Nancy McCallion – Teacher/Musician Extraordinaire!

Sara M
December 5, 2022

Hi, My name is Sara Makansi! I’m an Undergraduate student in Public Health at the University of Arizona. I am originally from Syria. When I came to Tucson, I did not know much English. I started learning English when I was in high school at Palo Verde High Magnet School, which had a very good English program.

One of the teachers there was Nancy McCallion. She was a great teacher, but she is also a talented musician and songwriter. She’s the daughter of an Irish-Scottish immigrant and a Texas farm girl who was raised in Tucson.

As a musician, she is influenced by many musical styles. When she was growing up on the southwest side of Tucson, she listened to Norteno — a regional Mexican musical genre — her older sister’s Beatles records, the 1970s and ’80s, her dad’s traditional Irish music, and her mother’s old-time country music.

The Mollys, a legendary Celtic-Norteno-you-name-it folk-rock band, is best known for having Nancy McCallion write their songs and perform their vocals. The Mollys was founded in 1989 by McCallion and Catherine Zavala, a fellow musician from high school. The Mollys amassed seven independent recordings and numerous positive reviews during their time together before disbanding in 2003.

Anyway, here’s my take on Nancy McCallion — a great teacher and musical artist extraordinaire!

Sara Makansi an undergraduate student in Public Health at The University of Arizona.