--- Brass Lassie: BRASS LASSIE debuted summer 2016 at the Minnesota Scottish Fair! This 10-piece band performs extraordinary arrangements of traditional music (and dance - with sean nós dancer Danielle Enblom) featuring a four-piece brass section. The illustrious members of the ensemble: Mary Vanorny, fiddle; Patrice Pakiz, piano and oboe; Danielle Enblom, fiddle and dance; Tricia Lerohl, French horn; Kate DeVoe Schumann, trumpet and flugelhorn; Brooklynne Audette, bass trombone; Lauren Husting, trombone; Billy Oehrlein, percussion; Enrique Toussaint, bass; Laura MacKenzie, flutes, whistles, pipes, voice. Peter Enblom is on board as horn arranger, we are also doing several arrangements by Dr. David Milne. SEE THE SCHEDULE PAGE FOR 2017 PERFORMANCES!
--- Poetry & Music: Another dream come true, a musical collaboration with favorite poets Michael Dennis Browne, Deborah Keenan and Angela Shannon. More to come!
--- Stories & Music: Kevin Strauss (award winning Minnesota author and storyteller, www.naturestory.com) invited Laura to collaborate on a series of programs for 2016. The concert programs of stories and music have been: Heroes and Heroines, Heroes and Heroines of Ireland, and Animal Heroes.
--- World Music & Jazz: Laura was deeply honored to be the guest artist in two exciting collaborations -- with One World Consort (Earth Day Concert) and with the UWRF 20-piece Jazz Ensemble (University of Wisconsin-River Falls RADD Jazz Series "Universal Language" concert), both directed by David Milne. Dr. Milne's ensemble and jazz arrangements of traditional music plus some of L MacKenzie's tunes are just terrific. And One World Concert got to reprise this music early in 2017!
--- Steerage Song: The wonderful Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, Wisconsin mounted a production of "Steerage Song" (premiered by Theater Latte Da, 2013) in August and again in September, and Laura got to reprise her musical role in this entertaining, informative and deeply moving docu-musical. Long may it live!
--- Scottish Music & Piping Schools: Lovely honors - Laura was invited to teach Scottish flute, smallpipes and song at the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School week in August, plus an invitation back to The Pipers Gathering 2016! Great times, vibrant schools and workshops.
--- Scottish Song and Tune groups: These workshops on Scottish tune repertoire, Scottish songs & Gaelic song have been most enjoyable, and there will be more to come! Laura shares a selection of tunes and songs at each meeting, with notations and lyrics provided - plus tea and cookies. Fun and informal, for any singer or melody player with an interest in learning more Scottish music! Join the mailing list on the HOME page for notices.
--- Scottish Cèilidhs at The Celtic Junction:
We've begun a tradition of Scottish-style ceilidhs this year. Our first was held in June and it was a great success, plus loads of fun. The first half of these evenings is your opportunity to get up and give us a song, a poem, play a tune, even tell a story - or just sit back and enjoy the cèilidh atmosphere with a beverage from the CIM cash bar. For the second half, we push back the chairs and enjoy Scottish cèilidh dancing with music by the fabulous Neil Gunn & The Gunn Slingers. These social dances are “called”, so you can learn as you go!
--- Orchestral debuts: Dáithí Sproule, Mary Vanory and Laura were guest artists with the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra in October, performing music originally arranged for Altan & the RTE Orchestra.
--- Christmas Season: Always a pleasure to reach the season of SimpleGifts holiday concerts. We made a recording in 2016 as well! "This Christmastide".
--- Year 'Round: Regional concerts and programs, solo or with Willow Brae, Northern Gael, Brass Lassie, Dáithí Sproule, Ross Sutter, and more.