On May 8th 2011, Christine Hedden stepped onto an airplane for the first time in her life and landed in the Shannon airport, where she began her adventures in Ireland. Before the beginning of classes, she traveled up to Donegal and then down the west coast, visiting many places such as Sligo, Connemara, Galway, Dingle, and Kerry. This experience allowed her to taste the many nuances of the different regions of Ireland, each of which has a unique contribution to Irish history and to Irish culture. Christine participated in two programs at the University of Limerick. The first was a course in Irish literature, history, and folk culture. The second was a program in traditional Irish music and dance. Christine participated in master classes with musicians and dancers at the top of their field, including Martin Hayes on fiddle, and Brendán de Gallaí, a former principle dancer of Riverdance. In the evenings, Christine sought out and played in a number of sessions (Irish music jams) with local musicians. She also had the opportunity to spend several days in Dingle, a Gaeltacht region, where she played in a session every night and met native speakers of the Irish language. In addition to her experiences in music, Christine had the opportunity to attend several GAA Senior League matches, including hurling and Gaelic football, as well as a local parish football match. Christine has returned to Carnegie Mellon University to begin her junior year, studying viola performance and music composition. She now plays fiddle on the violin, as well as the viola, and is currently working on her junior recital, which will include work influenced by her time in Ireland.
CEE Title: Embody the Rhythm
For her CEE, Christine helped to create Embody the Rhythm, a cultural dance event which highlighted their individual international experiences. In each journey, they experienced passion for a culture, for a country, for a people. The team shared this passion with an audience of over a hundred people in the O’Hara Ballroom at Pitt Oakland. The audience enjoyed a delicious spread of appetizers catered by Sodexo Food Service followed by twenty-one short cultural performances representing countries as diverse as China, Greece and the Ukraine.