House of Hamill brings Irish music to Plank North

9 Nov

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Students at Plank Road North Elementary School were bouncing to an Irish beat on Wednesday as Rose Baldino and Brian Buchanan of the House of Hamill, a Philadelphia-based folk/Irish/rock group, spent the day conducting Irish music workshops.

Toe-tapping music filled the school all day as the musicians discussed different facets of Irish music, including the difference between a violin and a fiddle, and how to tell a jig from a reel.

Brian and Rose not only shared their exceptional musical talents with the students, but also an important lesson on perseverance, especially for anyone struggling to learn an instrument.

When he started playing the violin, Brian remembered, “I was terrible for a very long time. It sounds bad at first. It’s hard to make it sound good, but little by little you start getting better.”

At the end of each lesson, the musicians opened up the floor to questions. A lot of hands shot up, and a lot of the “questions” were more like very important (to a grade-schooler, anyway) informational-sharing statements (“My cat is named Pete!”). But several clearly showed the students had been listening, and were very engaged and entertained.  And when Brian and Rose challenged them to distinguish between a jig and a reel, they were pretty much spot-on.

Brian and Rose are visiting Plank North again today for more workshops, and will conclude their visit this afternoon with a school-wide concert.  Tonight, they’ll travel to Lovin’ Cup near the RIT campus, where they’ll perform from 8 to 11:00 p.m. Click here to see more information about that.

House of Hamill

Brian and Rose teach fourth graders the tempo difference between a jig and a reel as Plank North music teacher Sarah Rosenberry helps the students count out the beat. (Provided)


Below is a short clip of House of Hall playing for the students. Click here to see the video.

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Click here to see a short clip of Brian and Rose playing for Plank North students. 

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