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98275 Posts in 5978 Topics by 590 Members
Latest Member: Jnstokes
Máiréad's new albums are here! Get your copies!
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 on: January 07, 2019, 10:44:49 AM 
Started by MrPeabody - Last post by Ron
Excellent review as always, Mike. Looking forward to seeing you in Ormond Beach!

 on: January 07, 2019, 10:38:34 AM 
Started by Ron - Last post by Ron
Back in July, Chuck Spano, the talent coordinator for the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center approached me. Every year, they host a celtic music fund raiser to raise funds for the Ormond Beach Celtic Festival. In past years, Chuck had gotten Dougie McLean (the composer of "Caledonia") to perform as Chuck knows him. But this year they wanted a change. As Chuck and I are both board members of the Celtic-Norse Heritage Society (a charity organization that raises funds for aspiring Celtic musicians and is also one of the sponsors of the Ormond Beach Celtic Festival), Chuck knew Máiréad and I did have a level of rapport and asked me if it would be possible to get her to play. It's been a harrowing journey with the project falling through the cracks due to Máiréad's management change. But now, at long last, the show has finally come to together! I've been working behind the scenes with Chuck as an audio consultant to help meet her sound system requirements. As for the show itself, I'll be working the merch table as a representative of CNHS. It's my honor to be Máiréad's "Merch Dude" for this show! But I digress.

Show info:

Ormond Performing Arts Center
Ormond Beach, FL
February 22, 2019
$30 general admission - $50 VIP with Meet & Greet

Try to make it if you can. It will, of course, be an amazing show. Plus, the weather in Florida is generally very pleasant this time of the year. Grin

 on: December 20, 2018, 03:44:20 PM 
Started by MrPeabody - Last post by MrPeabody
The Scariff School of Irish Dance was founded by Stephen Scariff who was one of the lead dancers in Lord of the Dance and co-producer of the Irish Dance Revolution. Prior to opening the Academy in Utah he operated schools in several European countries. Students range in age from small children to young adults. Each December the Academy holds a Christmas recital to showcase their students. Both last year and this year Máiréad was the featured instrumentalist for the show. While most of the dancing was done to prerecorded music, Máiréad provided accompaniment (and encouragement) for about a third of the show. In addition, she had a few solos, playing songs from both her albums and Celtic Woman. The theme was, of course, Christmas but there were several dance routines that were accompanied by Irish traditional music and other non-Christmas songs.

Before the show I met new fan David Grayson who I had seen but not met in Ireland at the Ancient Land recording. We chatted at length in the lobby while waiting for the doors to open and it turns out that we are both computer programmers. The show was general admission and while I thought I had arrived early enough to insure getting a front row seat, by the time I picked up my Will Call ticket there were about 30 or 40 people ahead of me in line. However, when the doors finally opened we managed to get two lovely front row seats, just right of center. Even though there were a few other people who were there to see Máiréad, most of the audience consisted of parents of the performers and front row was not a priority for them. That was fine with us!

The show began with an empty stage, minimally decorated with a few Christmas trees across the back. As the lights dimmed, “Hallowed Fire” from Hibernia began playing but Máiréad was nowhere to be seen. Or was she? Shortly she appeared walking down the center aisle of the auditorium. She turned to face the audience as she continued to play and then walked to the opposite side of the stage from us, still at the audience level. Then she came to our side and paused briefly directly in front of me and played for a bit while giving me a big smile. After she finished, she walked up the steps to the stage. She was wearing the same pure white gown that she had worn at Carnegie Hall but without the silvery overlay. Next she played “Bells of Tipperary” while several of the Academy’s regional champion dancers joined her on stage. That was followed by several groups dancing to prerecorded music and a beautiful vocal performance of “The Man with the Bag” by Keri Hughes. During the remainder of the first act dancers of all ages performed to various songs, some with Máiréad and some without, including a very impressive Lord of the Dance number.

The second act featured more students, including a delightful group of wee ones dressed as leprechauns. Máiréad provided accompaniment on “Siege of Carrick” and “The First Sheaf” having added the silvery train to her gown. There were two dance routines that were done to Lindsey Stirling songs, including “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.” One surprise non-Christmas Máiréad song was “Skyrim,” one of my favorites of hers on the Destiny tour. That one featured her patented hair tosses and a few spins. Keri Hughes returned to the stage and serenaded us with a beautiful version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The show finished with a Máiréad solo of “Carol of the Bells” and the big finale, performed to the “Dawn” from Hibernia.

After everyone took their bows to a full house standing ovation they announced that there would be a meet & greet with Máiréad on stage in front of the Christmas trees. David and I stayed in our seats for a while watching the interactions between Máiréad and the students. Once the line dwindled we brought up the rear and had a lovely long chat with her. It was David’s first time seeing her live and meeting her.

It was a wonderful evening and well worth the travel that it took to get there. Every moment that I get to spend with her is special, whether watching from the audience or having a conversation. When she introduced me to Stephen Scariff, she, as always, proudly said that I was administrator of her forum. She does that because, even though it is my face she sees most often, she knows that I am also representing a much larger group of fans who have supported her over the years. That support, especially now that she has left the security of Celtic Woman, means the world to her and she always thanks me several times for that continuing support.

 on: October 29, 2018, 05:18:20 PM 
Started by Ron - Last post by Moscapoet
Thanks for the great report and photos, Ron!

 on: October 29, 2018, 05:15:28 PM 
Started by dbbii - Last post by Moscapoet
Agreed, Ron.

 on: October 29, 2018, 05:14:23 PM 
Started by CWazyTom - Last post by Moscapoet
Had the chance to see her up here at the Alaska State Fair. Was a great show!

 on: October 29, 2018, 05:13:13 PM 
Started by JimM. - Last post by Moscapoet
Brilliant! Thanks, Jim!

 on: October 21, 2018, 11:27:00 PM 
Started by Ron - Last post by Celtic Fiddle Chick
That's great that you got to go to the show and that you have a personal connection there. The show did not come close to me because both Lindsey and Evanescence had played a show not long before they toured together.

I have followed Lindsey since the early stage of her youtube career and know that Evanescence was a big influence for Lindsey growing up and Amy Lee was her idol. They finally got to connect when Amy invited Lindsey to be featured on their new album.

 on: October 20, 2018, 01:21:41 PM 
Started by JimM. - Last post by JimM.
Chloe's video:

 on: September 20, 2018, 08:43:40 AM 
Started by dbbii - Last post by Ron
Here it is less than a month away and there's still only six dates listed. Seven if you count Wallingford. But that was only listed through CT PBS, and apparently, they're sold out now. The Oakdale theater doesn't even have the show listed yet. Even at this late, I hope they add more dates. Otherwise, I'll be missing it as well. They call this a tour, but that's hardly the word for it at this point. It's just a string of gigs across New England. It would seem hardly worth putting together with all the cost involved. I'm watching and waiting. We'll see I suppose.

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