Mac Bellner is a professional performer of folk music, focusing on traditional style music of Ireland, Scotland, England, and North America. She was born in a two room, tin roofed shack on a cotton farm in Louisiana and grew up in Mississippi and west Texas, cutting her musical teeth on Stamps-Baxter gospel and spiritual music as well as classic juke box country music.
But she discovered her main musical niche in folk music.
In addition to solo work, Mac regularly performs with Hogeye
According to Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie defined a good song as one that folks can learn easily and that folks don’t forget. That’s the kind of song that Mac Bellner likes to sing. The ballads, poems, and stories that people have passed down over the generations are rich in folk tradition. So rather than just tell a story or teach a lesson, she sings it. “Teaching is so much easier with a guitar in hand,” she says. Mac also agrees with Woody who said, “I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you.”
Mac Bellner also makes it clear that anyone within listening distance is welcomed to sing along, in fact, encouraged to do so. You may even find yourselves helping to create verses as you sing along.
Mac has directed plays in community theatre for many years, directing mostly dramas but also some comedies. She is an Enocre Association award winner, nominated many times and winning for Best Director, Drama; Best Sound, Drama; Best Production, Drama; and two Judges Special awards. Mac also has directed the WLS National Barn Dance Re-Creation Show for the Indiana State Fair, Pioneer Village, for 6 years.
Mac also is a teacher/caller for traditional American barn dance, English country dance, and Irish and Scottish ceilidh dance. She has called dances at festivals, for wedding receptions, and for school, public, church, and Scout events. The dances she calls have involved participants from pre-school age to elderly adults, as well as people with physical challenges. Among her favorite people to teach are those who are beginners and have never experienced traditional dancing before. Her repertoire includes traditional squares and circles, play-party dances, and contra/line set dances, all accompanied by live music. Many of the dances have interesting historical and cultural connections, which Mac shares as she introduces each one.
Music – $100 for 1 hour solo performance in Central Indiana area.
Performances with Hogeye Navvy, subject to negotiation.
Dance – $400 for a 2 hour dance, Mac calling and musicians playing live music for dancing.
Theatre – $500 to direct a show, including 6-8 weeks of rehearsal time.
BA in Sociology with minors in English, Theater, and Greek
Dual Masters degrees in Divinity and Theological Studies, currently ABT, graduating in 2015
Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship, named a Master Fellow
Creative Renewal Fellowship, Arts Council of Indianapolis
Indiana Encore Association Best Director Drama award, Best Sound Drama award, Best
Production Drama award, and two Judges Special awards.
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