Free State Trio To Close Out Concert Series

The Thursdays in the Park summer concert series will close out the summer with a musical performance by Free State Trio on August 25. Presented by the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council, the concert will be held at Historic Kent Manor Inn in Stevensville, Maryland. Traditional dance music, topical songs and ballads in a style unique to Maryland are on tap for this performance. With a rotating membership that includes the State’s foremost Irish traditional musicians and singers, Free State Trio members have established a local repertoire and style that distinguish Maryland as a center for Irish traditional music on the world stage.

Musicians Peter Brice (button accordion, songs) director of the Baltimore Singers Club; Dan Isaacson (flute, uilleann pipes) accomplished motivator of Baltimore’s Irish music community; and internationally sought accompanist Matt Mulqueen (piano) round out the trio.

Brice plays button accordion and sings old songs in a traditional style. A protégé of legendary accordionist Billy McComiskey, he founded the Baltimore Singers Club with singers Andy O’Brien and Pat Egan in 2007 to promote traditional singing in Maryland. He is active in the community as a grant writer, graphic designer, and promoter of music and dance from the oral tradition. He is compiling an ethnography of the late ballad singer Thomas Moran from Drumrahill, Co. Leitrim and holds a BA in Irish Traditional Music and Dance from the University of Limerick.

Isaacson plays the concert flute, uilleann pipes, tin whistle, and bouzouki. He studied Irish traditional music in Boston, where he learned from some of the most esteemed Irish and Irish-American musicians. Incorporating their musical dialects into his own playing, he developed a style that is tradition-steeped but thoroughly individual. Isaacson recorded and produced two albums with The Magic Square, his own ensemble.

Playing on piano, Mulqueen was born in Baltimore, Maryland to a musical family. His older brothers play button accordion and fiddle, and his sister became a champion step-dancer. His instruction started early and included important musical mentors such as Donna Long. In 2010, Matt and Donna were awarded a Master/Apprentice grant from the Maryland State Arts Council’s Maryland Traditions program.

The Thursdays in the Park series is presented by the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council and sponsored by the Maryland State Arts Council, WCTR, Tidewater Trader, United Way of Queen Anne’s County and Petra Quinn for Exit Gold Realty. The summer raffle, two tickets to a performance by the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, will be drawn at this event. Bring blankets or chairs; picnicking is encouraged, and food will also be for sale at this location. Concerts start at 7 pm and are held rain or shine. Contact the Arts Council in the event of extreme weather conditions or alerts. For additional information or to receive a concert schedule call 410-758-2520 or email: exhibit@arts4u.info

The Arts Council is a non-profit organization committed to promoting, expanding and sustaining the arts. Office and auditorium are located at 206 South Commerce St. in Centreville, MD. Summer office hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9am to 1pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

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