Fiddling on film

The fiddle music of Assistant Professor of Music in Performance Sheila Falls-Keohane was featured recently in a documentary that aired on PBS’s American Experience.

“The Mine Wars,” a two-hour film directed by Randall MacLowery and produced by the Film Posse, looks at the lives of West Virginia coal miners and their eventual fight against the mine operators for better conditions. The film aired Tuesday, Jan. 26 on PBS.

Falls-Keohane, who teaches violin and directs Wheaton’s World Music Ensemble, said colleagues at the Boston Symphony Orchestra recommended her to the film’s composer, P. Andrew Willis.

“He asked me to give it a Celtic/Appalachian flavor,” she said of the fiddle music.

The film can be downloaded on iTunes and viewed online at

“The Mine Wars” was Falls-Keohane’s second appearance on PBS. A member of the Boston-based group Childsplay, she filmed a documentary with her fellow musicians titled “Childsplay, Live from the Zeiterion Theatre: A Story of Fiddlers, Fiddles and a Fiddle Maker,” which aired in December 2014 on the television channel. Her music can also be heard on a 2009 solo album, All In The Timing, and in the 2001 documentary Tommy Makem’s Ireland.

In addition to her TV appearance, Falls-Keohane was recently named director of the Gaelic Roots Music, Song, Dance, Workshop and Lecture Series at Boston College.