A writer on Irish traditional music for the Irish Echo since December 1991, Earle Hitchner has once again been chosen as a judge in the "Celtic/British Isles" category of the Association for Independent Music "Indie" awards. This year marks the third time that Hitchner has been selected to be an AFIM awards evaluator, with previous appointments coming in 1993 and 1996. Forty albums from 1998 have been submitted for consideration in the "Celtic/British Isles" category, and the AFIM awards ceremony itself will take place on May 22 in Atlanta.
Hitchner also wrote the liner notes for the Boston Pops Orchestra’s "The Celtic Album" (RCA Victor/BMG), which has been nominated for a Grammy award this year in the "Best Classical Crossover Album" category and has been in Billboard magazine’s "Top Classical Crossover" chart for an entire year. The 41st annual Grammy awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on Feb. 24 and will be broadcast live on CBS-TV.
In addition to the Irish Echo, Hitchner has written on Irish music and culture for such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, New Choices, Rhythm Music, Treoir, Irish America, Concertina & Squeezebox, California Traditional Music Society Journal, and An Gael.
He has also consulted on four film documentaries about Irish music that have been broadcast on PBS-TV, and he wrote six essays for an upcoming encyclopedia of Irish traditional music to be published by University College Cork in spring 1999.