Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

April 19, 2011

Concerts at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg Illustrate How Celtic Music Evolved in Virginia and West Virginia

Guests to the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg during Easter weekend, April 23-24, will be treated to folk music traditions and musical instruments in two concerts.

During the musical program, “Ireland Meets Appalachia: Music and the Folk Process in the Virginias,” the band, Paddy in the Hollow, performs how Celtic music evolved after Scottish-Irish immigrants settled in the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. Dance tunes as well as ballads of love, heartbreak, life and death were carried by way of the oral tradition and spread from person to person, community to community and generation to generation. As the music travelled, it was influenced by the sensibilities and the needs of musicians and their communities that created multiple versions of old songs with variations in melody, lyrics, tempo and even meaning. Paddy in the Hollow illustrates how the folk process continues today in both Celtic and folk music traditions at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 23 in the Hennage Auditorium.

During the program, “Folk Musical Instruments,” musician and musical historian Carson Hudson explores various musical instruments from past and present. Guests hear music played on dulcimers, fiddles and a reproduction banjar, the precursor to the modern banjo. Hudson tells the stories about the instruments and the music they made popular at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on April 24 in the Hennage Auditorium.

This concert is presented in conjunction with the exhibition, “Cross Rhythms: Folk Musical Instruments,” at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. This exhibition features banjos, fiddles and dulcimers from the 19th century and early 20th century. Highlights include a piano built into a chest of drawers and a record-playing hippocerous.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor Card provides access to these programs. For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY.

Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121