Southwest Celtic Music Association
The Southwest Celtic Music Association was formed to study, perform, promote and preserve traditional Celtic music, dance and culture ideveloped from n the Southwest. The word 'Celtic' refers to the culture that developed in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Galicia, and the Isle of Man. Much of the traditional music and dnace that has evolved in the United States and in many other English-speaking countries in the last 250 years has Celtic origins.
On March 3, 1983, a small group of like-minded musicians was host to a gathering at Nick Farrelly's Lounge. This event was known as the First Texas Ceili. Ceili means a visit or gathering in Gaelic and is understood to involve music entertainment and dance. Although publicized mostly by word of mouth, more than 600 people showed up to hear about a dozen Celtic-oriented musical groups and individual entertainers from all over Texas. Many had to stand outside the open doors to listen to the music. Encouraged by the public response, the Ceili participants formed the Southwest Celtic Music Association in the spring of 1983 as a regional organization with members in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
From this first meeting, the North Texas Irish Festival was born, an annual event which includes live and authentic Irish music. The SCMA also attempts to increase public awareness of the rich cultural heritage of the Celts and its enduring efforts on our own culture as found in the United States. The SCMA sponsors concerts, music and dance workshops, provides referrals for entertainers, organizes regular sessions, and supports other cultural associations with similar purposes. Through its Scholarship Fund, the SCMA contributes up to $600 annually to young musicians and dancers to help them in their chosen activities.