Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Join our team
Join the Falcon Media team for Spring semester - paid staff positions, internships, volunteer opportunities. Applications open now until October 13. Get the details!
The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

Follow us on social
  • Poetry for Fall
    By Jay Grummel Poetry has a way of connecting us to the external and internal world. In poetry it is easier to feel a season and truly feel a piece due to this. Poetry has a subtle way of making the readers immersed into the world of the poem. With the air getting colder and […]
  • A Theatrical Rivalry with Love and Despair
    By Jay Grummel If We Were Villains has a way of making the horrifics acts of rivals and the blurry line of morals poetic. At first glance I didn’t think I’d enjoy this book as much as I did, especially with the amount of times it quoted Shakespeare. However, after diving into this dark academic […]

Band plays Irish music, teaches others to play too


Martin Koop, Bob Midden and Mary Dennis are the key players in Toraigh. In Toraigh an Sonas, they are joined by others.

University chemistry department faculty member Bob Midden does more with his time off from teaching seminars and independent research than watching TV and sitting around the house. He likes to occupy himself with traditional Irish dance music like reels, jigs, hornpipes, slip jigs and polkas.

“It’s good for the human brain to have a change of focus once in a while,” Midden said. “It gives the chemistry part of the brain a chance to refresh itself and recover.”

Midden, a University faculty member since 1987, became enamored with Irish music after completing graduate school. He started playing flute and other woodwind instruments in a band called Paddy’s Night Out, which eventually evolved into his current band, Toraigh, Gaelic for “to seek” or “to search.”

“We think that’s a good name for a band because music can be used to search for what you want, what you desire, what you lost,” Midden said. “It has a lot of possible meanings.”

Toraigh is a primarily three-piece band consisting of Midden and guitarist Martin Koop as well as fiddle, drum and banjo player Mary Dennis, with other musicians occasionally taking the stage with the trio. The band has released an album, “Tripping up the Stairs,” and regularly plays at Irish-themed festivals and venues including The Stones Throw, Logan’s Irish Pub in Findlay and The Blarney Irish Pub in Toledo.

In addition to their core band, Midden and Dennis have started another in recent years, Toraigh an Sonas. The band’s extended name means “in search of happiness” and the band lives up to its name, flute and tin whistle player Kathy Moss said.

“If we’re playing for a festival and we’re all performing together, everybody wants to be there,” Moss said. “It’s just like our name, we’re all happy playing Irish music and it’s a nice social outlet.”

Toraigh an Sonas plays the same style of music as Toraigh but, according to Moss, can have anywhere from five to 15 members performing at once during one of the band’s regularly-held “sessions” at a variety of area Irish pubs and festivals. Midden and Dennis started the group as a way of allowing those interested in classical Irish music to get involved and spread Irish music.

“Some people have always wanted to play music before but are too afraid to try or think that they couldn’t do it because they’re too old or not musical,” Dennis said. “When they come and they try it and they see that they really can do it, they really enjoy it.”

Toraigh an Sonas hosts rehearsals in Moore Musical Arts Center 2002 every first and third Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. The group welcomes students and community members who wish to play fiddle, tin whistle, banjo, mandolin, Uilleann pipes, Irish guitar, flutes and other instruments used in traditional Irish dance music from beginner to advanced.

“I would encourage anyone who has even the slightest amount of curiosity or interest to check it out,” Dennis said. “I think people will be pleasantly surprised at how they can actually play an instrument.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *