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Gawler Family to perform at Skye
REGION -- New England Celtic Arts will present The Gawler Family at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in South Carthage on Wednesday, and at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts in Unity on Thursday.
Curtain at Skye is 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Unity. A pre-show jam session at Skye will start one hour prior to curtain. A brief Contra Dance will be held at both venues at the close of the concert.
Although the Gawlers are best known for their collection of dance tunes in the Scots-Irish and French-Canadian traditions, their repertoire may include a gutsy Appalachian work song, a "Sweet Honey in the Rock" a cappella number or an ode to everyday life. As with any Gawler concert, one can expect guests to join in the program at any time.
Joining John and Ellen Gawler on stage will be their three daughters, Molly, Edith, Elsie, son-in-law Bennet and Elsie's partner Tyler.
They bring an eclectic assortment of old and new sounds from many folk traditions. They accompany their warm interweaving family harmonies with fiddles, banjo, wooden banjo, cello, guitar, ukulele and piano as well as a few surprises.
Whether they are crooning a quietly poignant ballad or delivering a rollicking fiddle tune, their unique arrangements are especially engaging and often go along with anecdotes of historical or humorous content. The Gawlers have earned a beloved place in the hearts of their audiences for their infectious spirit and sparkling musicianship to the merriment of folks of all ages.
John Gawler, a local songster of Maine, is known for his fun-loving and original renditions of traditional music. With his finger picking guitar and frailing banjo he lends an underpinning to the family that is at the same time unique and authentic. He has been a member of The Maine Country Dance Orchestra, The Pine Hill String Band, The Moosetones, Project Troubadour, and Childsplay. Over the past four years, with the group Old Grey Goose International, he has shared his music with the people of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgzstan, Algeria, Benin, Poland, and Cuba.
Ellen Gawler is a celebrated Maine fiddler conversant in many styles including Maritime, Irish, New England, Shetland, and Quebecois.
She began fiddling at a young age traveling to Ireland, and the Shetland Islands to collect tunes and study with the masters. She has toured the Northeast, Northwest and Europe and has recorded on eight occasions with groups such as, The Pineland Fiddlers, Village Harmony, The Pine Hill Band, The Borovochani Duo, The Maine Country Dance Orchestra, Trillium, The Ladies of the Lake,
Childsplay and for dances with Maggie Ericson. She is a Suzuki violin/fiddle teacher of two decades and teaches at fiddle workshops, music camps and at her home in Belgrade. Ellen recently returned from Uzbekistan on a cultural mission with members of the Pine Tree Fiddlers.
Edith Gawler, has also recently returned from her travels around the world with her guitar. Also accomplished on the fiddle, banjo, and the piano she fills in the Gawler ensemble with her rich low harmonies. She has traveled to Ghana with her sisters learning the djembe and a host of African songs.
Elsie Gawler, takes her inspiration from a new sound that incorporates the cello into folk music with a range of chops, backup rhythms and innovative chord structures. With fiddle music deeply embedded in her musical sensibilities, she delivers lively jigs and reels as easily as melancholy waltzes on her cello. She is a recent convert to the ukulele offering a new dimension to the Gawler family sound.
Molly Gawler began her dance training as a child in the Belgrade Grange Hall.
Gawler first began attracting notice under the tutelage of Nancy Dionne during their stint together at the Bossov Ballet program at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield. When at home she sings and fiddles in her sisters' folk music group, the Gawler Sisters, which toured most recently in Ghana. Performing with Pilobolus Dance Theatre’s international touring company, she’s appeared on the Academy Awards, Oprah, and Japanese television, and Late Night TV with Connan O'Brian.
Skye Theater is located three miles west of East Dixfield village at 2 Highland Dr. off Winter Hill Road and Rt. 2 in South Carthage. UCCPA is at 42 Depot St. in Unity. Ticket price is $15 at the door. For reservations call Skye Theatre at 562-4445 or UCCPA at 948-7469. Reservations are strongly suggested at both venues.