Bringing 21 years of arts education programming to schools and communities of all sizes, and averaging 10,000 student contacts per year, Willson & McKee are passionate about their job! In a media steeped world, their goal is to stimulate the concept of human “interconnectedness” through the folklore of Ireland and Scotland. Exposing students to the idea that in traditional culture, activities we deem as “art” were incorporated every day, and that those activities offer us a glimpse into another way of life. A traditional dance shows the weaving of much needed baskets, while a song for shrinking tweed tells a clan history.
Third generation descendents of Irish and Scottish immigrants, this husband and wife duo blends the best of both modern and old world folk music, dance and storytelling. Offering an experiential view of their cultural heritage they create a perspective, understanding and appreciation of the “folk roots” of others. Because this folklore is an oral tradition, regular trips to Ireland and Scotland to study and work with traditional musicians, dancers and storytellers ensure that their work is solidly based in cultural foundations.
The contemporary applications of the activities help students experience the folk process. The journey then is to take students back in time from present to past, inviting students to have tolerance for other cultures as well as to inspire them to be participants in their own cultural awareness. Through the window of Celtic history and culture Willson & McKee hope to be catalysts for students to create their own ‘folklore’ and to be part of the “handing down” to future generations. Instruments used: harp, accordion, guitars, bodhran, bagpipes, hammer & mountain dulcimers, bouzouki, voice, fun!