Downeast Ceilidh consists of music of the Atlantic Provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, with a heavy emphasis on the music of Cape Breton Island, which is part of the province of Nova Scotia.
"I wanted to give something back to the Canadian-American community centered around Boston, in gratitude for the wonderful music and culture they have shared with me."
In addition to the fiddle music which forms the major part of each program, Marcia puts in a few songs, including songs in Scottish Gaelic and Acadian French, the native tongues of many people in the Atlantic Provinces.
A lifelong New Englander, Marcia was born in Boston but grew up in New Hampshire, save a few years in infancy and early childhood in Connecticut. "I learned to talk in Connecticut, sparing (or denying!) me a New Hampshire accent," she quips.
At home she heard her mother's favorites, Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. (Her father died when she was eight.) In her teens she rejected rock and roll. "I was grabbed by some Gaelic songs on a record from Scotland my sister had. The grandmother of a friend I've known since childhood was from the Isle of Lewis, a native Gaelic speaker, and my friend taught me a little of the language. I started going to square dances and fell in love with the jigs, reels and hornpipes, and the sound of the fiddle."
Marcia moved to the Boston area in 1961, and visited Canada's Maritime Provinces in the summer of 1963. It was a life-changing experience for her. A few years later she was given the opportunity to produce a radio program on the MIT radio station, and Downeast Ceilidh, a program dedicated to traditional and contemporary folk music of Canada's Atlantic Provinces, made its debut February 3, 1972.
On October 12, 2002, the show and Marcia opened for business here at WUMB. "This station seems like a natural home for us."