Irish musicians to visit Baker
Baldwin City, Kan. — Seven Irish musicians from the Dundalk Institute of Technology will visit Baker University in early May and perform at concerts with Baker musicians.
The musicians plan to perform a few traditional Irish music sessions for Baker students and travel to area high schools for workshops. They will attend the Chris Grubb Memorial Jazz Concert on May 1 at Rice Auditorium and the Baker choral concert on May 2 at Baldwin First United Methodist Church, where they plan to lead an Irish dancing session. On May 4, the musicians will perform at the Symphonic Winds Guest Artist concert at Rice.
At the May 4 concert, the Irish group will premiere "Crossroads," a piece written in honor of retiring Baker University assistant professor of music Ray James. Crossroads are an iconic symbol in the social history of Ireland as places where people met together to share friendships, news, song and dance. The work evokes the busy and colorful scene at a crossroads where people gradually congregate, with men arguing, women laughing, dances continually starting and stopping and eventually a band marching through on the way to the All-Ireland final in Croke Park before the crowd dissipates and moves on. The work is marked by the use of a woodblock which calls attention to the crowd to start the dancing and the use of the repeated chords throughout imitate the chordal repetition synonymous at the opening of Irish dances.