Library, Community & School Programs
Laura MacKenzie's community programs can be adapted for various age groups, and are well suited for libraries, lecture-performance series, special interest groups, community centers and festivals, as well as schools, elementary through college. Some programs can also be presented as workshops.
Scroll down for music samples.
The Outlander Series & Traditional Scottish Music
A fascinating program of traditional Scottish and Scots Gaelic music from the Outlander series, inspired by a librarian's request. The elaborate soundtrack of the TV series incorporates number of Scottish songs, airs and dance tunes, and the books themselves quote and refer to even more. MacKenzie presents a program of Outander's traditional Scottish music, from both the Highlands and the Lowlands, on an array of instruments including wooden flutes, whistles, concertina, Scottish smallpipes, border bagpipes and voice. A favorite!
A Celtic Breeze:
Wind-Powered Music of Celtic Traditions
(for all ages; adults; schools)
"Celtic" can describe music from a number of areas, including Ireland and Scotland, regions of France, Northern Spain, Wales and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This program presents the magic of Celtic music on a fascinating variety of wind-powered instruments, including a special collection of wooden flutes, tin whistles, concertina, an array of different bagpipes, gemshorn and voice. In a program intriguing to both youth and adults, students learn how air is transformed into music and what makes the airs, dance tunes, and songs "Celtic." (For younger folk, Scottish song games can be included).
Music From The Lowlands of Scotland
(for all ages; adults)
A special opportunity to hear and learn about a rich, uncommon yet expressly Scottish musical heritage. Traditional songs, songs of Robert Burns, border dance tunes and airs are presented on Scottish Smallpipes, Border Pipes, Flutes, Whistles, Concertina and Voice. MacKenzie even sings while playing the smallpipes, a Lowland tradition.
Irish Music & Dance
(for all ages; schools)
The music of Ireland comes alive with the addition of an Irish step dancer from a Twin Cities Irish dance academy. Through history and lore, students and adults gain insight into Irish culture, learn how the dance and music are combined, and discover the meaning of the dancer's traditional costuming (including why they are always changing shoes!). Jigs, reels, hornpipes and airs are demonstrated on a variety of instruments, voice and dancing feet. This can be presented by Laura with one or two Irish step dancers, and can also include Celtic harpist Andrea Stern.
A Piping Hot Buffet
(for all ages; adults)
An informative presentation on a variety of bellows-blown and mouth-blown bagpipes: Scottish Smallpipes, Border Half-Long bagpipes, Medieval Greatpipes, Leicester Smallpipes, Border Pipes and French Cornemuse.
(for all ages; adults)
A celebration of Yuletide favorites, many with Celtic origins, arranged with traditional Irish and Scottish music and presented on a unique array of wind-powered instruments, including wooden flutes, whistles, concertina several types of bagpipes, gemshorn and voice. This holiday program celebrates the season with music both joyous and contemplative.
Magical Musical Stories
(for schools; families)
Enchanting Celtic stories rich with expressive musical interludes. For children, families and groups of all ages. Interactive options are offered for the wee folk (kids). Presented solo, with Laura's collection of instruments, or with Celtic harpist Andrea Stern.
FOR THE COMMUNITY PROGRAMS:
"Your wonderful talent with the unusual wind instruments was informative and a special treat. It was a great break from the traditional 'speech'." — North Country Library Cooperative
"Our membership expressed great appreciation for your musical program and for the grace and humor you used to good advantage." — St. Paul AAUW
"You have a very pleasant way of presenting educational information in a fun and professional manner. I especially enjoyed the way you used our time so respectfully. You kept focused on an excellent balance between talking and playing a variety of music with your unique instruments. Your skills in education, presentation and music were very enjoyable to experience and many of us would like you to return, since the material was so interesting and fun. Your answers to our questions were easy to understand and well thought out. It was a pleasure to attend the program you did for the Rochester Music Guild." -- Carol Benson, Rochester Music Guild
"With a sparkle in her eye, Laura always presents entertaining, informative and interesting shows; that leave you with a smile on your face, an "I didn't know that" in your mind and warmth in your heart." -- Sue Spencer, Eira Music
- "Laura's music draws from a deep well, and her broad experience allows her to bring that depth out into diverse and accessible contexts." --Tim Britton, Pied Piper Productions
FOR THE SCHOOL PROGRAMS:
- "Your penny whistle tunes made eyes and mouths open wide. Being the day before our Easter break, the boys and girls were full of extra energy, but you seemed to charm them." — Belle Plaine Elementary School
- "The sad songs made me feel like crying. It was so real and wonderful...The happy music made me feel like I was going to fly away." — Fourth grader, Halmstad Elementary School
- "(A Halmstad Student) said she liked MacKenzie's flute playing so much that she plans to learn to play the instrument." — Chippewa Herald