A Collaborative Celtic Concert

What is created when one of the Midwest’s best Celtic recording artists joins forces with perhaps the most unique choral department in a three state area?  We invite you to discover for yourself on April 9th and 10th when they present Seanachá, A Collaborative Celtic Concert.    Seanachá (SHAWN-uh-kee, Gaelic: storyteller) is a family-friendly concert event that explores the traditional roots and modern influence of Celtic music. This diverse collection of songs will guide the listener through a myriad of emotions, places, and eras.  From jaunty sea shanties to haunting ballads to rousing military anthems, Seanachá will explore many aspects of traditional Scotch-Irish music as well as tracing its path to America through the music of Appalachia and right up to the modern day.  

Jill Anderson, the Omaha-based recording artist and actress has long entertained audiences with her renditions of both traditional and revivalist Celtic pieces.  Her infectious stage presence commands her listeners to become part of the stories her music so clearly reveals.  She is, in the great Scotch-Irish tradition, a true seanachá- a keeper of the “old lore.”  

Jill’s interest in the work of Curt Isaacson and the Northwest Choral Department began in 2007 when she attended a full-length concert they staged that featured student musicians and singers performing a blend of American folk and bluegrass music.  She has since collaborated with Northwest as a clinician, presenter, guest concert artist, and most recently as a diction, choreography, and character coach for their 2010 musical production.  

Under the leadership of award-winning conductor, singer, and musician Curt Isaacson, the Northwest Choral Department has developed a reputation for authentic performances of traditional music from around the world.  Their repertoire is diverse, but they have focused their efforts on the traditional musical literature of Eastern Europe, Scotland, Ireland, and the United States.  Both Isaacson and his students are frequent guest artists in Omaha, as well as throughout the state.  In the last four years they have worked in collaboration with the California-based women’s ensemble KITKA, Bobby McFerrin, the Minnesota-based men’s ensemble Cantus, Opera Omaha, the Omaha Symphony, and the London Royal Philharmonic (in the Omaha performance of Star Wars In Concert).  Two student-produced recordings were also selected in 2007 for airplay on the NPR syndicated program “Great Plains Bluegrass.”  In 2009, under the direction of Curt Isaacson, the Northwest Fine and Performing Arts Department wrote and produced an original theatrical work entitled The Forge of Freedom.  This stage work was a song cycle study in the struggles, strife, and stories of the American Civil War.

Both venues for this concert event are unique and beautiful.  The Joslyn Castle is one of the finest pieces of historic architecture in the city and its stunning music room will be the setting for the evening of April 9th.  The prestigious Holland Performing Arts Center (Scott Recital Hall) will be the setting for April 10th.  This limited engagement is not to be missed!  

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