Press Release

February 27, 2001

St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Main Library March 16 Features Medallion Reunion and McGing Irish Dancers

The Atrium of the Main Library will ring with Irish dance and song on Friday, March 16 at 12 noon with the music of Medallion and the McGing Irish Dancers for the 19th Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration.

This performance will be a rare public appearance of Medallion, marking the group's first public reunion since 1989 when the group disbanded. Composed of Nancy and Frank Clark of Clark & Friends, and Cindy and Stephen Matyi of the Cincinnati Celtic band Silver Arm, Medallion played the Library's St. Patrick's Day celebrations from 1987 until 1989, when the group disbanded.

The group's instrumentation comprises Celtic harp, Irish flute, concertina, bouzouki, tenor banjo, bodhran (an Irish goatskin drum pronounced bo RON') and vocals by the group members. The group will sing Irish songs and play rousing jigs and reels. The McGing Irish Dancers have been performing since the first St. Patrick's Day celebration at the Main Library, and are sure to captivate all that attend.

As a group, Medallion played in Scottish pubs in 1985, when the Clarks had a grant from the English Speaking Union. Medallion also opened for the Scottish duo Sileas at the Dayton Art Museum in 1987 as part of the Cityfolk series and the Tannahill Weavers at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton, among regular appearances at Cincinnati restaurants during the mid 1980's.

Cindy Matyi, who plays a wooden Irish flute, is the founder of the Cincinnati Celtic Music and Cultural Festival, which has attracted thousands in the past eight years, and is also a nationally known Celtic artist. She is part of a travelling group show "American Celtic," which opened at the Lexington Library on February 16. Previously, the show has been in New York, Milwaukee, and Wheeling. Cincinnatians have seen Ms. Matyi's work on two pigs in the Big Pig Gig. Sporting a kilt and playing a concertina, "Celtic Jigging Jiggy." was seen at Sawyer Point throughout the summer. In January 2000, Cindy was commissioned, along with a sculptor, to design a twenty-foot Celtic cross, which now hangs at the Mount Washington (Cincinnati) Presbyterian Church.

Stephen Matyi is also a photographer, whose photographs of local and national Celtic musicians have appeared in magazines and on record jackets. He has developed his distinctive style of Celtic bouzouki and tenor banjo playing over the past few years performing with Silver Arm. In addition, he has played many styles of guitar, ranging from rock to bluegrass to renaissance for over 25 years. The Matyis will be appearing as Silver Arm at the Hyde Park Branch Library on Monday, March 19.

Nancy and Frank Clark are no strangers to the Library's St. Patrick's Day celebration, having performed as Clark and Friends over the years. They have performed at the Ohio Irish Festival on Cleveland's west side since 1993, as well as the Ohio Scottish Games, the Loch Norman Scottish Games in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Gaelic Mod in St. Ann's, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and 15 years of the Cincinnati Nature Center's Winter Solstice Program. Other local appearances include the Cincinnati Celtic Music and Cultural Festival, the Celtic Lands Festival, Tallstacks, and Edensong.

Nancy has released Wintersong with Frank, plus three other recordings: Autumn Passages, Chrysalis, and Crossing to Ireland. Nancy is a sanctioned judge for the Scottish Harp Society of America, and has judged harp competitions throughout the southeastern U.S. She has also taught at the Ohio Scottish Arts School at Oberlin College, the Gaelic College in St. Ann's, Nova Scotia, and at the University of Cincinnati, College of Evening and Continuing Education, and the Union Institute, as well as a workshop for the National American Harp Society conference last June. She now teaches privately.

The McGing Irish Dancers have performed at the Main Library for the past 15 years. In addition to many performances in the Tri-state area, they have also appeared in the former Soviet Union and with the late Gene Kelly in Los Angeles. Their colorful costumes and precision have earned them national acclaim.

Mary McGing founded the McGing Irish Dancers over 20 years ago. As an original member of the first Irish dance school in Cincinnati and daughter of a well-respected musician, she has spent her entire life immersed in Irish music and dance. She is certified by An Coimisiun Le Rince Gaelacha in Dublin, Ireland as an Irish Dance Instructor.

Interpreter available upon request for the hearing impaired. Please call 513-369-6944 [TDD 513-369-6946] at least one week before program.

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