Peter Brice in 2011.  Photo by Keith Rossmiller.

PETER BRICE

Executive Director, Ballad Singer, Button Accordionist

Peter Brice sings old songs in a traditional style, and plays Irish Traditional music on the button accordion. He has served the the New Century American Irish-Arts Company as its executive director since its inception in 2011.

A native Annapolitan and an exponent of Baltimore, Maryland's Irish traditional music community, Peter's work blends singing and musicianship with musicology and history, humor and colorful design, and a vision for traditional culture as a foundation for an intellectual life. His playing reflects his admiration for Galway accordionists such as Joe Cooley, Kevin Keegan, and Raymond Roland—a style into which he was initiated by Brooklyn-born accordionist and National Heritage Fellow Billy McComiskey. A lifelong singer, Peter has married a repertoire of American historical songs with a wide-ranging English-language style that he gleaned from his teachers Dónal Maguire and the late Louis Killen.

He is a former vice-chair of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s O’Neill-Malcom Branch in Washington, D.C. and a past co-coordinator of the Washington Folk Festival. He founded the Baltimore Singers Club with singers Andy O’Brien and Pat Egan to promote traditional singing in Maryland, and was a founding member of the Old Bay Ceili Band. In 2014, he and his mentor Billy McComiskey were recognized by the Maryland State Arts Council as a traditional arts master-apprentice pair. He has independently written over $18,000 in awarded grants for Maryland's Irish traditional music community. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory Preparatory program, Peter also holds a BA in Irish Traditional Music and Dance from the University of Limerick.