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Liza Sacheli

Piper Timothy Cummings Leads Concert of Traditional Music and Dance for St. Patrick’s Day

February 27, 2015

Guest Lineup To Include Pete Sutherland, Dominique Dodge, Caleb Elder, and Mary Wesley

Piper Timothy Cummings, photo Ryan MacDonaldMiddlebury, VT—Middlebury College Affiliate Artist Timothy Cummings (bagpipes, whistles, banjo) will be joined by colleagues Pete Sutherland (fiddle, song, banjo) and Dominique Dodge (harp, song) in a concert celebrating the traditional music of Ireland and Appalachia on March 15 at McCullough Student Center. Together with Caleb Elder ’04 (fiddle, mandolin), Mary Wesley (dance caller), students, and other guests, they will share a heart- and body-warming program of lively instrumentals, audience-inclusive songs, and participatory folk dances. Those unable or not wishing to dance are welcome to stay seated and soak in the joy of traditional music and dance intertwined.

Artist in Residence François Clemmons inaugurated and led the first decade of St. Patrick’s concerts at Middlebury. In 2014, Clemmons handed the baton to Cummings, who now plans to pair a different genre of related traditional fare alongside that of Ireland each year.


Cummings, who began piping at age eight, holds a Bachelors in Music Education degree from the College of Wooster, Ohio, and a B.A. Honors Degree in Ethnomusicology and M.A. in Musicology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He served as the Artist in Residence at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada in Summerside, Prince Edward Island in 2003. He studied at the National Piping Centre and Royal Scottish Conservatoire in Glasgow, Scotland in 2004, and is now in high demand as a performer, teacher, and workshop leader. In addition to teaching and performing, Cummings operates Birchen Music & Publishing, a cottage industry devoted to publishing a diverse array of new music for Scottish-style pipes.

Fiddler Pete Sutherland

Fiddler Pete Sutherland has long been one of Vermont’s premier folk musicians, known for his masterful fiddling and songsmithing. Equally at home on the banjo, guitar, and mandolin, he has toured extensively with groups such as Metamora and The Clayfoot Strutters. A self-described specialist in specialist in the “old timey dance music” of the American southern mountains, New England, and the Celtic isles, he has recorded a number of albums including “Farmland” and “Pete’s Posse.”

Harper Dominique Dodge

Harper Dominique Dodge, a native of the White Mountains, completed her B.A. Honors Degree in Scottish Music at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire—overlapping briefly with Cummings—and in 2013 she earned her MA in Irish Music Performance as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Limerick, Ireland. She is now a performer, teacher, and recording artist whose approach brings depth and clarity to songs from the Gaelic, Scottish, and American traditions.

Caleb Elder ’04 grew up playing both violin and viola in the Vermont Youth Orchestra. These days he shares the stage with The Saturn People’s Sounds Collective, viperHouse, Brett Hughes and the Honky Tonk Tuesday Band, the Mad Mountain Scramblers, and the Caleb Elder Band. He has appeared on albums by Anaïs Mitchell, Michael Chorney, Jason Fulton, and Timothy Cummings. He spends weekdays as a solar developer in Vermont.

Mary Wesley is a dance leader, caller, and organizer for contras, squares, morris, and family and community dances. She is a founding member of the Mad Robin Callers Collective in Burlington, and is the Education Associate for the 100-year-old Country Dance & Song Society. Originally from Lincoln, Vermont, and the granddaughter of two dance callers, she travels throughout the U.S. and Canada to follow and share her love of dance.

The concert by Timothy Cummings and Guests will take place on Sunday, March 15, 2015, at 4:00 P.M. at Middlebury College’s McCullough Student Center, in Wilson Hall. Sponsored by the Department of Music, the performance is free and open to the public. McCullough Student Center is located at 14 Old Chapel Road, stretching between Routes 30 and 125, on the campus of Middlebury College. Free parking is available. For more information call (802) 443-3168 or go to




Image credits:

top right and center seconf from top: Piper Timothy Cummings, photo Finn Yarbrough

center top: Piper Timothy Cummings, photo Ryan MacDonald

Other images courtesy of the artists

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax