News about the RKIDs
March 23, 2019
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Performing at the Kentlands Mansion
Our own Monica Harwood worked at the Arts Barn in Kentlands until just recently. While there, she conceived and executed the idea of an Irish culture night. On Friday, March 15, it came together at the 120-year old Kentlands Mansion, former home of the prominent Tschiffely and Kent families. Mitch Fanning led the youthful Bog Band. Poet Kristin Ferragut and Monica, our coloratura soprano opera singer, performed to the delight of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrants.
Topping off the program, the Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers Performance Group led a ceili. Linda, Chuck, Maureen, Bill, Maddy, Kate, Sonja, Tom, Ann Marie, Emmett, Marie V, Connie, and Maura, demonstrated parts of the Clare Mazurka, Four-Hand Reel, North Kerry and other dances. Maureen gave brief instructions, inviting the enthusiastic audience to join in some of the dances. Joining and cheering them on were Mo, John, Meaghan, Pat G, and her friend Phyllis, Monica’s fiancée Tom, Obie, and Marilyn O. It was a grand evening full of the best our Irish American culture has to offer. Thanks go out to Monica for inviting us to be part of this great event.
Click/Tap here for a video of Monica, the Bog Band and the RKIDs at Kentlands Mansion
RKIDs Beneath the Stacks and On the Road
We did not need a tow. We did not need a flat tire fixed. We did not need a battery boost. But, the Performance Group DID need to show off their set and ceili dancing skills at a recent American Automobile Association event at Gaithersburg's Hilton Garden Inn. The crowd was there to learn about CIE tours to Ireland offered in conjunction with AAA. They were treated to some Irish dancing by the RKIDs. Similar to what they did at the Kentlands Mansion, Bill, Maddy, Linda, Maura, Kate, Tom, Ann Marie R, Emmett, Michelle, Russell, and Connie, led by Chuck and Maureen, demonstrated dances and then got the audience to join in several of them. The evening seemed to be quite a success with lots of excitement created by CIE's representative, Anthony, and by the lively Performance Group. They aren't done yet, having at least two more shows to do before the end of April!
The St. Patrick’s Day Season began this year with the Blackthorn Ceili that was held on a snowy March 8th at McCathran Hall in Washington Grove. The octagon’s walls were thumping to the music by Rambling House (Joe Dezarn, Tina Eck, Marc Glickman, and Pat Cavanagh) and the wooden floor was bouncing as 60+ dancers did the Merchant Set, the Haymakers’ Jig, the Cashel Set, and several other favorites. Larry Frank was there to guide us with his expert calling. Many people make this ceili happen, but a huge thank you goes out to Carol Samour and David Harmon, residents of Washington Grove, who sponsor the ceili and to Obie who pulls it altogether by setting the date, hiring the band, providing the decorations, devising the program, and getting people to help.
Kate coordinates the potluck. She relates: “Towards the end of the ceili, I talked with a handsome stranger who was getting some last minute food in the dining area. His response in answer to my question, 'What group are you from?' was awe inspiring. He said that he was from Ireland, but on a business trip in DC. He saw on the website, sets.ie, that there was a ceili in Gaithersburg. So he took the Metro and found his way to Washington Grove. Although he was on his way back to DC, he wanted me to know that he had a great time and that it was a wonderful ceili. And then he was gone! Anyone have more details about our handsome Celtic stranger?”
The AFI Theater in Silver Spring holds an Irish Film Festival every year, usually during the first weekend in March. Evan, Sandy, Marilyn O, and Obie sampled a few of the screenngs this year. A favorite was Lost and Found, a humorous accounting of people in and around the lost and found office at a train station in Ireland.
Margaret Mitchell’s classic saga, Gone with the Wind, contains references to the Irish throughout its 950 pages. Scarlet’s father, Gerald O’Hara, an Irish immigrant, instilled in his daughter a love of the land which he claims is an irish trait. No other ethnic group is mentioned as often according to author David O’Connell. The movie version of the book does not refer to the Irish so prominently, but it is still fun to see the film on the big screen. Connie, Sonja, Kate, Marieke and her husband Willem, and Marilyn O went to see the vintage film recently. Afterwards, they discussed the story at Carrabba’s where Dan O’C and Tom joined the movie-goers.
Maura and Larry S. are always on the go and this time it was to New York for a bit of a Quinn family reunion. Her sister, Cara, from Texas was there and also their cousin Patrick, his wife Rina, and their children. Maura, whose maiden name is Quinn (see the photo), reported that it was “a great break after the last break (of my foot).”