Joel Tyrone Myers is the Director of The Founding, which has been playing together since 2015,
“‘A Celtic Christmas’ is an aural journey through time and space,” Myers said. “The Founding will take the audience from 16th century Europe all the way across the sea to modern-day America through the music surrounding the Christmas season.”
But The Founding’s musical influence is not only what would be thought of as traditional Classical Western music. For instance, there is also a “Romani” influence which encapsulates many ethnic musical forms.
“All of our music has Celtic music as the timbral and textural underpinnings,” Myers said. “I’m very excited by the dynamic use of the fiddle, as well as the rhythmically dense guitar parts. However, when it comes to narrative and structural elements, we tend to look more toward the Western Classical canon. This is all to say we also draw a lot of influence from other world genres like Americana and Romani music.”
Because the Romani people were historically nomadic people, there are Byzantine, Greek, Arabic, Indian, Persian, Turkish, Slavic, Romanian, Spanish and Jewish influences.
“Americana” music also encapsulates styles such as folk, country, and bluegrass, Blues, gospel, jazz, and roots, which The Founding draws upon as well.
There will be six members of the band that make up “The Founding” on December 11.
Elizabeth June: flute/lead vocals; Joel Tyrone Myers: mandolin/fiddle/backup vocals; John Robey: fiddle/kick/backup vocals, Patrick Hartson: cello/guitar/backup vocals; Lukas Stanley: piano/cajon; Jacob Warren (Subbing for Kyle Pitcher): bass.
“We all met in college while playing together in Western Michigan University’s Symphony Orchestra,” Meyers said. “I grew up playing Celtic fiddle and wanted to continue in college. I enticed a few of my friends to join me with promises of fame and fortune and it was off to the races from there.”
Myers, who grew up in Chelsea said they have played a few times in the Ann Arbor area, but this is the second time they will be playing at the Ark. Their music recorded has also been recorded.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to record several produced music videos as well as a full-length album titled, ‘Form,’” said Myers. “We also have several live music videos of our original Christmas tunes…A full-length Christmas album is definitely a goal of ours though.”
Almost all of The Founding’s music is original, but there are some traditional sounds that they perform as well.
“The vast majority of our repertoire is original,” Myers said. “However, especially as we enter our Christmas tour, we love to dip into our traditional repertoire and play some older favorites. This tour we’ll be playing songs like the ‘Wexford Carol’ and ‘Greensleeves’ as well as an old Galician Carol.”
Check The Founding website thefoundingband.com for more info and dates.
Purchase tickets online. 8 p.m. 316 S Main St, Ann Arbor.
Donna Marie Iadipaolo is a writer, journalist, and State of Michigan certified teacher, since 1990. She has written for national publications like The Village Voice, Ear Magazine of New Music, Insurance & Technology, and TheStreet.
She is now writing locally for many publications, including Current Magazine, Ann Arbor Family, and the Ann Arbor Independent. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she graduated with an honors bachelor’s degree and three teacher certificate majors: mathematics, social sciences, English. She also earned three graduate degrees in Master of Science, Master of Arts, and Education Specialist Degree.