Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dermot Somerville and Shanua Musical Presentation in Hiram, Ohio

Sunday afternoon there was an amazing musical presentation in Koritansky Hall, on the campus of Hiram College. The performance was called "Sea Dreams," and it was put on by the group called "Shanua," which I think is composed primarily of Dermot Somerville, who is a native of Ireland, and his wife Ulle Laido, a native of Estonia. The name "Shanua" might come from the Irish word, sean, which means "old," and the Irish word nua, which means "new."

Dermot and Ulle were joined by several singers and musicians from Holy Rosary Church in Little Italy, where Ulle is music director (Can you imagine the wonderful music in that church!).  Becca Rhoades joined in on fiddle, and some singing; Tina Dreisbach, Music Professor at Hiram, played concertina, Irish flute, and also sang; Paul Dreisbach, also a Hiram prof, played oboe and uilleann pipes. Krista Parran was a featured singer; Tim Regan and John Clark were singers; and Rebecca Knab was the narrator (they used wonderful poems by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, William Shakespeare, and others). The performance had a story line that talked about the menfolk going to sea to hunt for whales, then returning home. The poems and songs (which were traditional sea shanties and other songs of the sea) told about the painful partings of men and women, the fear those at home and those on the sea lived with, and the joyful reunions when the men returned.

Can you imagine--this concert was presented to the public free of charge, with the underwriting of the wonderful Hiram Community Trust. What a generous gift, both by these fine artists and the Hiram Community Trust. Art is often an act of love, as this performance was. Thank you!

The entire cast of artists, singers, musicians

Dermot on low whistle, Krista Parran, singer, and Paul Dreisbach, who played Irish uilleann pipes and oboe

Dermot Somerville, left, with John Clark and Tim Regan

Tina Dreisbach, Becca Rhoades, and Ulle Laido

James A. Garfield (his head back on his body after an act of vandalism)

The beautiful old hall where the performance took place

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