BALLADS OF NEW YORK & BEYOND
May 17, 2009 - 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM
A workshop and concert by Pamela Goddard & Colleen Cleveland
3-5pm Workshop & 7pm Concert
Ticket information: $10 for the workshop, $5 for the concert.
A musical tour through the landscape of New York, touching song roots in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Colleen and Pamela will talk about what traditional songs and ballads are, compare and contrast actual songs, swapping versions of some of the most common and popular. During the workshop Colleen and Pamela will talk about family traditions and how they came to learn and promote these songs. There will also be opportunities for audience/workshop participation – singing on choruses and refrains, maybe learning a short ballad/song. The concert will present much of the same material, but with more singing of the songs and less chat. The concert is also a Syracuse release of Pamela’s second CD, “Quietness.”
Colleen Cleveland of Brant Lake is a descendant of Scottish and Irish settlers to northern New York and her family’s music and stories includes ancient ballads or story-songs, for which the Scots are known. Colleen’s grandmother, Sara Cleveland, was a nationally famous ballad singer of her generation. After Sara’s death in 1987, Colleen and her father, Jim, began singing the family’s songs in public. In addition to about 400 songs of the
British Isles, the family repertoire includes songs from a variety of other popular sources. Like her traditional counterparts in Scotland and Ireland, Colleen usually sings unaccompanied. Some of the family’s very old ballads are unique variants that have not been collected from any other North American source.
Pamela Goddard of Danby has been passionate about folk songs ever since she sang along with her father as a 6-year-old. For her, songs are historic documents that describe the peculiar quality of the land and the life of the people who live there. “They water my roots,” she says, “and are dedicated to my grandparents from coastal New England, from the coal fields of Pennsylvania, and from the hills of Tennessee.” Pamela performs ballads in traditional fashion, usually a cappella or accompanying herself on a lap dulcimer. She also calls dances regularly throughout the Finger Lakes region. Pamela has two CDs of her singing. The first of these, As Time Draws Near, was released in 2005. Her new CD, Quietness, will be released at the May 17 show at ArtRage.