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North Shore Music Association presents Patsy O’Brien & Dick Hensold in concert, workshops

Feb 21, 2024 10:32AM ● By Content Editor
Photos provided

From the North Shore Music Associated - February 21, 2024

The North Shore Music Association is delighted to welcome Patsy O’Brien & Dick Hensold back to the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais. The duo will perform on March 9 at 7:00 pm. 

Patsy O’Brien is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist from County Cork in Ireland. Dick Hensold is the leading performer of Northumbrian smallpipes in North America. Together they play a concert of Celtic music that is both traditional and innovative, focused and eclectic. The program is half songs and half instrumentals, including a variety of songs from Britain and Ireland, accompanied by guitar and Northumbrian smallpipes (a quiet bagpipe from Northeast England). It also features traditional and historical tunes from Cape Breton Island, Scotland, Ireland, and Northumberland. Offering a broad range of Celtic styles, the program also features an impressive range of expression—from jaunty and humorous, to soulful, led by Patsy’s warm and multi-colored baritone voice, Dick’s variety of pipes and whistles, and the nimble instrumental virtuosity of both musicians.

A master of Northumbrian smallpipes, Scottish reel pipes, whistles, and recorder, Dick Hensold is considered the leading Northumbrian smallpiper in North America. For the past 25 years, Dick has performed and taught in England, Scotland, Japan, Canada, and across the United States. 

Patsy O’Brien sings and plays guitar. As well as collaborating with many giants of the Celtic/World music scene (Eileen Ivers, Paddy Keenan, and Cathie Ryan among them), award-winning O’Brien hosts guitar workshops all over the country. NPR featured one of his song arrangements on All Songs Considered. 

Tickets to the show are $18 general admission. They are for sale in advance at and at the door starting at 6:00 pm on the night of the performance. 



In addition to the performance, the North Shore Music Association will host workshops in Scottish recorder with Dick Hensold and Celtic guitar with Patsy O’Brien at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais on March 9. Fees can be paid at the venue, and there is no registration.

Traditional Scottish music for recorder, based on early manuscripts – 1:00 to 3:00 PM

According to eminent Scottish musicologist David Johnson, the recorder was an important instrument for playing traditional Scottish tunes in the first half of the 18th century in the Scottish lowlands. This finding is based on what was found in several recorder manuscripts from that period. Explore some of the music from those manuscripts with Dick Hensold, master of Northumbrian smallpipes, Scottish reel pipes, whistles, and recorder. Sheet music will be provided, as well as notes and discussion of history and interpretation. Bring an alto recorder. Music will be provided for both C and F fingering. This workshop is intended for both traditional music aficionados and recorder players more familiar with standard early music practice. Participants who don’t read music will need to bring recording devices, since the workshop will be mainly taught from written music scores.

Celtic backup guitar – 1:00 to 3:00 PM

Learn how to accompany Irish jigs, reels, and other common rhythms on guitar in standard tuning or DADGAD. The workshop will be taught by Patsy O’Brien, award-winning singer and guitarist who hosts guitar workshops all over the country and who has collaborated with giants of the Celtic/World music scene. Hands-on learning. Some knowledge of basic chord shapes will be required.

The Arrowhead Center for the Arts is located at 51 W 5th Street, Grand Marais.

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