MCTA: Simple Gifts Duo to Perform Ethnic Folk Music

Simple Gifts Duo to Perform Ethnic Folk Music From Many Lands at MCTA

Frostburg State University’s Mountain City Traditional Arts will host Pennsylvania duo Simple Gifts on Thursday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. at 25 E. Main St. in Frostburg. The live entertainment is free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $15.

Two women plus 12 instruments equals one good time when Simple Gifts takes the stage. Drawing on an impressive variety of ethnic folk styles, this award-winning duo plays everything from lively Irish jigs and down-home American reels to hard-driving Klezmer frailachs and haunting Gypsy melodies, spicing the mix with the distinctive rhythms of Balkan dance music, the lush sounds of Scandinavian twin fiddling and original compositions written in a traditional style.

Combining tradition with innovation, Simple Gifts creates some of the finest arrangements in folk music today: swing fiddle creeps into a Romanian dance, spoons show up in an Irish reel and a blues lick introduces a Klezmer melody.

Linda Littleton and Karen Hirshon play an amazing array of instruments, including the fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, guitjo, recorders, bowed psaltery, hammered dulcimer, baritone fiddle, guitar and percussion.

Littleton, the founding member, began her musical studies with classical violin lessons at age 7. She has a strong background as a classical violinist, having served as principal second violin in the Nittany Valley Symphony. In addition to the violin, Littleton plays hammered dulcimer, bowed psaltery, five-string banjo and recorders.

Hirshon grew up singing and harmonizing hymns, began violin lessons at age 10 and later studied folk guitar. As a student at Grinnell College in Iowa, she designed her own specialty, Traditional Music in American Culture, within the field of American Studies, combining history, anthropology and music. She studied and was influenced by ragtime, classical, American string band music, African drumming, blues, gospel and jazz.

For more information, email MCTA at or call 301-687-8040.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 7:30pm

Mountain City Traditional Arts
25 East Main Street, Frostburg, MD, Frostburg

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Free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $15


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