Oldham County Day Music
Musician McShane to highlight the daylong music lineup
He will be playing Celtic and Mountain Music
LA GRANGE, Ky. (July 2015) – Bluegrass music has been in America since the 1600s, when the first settlers from Ireland, Scotland and England brought with them the basic styles of music we now identify with bluegrass music. As a tribute to this “mountain music,” the 2015 Oldham County Day Parade theme is Red, White & Bluegrass, which also describes the musical lineup for the day.
Pictured is musician Tom McShane.
Music will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 18, at the Courthouse Gazebo. Performing will be Tom McShane, owner of Hewn From the Mountain Music Café, located in Crestwood. He will be playing Celtic and Mountain Music.
McShane, 52, is a classically trained viola player. He actually became interested in music while attending St. Francis School in Goshen. At the time, the school had recently started a violin program.
He later became one of the first students to attend Manual High School’s Youth Performing Arts School in Old Louisville. During his high school years, McShane took lessons at the University of Louisville and his instructor helped him get accepted into Aspen Music Festival and School.
While there McShane witnessed a colleague fiddling, which was a major departure from the classical arrangements he was used to. He was intrigued enough to explore other musical genera’s.
McShane came to embrace folk, bluegrass, Irish folk classic, Cape Breton fiddling and Israeli circle dances, adding to and expanding his repertoire of music. In 1985 he made dulcimers and small harps at a shop in Vermont. He worked along the East Coast learning the trade of bowed instrument repair.
By 2005, he had begun to design harps and dulcimers that have a less likelihood of breaking. He returned to Oldham County with his wife Karen and their nine kids and opened Hewn From the Mountain Music Café, where he sells his own line of “The Kentucky Sound” instruments. These are traditional instruments that are engineered differently.
Members of Project Guild, the organization that organizes Oldham County Day, brainstormed to come up with a bluegrass theme for the 2015 parade and Oldham County Day. It complements the lineup, said Paige Kelley Weeks, Entertainment Chair.
The lineup has been scaled back some this year. “We have less entertainment and only at the Gazebo. There will be no Second Street Stage, but booths there instead,” she said.
Returning this year will be the Kentucky Blue Belles who will perform at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The all-girl band will perform two sets this year because “everybody just loves them,” Weeks said.
Member Ellie Miller is the band’s fiddle player. She recently graduated from Oldham County High School and plans to attend the University of Louisville in the fall as a Viola Performance major.
St. Francis School, a private school in Goshen, will perform scenes from “Into the Woods” at 9:30 a.m. Kim Aberle, Director for St. Francis School’s summer camp and a Music Specialist at the school, said “students will be performing excerpts from “Into the Woods.’ ” Students range in age from fifth to ninth grade.
Selections are chosen from what students practice at summer camp. “We hold a two-week, seven-hour a day camp. Campers invest 70 hours of camp time in learning the songs and dances.”
Entertainment will temporarily stop while the Oldham County Day Parade takes place, beginning at 10 a.m. Festivities will start up again on the Courthouse Lawn at 11 a.m.
Living Statues will entertain the crowd until 1 p.m. with their realistic wax poses. The Oldham County Community Band will take up their regular spot on the lawn at 12:30 p.m. performing “Americana Music,” under the leadership of their director Brad Rogers.
From Noon to 2 p.m., Bluegrass balloon artist Kayla Brayden will perform her balloon magic. The day’s entertainment will end with a Bluegrass Jam at 2:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome to bring a chair or instrument and join in.
During the day, two local church congregations will hold children’s carnivals within walking distance of the Courthouse Square: La Grange Christian Church (214 N. First St.) and DeHaven Baptist Church (301 W. Main St.).
Additional Oldham County Day entertainment includes the YMCA’s annual one mile and 5K Festival Race. The race actually takes place the day before on Friday, July 17. The race begins and ends at Covenant United Methodist Church, 909 W. Jefferson St.
The Antique Iron Club will have a display of antique tractors, vehicles and farm implements on the grounds of the Oldham County History Center as well. Members of the Living Treasures will be available for a meet and greet on the porch of the Peyton Samuel Head Family Museum. The Living Treasures are individuals from the community who have been profiled in a monthly column for The Oldham Era by Nancy Stearns Theiss, executive director of the Oldham County Historical Society.
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