Two women plus twelve instruments equal one good time when Simple Gifts takes the stage at St. Edward’s Episcopal Church at 2453 Harrisburg Pike in Landisville on Saturday, November 5, 2016 for a concert at 7:00 p.m. preceded by a workshop from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public, but an offering will be taken at both events. This program is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
This award-winning band performs on an impressive array of instruments, including two violins, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, recorders, and guitar plus some more unusual instruments like the bowed psaltery, baritone fiddle, banjolin, guitjo, and doumbek.
Simple Gifts presents a wide variety of ethnic folk music, including everything from lively Irish jigs and down-home American reels to hard-driving Klezmer freilachs, haunting Gypsy melodies, and exotic Balkan dance tunes. Throughout their performances, they put their own distinctive stamp on traditional tunes, blending styles from diverse cultures with their American roots.
According to the Celtic Classic Festival in Bethlehem, PA, “few musicians can match the warmly personal stage presence Simple Gifts possesses.” It is obvious that these women love the music they play, and they know how to share their talents, their enthusiasm, and their sense of humor with the audience.
Linda Littleton and Karen Hirshon have performed as Simple Gifts since 1995. The group was founded by Littleton in 1989 and has performed throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including appearances at the Smithsonian, Brooklyn Museum of Art, National Governors’ Convention, Longwood Gardens, National Theater, Whitaker Center, Hershey Theatre, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ontario Center for Performing Arts, and dozens of colleges and universities throughout the region. Simple Gifts has opened for Natalie MacMaster, Tom Paxton, John McCutcheon, Robin and Linda Williams, Jay Unger and Molly Mason, and Boys of the Lough.
Simple Gifts has recorded six albums. Their newest, “Crossing Borders: Music of Many Lands,” was recognized by Indie Acoustic as including “one of the best songs of 2005.” Their previous album, “Time and Again,” won a bronze star (third place) in the Crossroads Music Awards. Their recordings include traditional music from Romania, Hungary, Russia, Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, Scotland, France, Sweden, Denmark, and America, plus original compositions by each group member.
“These women share a chemistry that infuses their music with energy, integrity, and joy. Theirs is a special gift.” –David W. Johnson, Boston Globe
“Listening to [Simple Gifts] is like sampling an international buffet … The number of instruments they pick up in a typical concert makes the group anything but simple. … [This is] acoustic music of the highest order.” –Will Lebzelter, Centre Daily Times
“Simple Gifts wowed our audience with a cultural and educational program that was fun, informative, and energetic.” –Teresia Bush, Smithsonian Institution
This recital is part of a series of events at St. Edward’s showcasing the church’s fellowship outreach. To get on the church’s email list for events’ notifications, readers should email: StEdsOffice@comcast.net with “Subscribe Events” in the subject line.
St. Edward’s Episcopal Church is a community of faith, giving to God, giving to each other, giving to the world. The Reverend Canon Stephen C. Casey is its rector. On the web at: www.sainteds.org. For more information, call the church at 717.898.6276.