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One hundred thousand welcomes to you to my official blog of all things Irish from me, Diane Byrnes, host of the Echoes of Erin radio show on WEDO Radio 810AM.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tartan Day 2007

The St. Andrew's Society of Pittsburgh celebrated Tartan Day on Saturday, March 31st at the Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. It was a fine and dandy day with all sorts of excellent Entertainment, Clan Displays, Scottish Foods, Re-Enactors, Weavers and Weapons Displays, along with the Celtic Cousins - The St. David Society (Welsh) and Echoes of Erin, Irish Radio Programming. All the proceeds of Pittsburgh Tartan Day support young students of the Scottish arts with the Scholarship Fund. Along with the St. Andrew's Society, Tartan Day event awards ten scholarships.

Greeters at the door were Jim Beattie and Kristen Flotta.

A closer shot of Jim and Kristen.

The first act I heard was Hiraeth with Jim and Beth Chatham and Bruce Golightly.

A bit of a 'role reversal' with Beth in pants and the guys in skirts!!

Another very good group was Molly In The Crowd, John Meikle is an excellent Scottish singer. This was the first time I heard a Tuba in Irish and Scottish music which made for a very interesting sound.

One of my friends I saw in passing was Tom Donohue.

Here is George Balderose, Jimmy McIntosh and his son; all are pipers with the Balmoral School of Piping.

Another good friend was Jack Webber writing names in Scots Gaelic, many beautiful and interesting cards and a whole source of information.

Here we have Earl McCabe, President of the Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh along with one of the organizers of Tartan Day, Carole Harland. Carole and her committee did a super job of organizing the event.

Here we have Cheryl Campbell (in her tartan cap) next to her daughter Lindsey and Carole Harland.

A truly unique group was 'Sutch Sounds' comprised of Adam Sutch on Harpiscord, his brother Aaron on a percussion instrument I had never seen or heard before; his Mother Michelle on backup Harpiscord; and his Grandparents on guitars. They were excellent. I sat close by Adam to watch his hands with the hammers create such beautiful sounds. He played a lot of Celtic music, a bit of blue grass and was simply fantastic! Adam is only 16 years old and already has two CD's to his credit. I aired a track off his CD the week prior, not realizing he would be performing at Tartan Day. What a treat!

This is Aaron Sutch, age 13, on this amazing percussion instrument. Such a unique sound and another talent within the Szuch family.

Here is Adam Szuch again with his Grandfather in the background. I was very impressed with 'Sutch Sounds'. After listening to this performance, everyone had the same reaction !Sutch Sounds! Brilliant!

Next on the schedule were the Highland Dancers performing a variety of traditional Scottish Dances. Here is 'the Washer Woman' dance.
Here the young ladies are dressed in Navy costumes with the 'Washer Women' in the background.
And of course there are the 'mighty' Highland Flings!

Next up is Jacqui Pressley and The Champ preparing to do another dance.

And yet more Highland Dancing!

What would Tartan Day be without the pipes? Here is a portion of the Balmoral Pipe Band performing for the crowd.

And another shot of the Balmoral Pipe Band led by Drum Major, Joyce McIntosh.

Here is another shot. Several families have many members within the band, including parents and children. A family that plays together, stays together!
Tartan Day is an excellent family day of heritage, culture and entertainment plus delicious meat pies, shortbreads and desserts. Come next year; try it, you'll like it. Tartan Day is celebrated nationally April 6th and the St. Andrew's Society of Pittsburgh celebrates it as close to the week end as possible.



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