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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Molly Birch
Molly Birch

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Folk band teaches children about music

Many musicians are in the business for themselves and their personal fame, but one Kalamazoo-based band has deeper goals; to teach and make children excited about their music and culture.

A folk-based band known as Red Tail Ring, made up of hearty vocalist and multi-talented/multi-instrumental Laurel Premo and singer/guitarist Michael Beauchamp brings to the stage a level of traditionalism, and songs that express feeling and meaning.

Red Tail Ring is a band that revives the Appalachian folk and traditional folk genre with backwoods vocals and immense yet meaningful rhythms. Red Tail Ring released their first EP in October 2009 called “August Roads.” They are currently working on two full-length albums, one of which will feature original tracks, and the other traditional folk songs, set for launch in spring of 2011.

“Michael and I both grew up listening to a lot of music, and both tried to pick up instruments as soon as we could. Along with our study of classical music and rock ‘n’ roll, folk and traditional music were always present,” Premo said.

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This is not Red Tail Ring’s first trip to the Marquette area. They were featured in the U.P. Folklife Festival this past September on NMU’s campus to help celebrate traditional folk music, along with a few performances this past summer at Upfront and Company.

U.P. native Premo grew up in Amasa and met Beauchamp not long ago when this duo project began.

“Beauchamp and I met at various summer music festivals in Michigan while we were both playing in different bands,” Premo said. “We decided to start the duo project in the summer of 2009. Though this project is young, we’ve both been active for many years as individuals in professional music.”

Their time at Father Marquette Middle School will include a lesson-plan structured day of teaching students about traditional Americana music. The schedule includes a lesson about early music that took place in England, Ireland, and Scotland. Red Tail Ring will also be teaching students about various instruments such as the banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin, and they will give a lesson in vocals.

“This really is perfect for students,” said Maryann Ferns, building administrator at the Father Marquette Schools. “This isn’t a one-time deal where they just set up and play. I’m really impressed by the level of skill and the level of quality in their music. Any show I’ve seen of theirs was truly amazing to watch.”

Already in 2010, Red Tail Ring has performed over 100 times in 11 different states, from New York to Vermont. They have played with other musicians such as Justin Townes Earle, Todd Snider and Greensky Bluegrass.

“Red Tail Ring tries to put a good impression on Marquette and to teach students how music can be used to express emotion and deal with joy and pain in a non-verbal yet constructive way,” Ferns said.

Red Tail Wing will be in Marquette for two days during their tour, both at the Father Marquette Middle School on Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. and later at the Upfront and Company on Dec. 7-8 at 10 p.m. Doors open at 9 p.m and the show is open and free to the public.

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