Honored June 25, 2016
Linda Hickman is an original member of the Washington, DC-based band Celtic Thunder. She can be heard on all of their recordings. She learned to play Irish traditional flute from Jack Coen in the Bronx and later, from Mike Rafferty and Monsignor Charlie Coen. She has performed 3 times with Celtic Thunder at the White House and at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Her original composition “Lament for Ron” from her first solo CD (The Windy Day) was the title track for the 2003 PBS/NATO special Children Soldiers of the Sierra Leone. Another composition “Waltz for Maureen” (from the Windy Day) was recorded again in 2013 by the Perolof Munck Orchestra in Finland for their community dances. As a member of Ceol na gCroi Ceili Band, she plays regularly for Irish set dancing in the New York area. She is the 2012 inductee for the People’s Hall of Fame Award for NYC sponsored by City Lore in conjunction with Staten Island Arts, for her work teaching and performing Irish music on Staten Island and in the New York area. Also in 2012, she and the Staten Island MS Group, received the Dana and Christopher Reeves Foundation Quality of Life Grant for her to teach people with Multiple Sclerosis to play the tin whistle. In 2015, she was honored by the Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural Center, East Durham, NY for her contribution to Irish traditional music and she is a recipient of a 2016 Original Works grant from Staten Island Arts, with public funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, for her soon-to-be-released CD, The Forest Path. In addition to playing Irish traditional music, she works as a music therapist running programs in long-term care facilities on Staten Island, using sound to help people with disabilities with pain management and to improve self esteem.