ENTERTAINMENT FOR A TWO HOUR CONVENTION
Director Linda Carolan writes:
Almost a year ago the gentleman on the other end of the line asked, “Can you provide the audience with two hours of entertainment?” Hmmm. The program we produced for an RV Convention held in Boerne, Texas was the culmination of a lot of hard work and cooperation between four different groups, totaling 34 individuals in all. Yes, we did provide two hours of most excellent entertainment for a group of appreciative onlookers. Here is … the rest of the story:
The weather was drizzling small minute droplets which stuck to my hair and hovered in my bangs. As I helped unload the sound system, I kept thinking, “I hope this works out o.k.” The Fire on the Mountain Cloggers took the floor, setting the pace for the evening with our energetic theme song, Fire on the Mountain, of course. The conventioneers watched with large smiles, nodding heads, and clapping hands. A number of fast-paced routines followed quickly with little down time. Next, our emcee announced that it was time for a change of pace and introduced Doris and Debbie, sisters who perform with the San Antonio Irish dancers. The two ladies, who were dressed beautifully in authentic Irish costumes, performed an elegant two-hand reel as well as a delicate slip jig. The time was now ripe for some more clogging and our friends, the Clickety Cloggers of Austin, took the stage. They pleased the audience immensely and soon had them clapping along to songs such as Cajun Moon and other favorites. Next on the program was our featured entertainment, the Sixteen String Band. This newly formed group of musicians was the brainchild of Jeff Davis, guitarist as well as Fire on the Mountain Clogger. His crew consisted of my better half, Rusty, and his left handed banjo; Sheryl and her fiddle, Doug and his homemade bass (made out of a washtub), and the lovely voice (and person) of Linda Julian.
In order to get into the atmosphere of the scene, the band had to make a quick change into their band duds (overalls, etc.). When Jeff suggested that I have some of the dancers actually perform to the LIVE music, I realized that we, too, had to be in the appropriate uniform. So while the Clickety Cloggers were performing their last number, many of the Fire on the Mountain folks were changing into their hillbilly attire. When the Strings took the stage, the hillbillies took to the floor. The band played a bluegrass tune and the dancers did a type of Follow the Leader and Virginia Reel hoedown number. The audience loved it. Then the musicians played “I’ll Fly Away” and we all sat around and clapped. It was great.
Still in our overalls, we invited the Irish Dancers and Clickety Cloggers, as well as the audience, to join us for some old time mountain figures: Birdie in the Cage, Take a Little Peek, Dip for the Oyster, etc. What fun! But, wait, the show’s not over yet. Still smiling ‘til the end, the three teams performed the remainder of their repertoire. Because each of the groups choreographs its own material, we were able to present a rather unique show. However, to demonstrate our similarity, both clogging groups agreed to perform a routine, Shady Grove, that I had taught at a recent clogging convention. Fire on the Mountain also performed a traditional hornpipe routine with the Irish ladies. Then we all joined forces for the big finale. Fire on the Mountain Cloggers danced their usual last number and we featured the Clickety Cloggers, as well as Doris and Debbie, in several of the solos at the end.
The audience loved our Big Show and I felt like we were in a receiving line as various spectators filed past shaking our hands and commenting on what a great time they had. It was a pleasure working with Pat and Chris and the Clickety Cloggers, as well as the Irish sisters. Indeed it was a job well done!