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Glenn Innes Session Band a traditional Celtic band with a Hawaiian twist

By BY CINDY SCHUMACHER - | Mar 10, 2016

The Glenn Innes Session Band, Maui’s newest traditional Celtic band, includes (from left to right) Peter Della Croce, Dubhan “Bud” Clark, Kristin Sherwood and Kieran Clark.

Celtic music is a broad grouping of music genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic people of Western Europe. It refers to both orally transmitted traditional music and recorded music with varied styles.

In Hawaii, common island-style melodic variations and practices are used when Celtic fuses traditional instruments with local beats. Currently, Celtic music is a modern-day renaissance of live music played by some very fine musicians.

The Glenn Innes Session Band is Maui’s newest traditional Celtic band. This extraordinary musical ensemble includes Kristin Sherwood, fiddle; Kieran Clark, vocals and guitar; Dubhan “Bud” Clark, bodhran and whistles; and Peter Della Croce, ukulele and guitar.

With an emphasis on rhythm and melody, they perform their own particular brand of traditional Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, French Canadian and Hawaiian tunes played on fiddle and whistle, backed up by guitar, ukulele and bodhran.

“Glenn Innes is actually a traditional band with a Hawaiian twist,” said band founder and member Peter Della Croce. “Where many bands of our kind use a mandolin, Glen Innes uses a ukulele.”

Della Croce, a professional musician and Waldorf School teacher, began his musical journey at the early age of nine on the Jersey Shore. During his high school years, he studied drumming in bagpipe bands, which became a strong musical foundation for playing drums.

He spent his youth playing drums and guitar in bands, both in and out of school.

“All of this led me to start playing with professional ensembles,” he said, noting that eventually he attended a music college.

Della Croce earned his Bachelor of Music Degree at the acclaimed Berklee College of Music in Boston and has taught for over 15 years while keeping busy performing in various genres.

Currently, as well as playing with Glenn Innes, he is also performing with the Maui Pops Orchestra, Dr. Nat & Rio Ritmo (Latin band that plays salsa, samba and more) and the Marimba Komborera (African dance band).

In addition to years of teaching private lessons, Della Croce’s experiences include teaching at both the high school and university levels. He has taught at Mahidol University College of Music in Thailand, as well as in the band program at Kamehameha Schools on Maui.

Della Croce was the founding lead drummer and instructor for the Isle of Maui Pipe Band, and he still plays with that band as a snare drummer.

“Over the past few years, I have performed and worked with the Maui Academy of Performing Arts, Seabury Hall and other nonprofit organizations, including the Arts Education for Children Group and Jazz Maui,” said Della Croce.

He has taught private music lessons at Bounty Music in Kahului and other studios in drums, guitar and ukulele.

He also has directed choirs at the Honolulu and Haleakala Waldorf Schools and taught general music at Horizons Academy of Maui.

“Inspired while traveling the world playing and teaching music, I came to enjoy the fusion of cultures that music provides,” he said. “This passion helps me bring people together in celebration, whether it’s in a concert hall, a nightclub or pub, or even in the street for a parade.”

Sherwood began playing Suzuki violin at four years old. Although she grew up playing classical music, it was only when she discovered the Celtic music scene in Boston that she found her true passion.

Winner of the 2004 New England Regional Scottish Fiddle Championship, Sherwood has performed at numerous weddings, parties, dances and festivals.

“My fiddling is joyful and energetic, drawing on the musical styles of mentors such as Hanneke Cassel and Alasdair Fraser,” said Sherwood. “I have been living on Maui since September 2014 and hope to spread the joy of Celtic music throughout the islands.”

Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kieran is the youngest member of the band. He is currently a senior at Maui Preparatory Academy, where he has spent the last three years in Maui Prep’s music program under the direction of Vania Jerome.

“My introduction to Celtic music was initiated in primary school, when I spent a year in Glasgow, Scotland,” said Kieran. “I have been hooked ever since!”

In addition to the Glenn Innes Band, he performs as a solo artist in a musical collaboration with his fellow Maui Prep classmate, Evan Frederickson. “Our band, The Raging Suns, is launching an EP (extended play) of our original work in late April or May. We currently perform at Lahaina Sushi Ko on Front Street Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:30 to 9 p.m.,” he said.

Dubhan (Bud) Clark, Kieran’s dad and professor at the University of Hawaii, plays bodhran, Celtic rim drum and whistle. While attending Glasgow University, he took bodhran lessons from renowned Scottish artist Martin O’Neil.

“The Glen Innes Session Band brings rhythm and fun-loving enthusiasm to every performance,” said Bud. “We love to play foot-stomping jigs and reels and favorite classic Scottish and Irish songs, besides a mixture of all traditions, including Hawaiian music.”

“We invite the whole community to join us for a lively St. Patrick’s Day performance on March 17th at Mulligan’s on the Blue in Wailea, 12 noon to 3 p.m.,” said Bud.

The Glen Innes Session Band is available for special occasions. For more information, e-mail dubhanclark@gmail.com or call (808) 276-8860.