The show began in 2018 after founder and Producer of Highland Echoes, Jennifer Licko, had experienced over 20 years of touring as a Celtic singer with musicians and dancers all over the world. The same thing kept coming back to her vision "I want to feature more Highland Dancers and more of the Scottish diaspora story".
In 2018, with the encouragement of the Saint Andrews Society of North Carolina, Jennifer began the nonprofit Highland Echoes to give audiences what she knew they wanted....Spectacular Scottish performing arts programming!
Highland Echoes featured 4 Highland dancers and a full band of award winning musicians. The dances were choreographed by Highland Fitness instructor and dancer, Sandra Gribbin. The music was written by both Jennifer Licko and Patrick Mangan from Riverdance.
The small yet mighty show was a success. Audiences up and down the United States Eastern seaboard had 5 star reviews for the band, the dancers, and the the show itself.
During the planning stages of the 2020 tour, the Pandemic of Covid-19 hit, and everything came to a halt - Everything except for Highland Echoes. The video footage from past shows were edited and new footage was shot to share the stories from every dancer and musician in the show. That video was premiered live in 2020 via YouTube and Facebook reaching thousands of new fans.
Licko quickly got to work on expanding the show based on comments, surveys, and feedback from all the audiences they reached with Highland Echoes.
So what is in the works for the next Scottish performing arts programming? The BIG SHOW is scheduled for July 7-10, 2022 in Boone NC. Held in conjunction with the largest gathering of Scottish organizations in the world, The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.
What will be different from the original Highland Echoes show?
1. The dance company size! Originally the show featured 4 dancers and now it will host 18 Championship level Highland dancers. New choreographies for the larger dance company will give audiences a more riveting and synchronized performance.
2. Professional set design & costuming! Holding the show at one theater for a longer period of time is providing us the opportunity to create a lighting and set design to enhance the aesthetics of the performance. We also have a costume team working to create a wardrobe that reflects the style and message of each piece. We aren't 'shedding' the kilts! You will still see some traditional attire!
3. New Music was written by Riverdance's Patrick Mangan and Celtic Album of the Year Winner Jennifer Licko, to feature elements of traditional Scottish music. Traditional Scottish tunes will be used at times throughout the show. However, the legends, mystery, and history that surround the Story of the Scottish Diaspora have a new perspective that must be reflected in the lyrics and style.
4. The July 2022 Show will also feature participating clans. Providing the clans an opportunity to be involved by using their clan tartan and their clan name in a featured Pipe tune piece 'Calling The Clans'. "We want our audiences to know about the organizations they can join to connect more to their heritage, and the best way to do this was to make it a part of the show".
Click Here for more information on Clan participation
"The tradition, stories, language, music. The feelings the voices and instruments invoke are amazing. Learning about the historic past and the strength of the people gives me a shared pride and humble heart."
"Excellent performances and music selection. Truly enjoyed the experience and show."
"A perfect blend of music, song, dance, and education of the vanished Highland culture. Slightly reminiscent of Riverdance and Lord of the dance but far more informative as explanations and origins a represent ed to the audience. "
"Excellent entertainment . . . warmed the heart of a Scot!"
Behind the scenes
The Highland Echoes Performance team at home
Watch the Highland Echoes Scottish performing arts team as they make preparations to travel to Boone NC for this one of kind event!
“Amazing show! We love to explore and expose our kids to culture and music, and this show seemed like a great opportunity. I just didn’t expect the vibrant, exquisite talent from the musicians or the lovely, brilliant, dancers.”