Past Features

March 27, 2006 (Vol. 3, No. 5)

Grad Student/Music Critic to Present Paper on Irish Music

Earle Hitchner
Earle Hitchner
As the recipient of the CUNY Institute for Irish-American Studies 2006 CUNY Travel Grant, Lehman graduate student Earle Hitchner will travel to St. Louis to deliver his paper, "Irish Traditional Music in the United States: The Future Isn't What It Used to Be," at the 2006 American Conference for Irish Studies National Conference. The meeting will be held April 19-22 at the University of Missouri.

Hitchner has been writing about Irish traditional music for nearly 30 years. His paper will focus on the apparent paradox of diasporic continuity and radical change in Irish traditional music in the United States since the turn of the twentieth century. He will argue that the current "chaos" in music delivery has been a benefit to the quality of music being delivered.

Professionally, Hitcher is an award-winning journalist who writes a music column for the Irish Echo newspaper. He is also a contributing music writer for The Wall Street Journal. Over the years, his articles and reviews have been published in numerous magazines, such as Billboard, MTV's Sonicnet, Reader's Digest, The Oxford American, New Choices, Details, Treoir, Irish America, Boston College, and Rhythm Music. In addition, he wrote six essays for The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, a scholarly book co-published by New York University Press and University College Cork Press in 1999.

To date, Hitcher has contributed liner notes for 61 musical recordings, including the Boston Pops Orchestra's The Celtic Album (RCA Victor/ BMG Records), nominated for a Grammy award as the best classical crossover album of 1998.

From 1984 to 1989, Hitchner served as the host and programmer of the "Celtic Hour," a three-hour Saturday afternoon radio show in the New York/ New Jersey metropolitan area that was devoted to Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Manx, Breton, Galician, Canadian and other traditional music.

Hitchner will earn his master's degree in English literature from Lehman this June.