaborative and self-conducted chamber orchestra that performed in the United States, Finland, Hungary and Thailand featuring classic repertoire, new and commissioned music and cross-genre collaborations. Laura and her renaissance flute are featured in a Bard and Ceilidh album to be released summer of 2020You may find out more information about Laura by clicking HERE.


Robert Nicholson, cello

Cellist Robert Nicholson has been invited to perform and teach around the U.S. and across the globe.  As a founding member of the Halo Ensemble, he has performed in Hungary at the Crescendo Summer Institute, in Finland at the Uskon Yo and Helsinki Festivals, where the ensemble gave the world premiere of its commission Three Songs for Chamber Ensemble by Geoff Knorr, in Bangkok, Thailand, and around the U.S.  As founding cellist of the Mauthe String Quartet, which formed for the express purpose of engaging and enriching unreached areas of the Cleveland community, Robert performed staples of the repertoire and brand new works in established recital series and schools, churches, and community centers alike. On Bard and Ceilidh, Robert is featured in Little One, SleepExcelsior, and Mother of Mine. You may find out more about Robert by clicking HERE.


Laudon Schuett, lute​

Laudon Schuett is a Renaissance lutenist and early music specialist. In recent reviews, he has been called “a masterful performer….[and] a brilliant educator” (Classical Voice of North Carolina) with “immaculate articulation and sensitive phrasing” (Fanfare). In addition to performing and expanding the solo repertoire, he formed the lute song duo BEDLAM with Kayleen Sánchez in 2013. They have since toured the country and recorded two albums, “BEDLAM,” and “Died for Love,” both for Soundset Recordings. Laudon has also been a guest lecturer and performer at numerous colleges and universities, including Cornell University, Arizona State University, Baylor University, Wheaton College, University of Kentucky, and Johns Hopkins University. He studied with Paul O’Dette, Frank Koonce, and Chuck Hulihan. On Bard and Ceilidh he can be heard on Excelsior. You can find out more about Laudon by clicking HERE


© 2019 by Mary Vanhoozer

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