Maeve Gilchrist, Harpist &
Luke Benton, Composer
Masterworks IV – Celtic Memories
March 18, 2017 7:30 PM
P.E. Monroe Auditorium, LRU
Described by one critic as “a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity”, Maeve Gilchrist has taken the Celtic harp to new levels of performance
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, and based in Brooklyn, New York, Maeve‘s innovative folk-jazz fusion approach to her instrument stretches its harmonic limits and improvisational possibilities. She is as at home playing with a traditional Irish folk group as she is with an American string band or a contemporary ensemble.
She tours internationally as band leader or soloist and has appeared at such major music events as Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Tanglewood Jazz festival, the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam and the opening of the Scottish Parliament. She has played with such luminaries as Kathy Mattea, Esperanza Spalding, Tony Trishka and Alasdair Fraser.
Maeve has released four albums to date, including her most recent recording, 20 Chandler Street, on Adventure Records, with bassist Aidan O’Donnell and fiddler Duncan Wickel, while on her own label her solo Ostinato Project is a beguiling exploration of the possibilities of her instrument.
She also maintains a widely acclaimed duo project with percussive dancer Nic Gareiss and performs regularly with fiddle ace Darol Anger as well as new collaborations with the New York based electric guitarist, Nir Felder and Bluenote recording artist, Ambrose Akinmusire.
Maeve also teaches widely, and is the first lever harpist to be employed as an instructor by Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she graduated. She has written several instructional books published by Hal Leonard Music.
Reviews of 20 Chandler Street:
If there’s a soundtrack to a fine summer, this is it. If there’s a musician who can bask in tradition yet immerse herself musically in the multicoloured experience of life, it’s Gilchrist – Siobhan Long, Irish times
Her traditional musical roots are evident but within a sublimely graceful and sophisticated contemporary soundscape. Suffused with classical precision, the music is intricate, richly layered with moods, movement, pulsing currents and waves – Kevin Ward, Living Tradition magazine
For further information see www.maevegilchristmusic.com
Luke Benton is a composer, educator, and violinist who has called Western North Carolina his home for 20 years. Mr. Benton’s music has been commissioned and performed by the Western Piedmont Symphony, the Lenoir-Rhyne University Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, the Hickory High School Orchestra, the Charlotte Children’s Choir and Youth Chorale, the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, the New Mexico State University Percussion Ensemble, the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, the Vienna Saxophone Quartet, and Alarm Will Sound, to name a few. Recently, the Western Piedmont Symphony’s performance of his orchestra work Terminal Star was featured on National Public Radio’s “Carolina Live” program. His music has been praised as “strong-minded and lovely” by the Indianapolis Star, “wonderfully elegiac and elegant” by the Hartford Courant, and “artfully envisioned” by the Edinburgh Evening News. Additionally, Mr. Benton’s music can be found in the catalogue of Colla Voce Music, Inc.
After nearly a decade’s absence, Mr. Benton returned to Hickory in late 2005, where he currently holds the position of Associate Principal Second Violin with the Western Piedmont Symphony. He also began his professional teaching career at Lenoir-Rhyne University where he continues to instruct music theory, composition, First Year Experience, and film music/aesthetics courses. He is also on the music faculty of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. Mr. Benton is married to his beautiful bride, Laura, with whom he shares two amazing children, Owen and Emma Jane. He holds multiple degrees in music composition, studying with Drs. Michael Schelle and Frank Felice at Butler University (Indianapolis, IN); Dr. Nigel Osbourne at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK); Drs. Robert Carl and Larry Alan Smith at the Hartt School (University of Hartford, CT); and Ingram Marshall at Yale University (New Haven, CT).