Two women plus 12 instruments equals one good time when Simple Gifts takes the stage at the Lane University Center Loft at Frostburg State University Friday, Feb. 8, beginning at 8:15 p.m. At 7 p.m., prior to the concert, the duo will also offer a rhythm workshop.
Presented by Live! at the Loft, Center Stage and the FSU Department of Student and Community Involvement, Simple Gifts draws on an impressive variety of ethnic folk styles. This award-winning duo plays everything from lively Irish jigs and down-home American reels to hard-driving Klezmer frailachs and haunting Gypsy melodies, spicing the mix with the distinctive rhythms of Balkan dance music, the lush sounds of Scandinavian twin fiddling, and original compositions written in a traditional style.
Combining tradition with innovation, Simple Gifts creates some of the finest arrangements in folk music today: swing fiddle creeps into a Romanian dance, spoons show up in an Irish reel, and the concertina ventures far beyond styles considered traditional for that instrument. Based in the hills of central Pennsylvania, these women play an amazing array of instruments. Linda Littleton and Karen Hirshon switch with ease among two fiddles, concertina, mandolin, banjolin, recorders, bowed psaltery, hammered dulcimer, baritone fiddle, guitar, piano and percussion.
Simple Gifts is frequently complimented on its stage presence, which is warm, personal and accented with humor. These women deliver their music with rare intensity and contagious enthusiasm.
Before their concert at 7 p.m., the performers will conduct an hour-long rhythm workshop, "Learn to Play in 7/8 Meter." Simple Gifts will first shows participants how to count and feel a 7/8 rhythm and then will teach the Bulgarian tune "Minka." Bring your instruments, or if you don't have an instrument or don't know how to play, come anyway; the artists will teach you.
Simple Gifts is partially supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by the Vira I. Heinz Endowment; the William Penn Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a stage agency; and The Pew Charitable Trust; and administered by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.
For more information about any Center Stage or Department of Student and Community Involvement activities, please call the FSU Information Desk at (301) 687-4411.
FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call (301) 687-4102, TDD (301) 687-7955.
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Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303