Czech bagpiper coming to Verdigre


Czech-American bagpiper Michael Cwach will play and sing traditional folk songs and make a presentation before the Verdigre screening of “Call of Dudy: Bohemian Bagpipes Across Borders,” the first full-length documentary film on the Czech bagpipe tradition (dudy is Czech for bagpipes).

Michael grew up on a farm near Yankton, S.D., and graduated from the University of S.D. with a master’s degree in music. He received a Fulbright scholarship to study the bagpipe tradition of the Czech lands and recently completed a PhD in music at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. His presentation will consist of the music and cultural history of the bagpipes, showing rare photos and archival materials from the Czech Republic and from early Czech settlers in the USA.

The film was co-directed and produced by Jeffrey Brown, a Prague-based filmmaker who has produced a number of award-winning narrative features and feature documentaries in Europe, Africa and the U.S. He will also be in attendance.

This exciting event will be at the United Methodist Church in Verdigre on Thursday, April 25, starting with a “meet and greet” potluck from 5-7:00 p.m. The bagpiper will be playing at 7:00, followed by the film at approximately 7:45. There will be door prizes from the Czech Republic awarded and “Call of Dudy” DVDs and Czech bagpipe polka CDs will be available for sale. Admission is free, with free-will donations gratefully accepted.

The duo will also spend time at Verdigre Public School during their stay, providing educational, musical and cultural enrichment to students.

This opportunity is provided, in part, by The Verdigre Public School Foundation and Verdigre Inn Tune.