Irish musicians take over the White House

10 Jun

Sesiun groups found anyplace they could to play. Here, two groups play about 50 yards apart.

If you’re an Irish musician and you live in or near Rochester, chances are very good you were up at the lake yesterday afternoon.

The occasion was the annual “Stand Around and Play” gathering hosted by Lynn Pilaroscia, whom my husband and I have known for about 20 years.  Once a year Lynn (who plays the fiddle himself) books the White House at Webster Park and invites all of his Irish musician friends to come on by and … well, stand around and play.

It’s really a sight to see. At any one moment in the afternoon you might see anywhere from four to seven small groups of musicians, each of which has found a corner of the White House property — on the front porch, on the back porch, under a tree, in the main room — jamming. Once one tune is done, someone starts up another one, and if you know it, you simply join in. There’s no set list, no applause, just a bunch of musicians doing what they love most.

No matter where you were, music surrounded you: bluegrass, waltzes, folk tunes, and traditional Irish. Jigs, reels and ballads. And the variety of instruments was astounding. I saw a flute, concertinas, banjos, guitars, an electric guitar, string basses, mandolins, accordions, tin whistles, a cello, bodhrans, a hammer dulcimer, and lot and lots of fiddles.

What a wonderful way to spend a sunny summer afternoon at the lake.


Click on the photo to see a short video clip of some of the musicians.

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