Genealogy Put to Music

My bride (of 38+ years) and I have always shared the bond of music during our lives together; our courtship so many years ago involved a guitar, we agonized over our wedding music(*), she introduced me to symphonic choral music, I introduced her to traditional Celtic music.  In our “YOUT” we gave marriage preparation presentations to engaged couples, helping them to prepare for the rough times in marriage as well as the smooth, and we found that using well-chosen music could help introduce topics that were not comfortable to hear about, or bring a point home in a non-threatening but memorable way.

When I started presenting genealogy lectures and talks at conferences a few years ago, I tended to gravitate to the same technique as a way to focus the audience on the topic and define a clear transition from chat-time to presentation.  It’s not easy finding genealogy-themed music to use in such a way, but I was moderately successful.

My wife and I attended a “Solas” concert at the Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimac College in North Andover MA two days before St. Patrick’s Day.  Solas is (in my opinion) the finest Celtic band touring the US and Europe today.  We have seen them live many times and listen to their CDs on a regular basis, so we were excited to be attending another of their concerts.

When the performance started, I initially thought I had stumbled into a genealogy presentation!!  Click here for a well-written blog entry about their current concert/story, called “Shamrock City,” and click here for a 59+ minute BBC broadcast of their “Shamrock City” performance at the 2013 Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow Scotland in January 2013.



(*) We used parts of the 4th movement of Saint-Saëns’ 3rd Organ Symphony as both our processional AND our recessional – splicing and retracking/repeating segments by using a reel-to-reel tape recorder and a razor blade.  No digital editing here!  Hey, it was 38+ years ago!!

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