At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

Australian singing star performs in Waynesville

Seona McDowell will perform a concert of traditional, contemporary and original tunes from Australia, New Zealand, and other cultures at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 15, at the Haywood County Library in Waynesville.

McDowell will accompany herself on the guitar, autoharp and didgeridoo (an Aboriginal instrument) as she draws from her Australian, Irish and English roots to enchant children and adults of all ages with songs and stories that are witty, reflective and entertaining.

The concert is part of the Sunday Concert Series co-sponsored by the Haywood County Arts Council and the Friends of the Haywood County Library.

A recent Waynesville resident, McDowell was born in India of Irish/English parents and grew up on a farm in New Zealand. She studied classical piano for eight years then began her musical career after moving to Australia.

A national music company approached her about performing Australian history through music in the schools. Through songs, folk dances and stories she weaves in history, geography and folklore in her concerts and residencies, which she has performed throughout Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

McDowell received the OZ music award for Best Female Australian Folk Singer twice. Her impressive credits include touring and appearing in concert with Don McLean, Roy Orbison, Gerry Lee Lewis, the Mills Brothers and many other top names.

She performed for the Kennedy Center’s “Imagination Celebrations” for three years and had her own show on Public Radio in Cleveland, Ohio, called “WCPN Live with Seona McDowell.” The show ran for nearly two years with interviews and performances by many well-known American folk artists. It was awarded “Top Local Live Show” in 1985 by the broadcasting commission of Ohio.

Go to top