FENCE Family Concert Feb. 19 features Gingerthistle

Published 10:22 am Thursday, February 16, 2012


Gingerthistle will perform at a free FENCE Family Concert on Feb. 19 at 4 p.m. at the FENCE Center.
Gingerthistle, consisting of husband and wife team Ben Seymour and Becky Cleland, draws its repertoire from the rich well of traditional Celtic and Appalachian folk music. Employing a capella and instrumental approaches (primarily Appalachian mountain dulcimer, bones and acoustic guitar) Seymour and Cleland trace the musical threads of traditional folk music from the Blue Ridge mountains back to their Celtic roots. The two have been performing since 1980 and have produced four recordings.
Seymour was born in Albemarle, N.C. and lived in several Southeastern states during his childhood. Although Seymour’s parents never seemed to have any particular musical gifts, his three older siblings were strongly musical and exposed him to a wide variety of music over the years. One of those is Wayne Seymour, nationally known folk musician and dulcimer player. Today, Seymour performs and enjoys listening to Appalachian, traditional Celtic and other forms of folk music. Seymour also builds lap dulcimers and other instruments at home, teaches the playing of the lap dulcimer and engineers and produces sound recordings for Gingerthistle and local artists.
Becky Cleland first learned to harmonize when her parents sang favorite tunes to pass the time on long trips with the family.
During her Knoxville high school years, she was often found playing contemporary folk music on her guitar before and after school. Through her college years, Cleland gained experience and developed an appreciation for diverse forms of music by studying voice at the University of Tennessee and by singing in college and church choirs. She said she loves all forms of folk music and is especially inspired by medieval and Renaissance music, particularly Christmas music of those periods. Cleland comments, “I find hanging a harmony onto a tune a most joyful pursuit.”
This concert series is made possible by The Kirby Foundation at the Polk County Community Foundation.
– article submitted by Tracie Hanson

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