Simple Gifts has simply delightful program planned for Penn State Erie

November 02, 2012

Two women plus 12 instruments equals one extraordinary presentation of lively Irish jigs, American reels, klezmer freilach and haunting Gypsy melodies.

Simple Gifts, the next Music at Noon: The Logan Series performer on Nov. 16, spices its ethnic-music mix with the distinctive rhythms of Balkan dances, the lush sounds of Scandinavian twin fiddling and original compositions written in a traditional style. The duo combines tradition with innovation, creating some of the most unique arrangements in folk music today — swing fiddle creeping into a Romanian dance, spoons showing up in an Irish reel and the concertina venturing far beyond styles considered customary for the instrument.

Simple Gifts’ free Logan Series performance at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, begins at noon in the McGarvey Commons of the Reed Union Building. Free reserved parking will be available in the Reed lot.

As part of its Music at Noon engagement, Simple Gifts made two advance visits to Diehl Elementary School to teach second- and fourth-graders about unique musical instruments. Second-graders have been learning to play the bowed psaltery; the older students were taught to play the ukulele. The students will have an opportunity to perform with Simple Gifts at Penn State Behrend.

Simple Gifts’ performance is partially supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by the Heinz Endowments; the William Penn Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the Pew Charitable Trusts; and administered by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

Founded at Penn State Behrend by Warren, Pa., philanthropist and arts advocate Kay Logan, Music at Noon: The Logan Series’ unique musical outreach has been honored with an Adventurous Programming Award by Chamber Music America and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. The series receives additional major support from the Kay Logan Trust and additional funding from the Penn State Behrend Student Activity Fee, Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts and the Erie Arts Endowment of ArtsErie.

For more information about The Logan Series or Simple Gifts’ appearance, contact Logan Series director Dr. Gary Viebranz at 814-898-6289 or


  • Simple Gifts' musicians have been teaching the ukulele and bowed psaltery to students at Erie's Diehl Elementary School.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 02, 2012