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    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Joy of Spontaneity (Celtic Concert)

    Yesterday, around noon, I got a text message from my friend @Candai which said something to the effect of "tell me your available tonight?!?"

    After being on the recipient end of many of her last-minute invites too cool things (mostly where she got free tix through work), I've learned to say "Yes". :)

    I asked her what was up, and she responded that it was a Celtic band performing in Fullerton (7:30p) and that FREE tickets had just fallen in her lap. Woo-hoo!

    We BOTH love our Celtic/Irish/Scottish music! So carpooling plans were made, and we met up after work to travel straight over to Fullerton, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the concert.

    Though we missed one transition from 55N to 91 (too busy chatting, I know :), it turns out that it was all in the best as by taking our detour route to get back on the 91 fwy we COMPLETELY missed the car fire that shut down the other side of the fwy. (If we had made the transition, we would have been stuck in that horrible mess). Whew!

    Walking about Downtown Fullerton, we spotted an 'early bird' special (2 for 1 entree price, w/purchase of 2 beverages...any beverages, even soda/tea :) at an Italian place so decided to chance it. Food was yummy, and the service was good (except when it came time to pay - the server was a tad slow at noticing that we were ready to to pay :). And best of all, it was w/in walking distance of the concert location.

    The concert was part of a series put on by the North Orange County Community Concerts Association (NOCCC). Apparently, the NOCCC is celebrating its 64th season/year. WOW! Impressive. Though I've never heard of them before now...and its no wonder! @Candai & I were the *youngest* ones there! :) But it was all good. :) The evenings concert was by Golden Bough, a Celtic band (trio) who's been around for 30 yrs.

    From the North OC Concerts website:
    "Golden Bough, Celtic Trio Monday, October 26, 2009, 7:30 PM - A musical exploration of the Irish and Scottish folk heritage and its influence on some of the best loved folk music of America today. Golden Bough features spirited vocal harmonies and instrumental numbers performed on Celtic harp, guitar, pennywhistle, violin, recorder, octave-mandolin, accordion, and bodhran. Enjoy rousing instrumental music, ballads, humorous songs and sea chanteys, plus the stories behind the music"

    Group's website:
    Besides concerts & special events (and educational programs), they also perform at some festivals (like Highland/Scottish festivals). Last night's concert was called "America Bound" (1st time they performed this particular concert) and featured a selection of Irish & Scottish tunes (ballads, humorous songs, sea chanteys, & of course jigs & reels).

    The Irish set was up first, and then after the Intermission, it was time for the Scottish set.
    All in all I really enjoyed the music. I personally would have loved to hear more reels & jigs (more traditional instrumental only songs) thrown in the evenings concert, but I did enjoy all their singing songs. They did occasionally ask for the audience to join in on some of the choruses, and of course, @candai and I acquiesced...enthusiastically. :) (Ok, me possibly more than her on a few songs...since I knew a few more of the sea chanteys, etc.).

    Their last song of the evening (not counting their encore) was "Donal, Where's your Trousers?"... was of course fun to join in on the chorus!

    (I apparently left the program at home today, so I'll type up the full list of songs covered in the concert later).

    Afterwards, most everyone moved to a smaller room off the side where some light refreshments (fizzy punch!! and cookies/brownies :) were served while the performers sold and signed their cds and just generally chatted with people. @Candai & I struck up a conversation first with their Violinist, Kathy, who came out and asked us how *we* ended up coming/heard about the concert, as we were obviously the youngest ones there. (That got a laugh :) We explained, and then started chatting about various things. @Candai asked how Kathy went from training/playing violin the Suzuki Method to playing Celtic...and she actually gave us more than a quick & simple answer. (It was great!) She performed on both the Viola and the Violin during the concert (and sang too). Both were wonderful (especially when they performed reels. Superb playing!).

    The other musicians were multi-talented as well.
    Margie, who's one of the co-founders of the group, played a wide variety of instruments throughout the evening (tin whistles, recorder, bodhrán , a Celtic style harp, spoons - 'the bones', guitar, etc.) as well as performed vocals on I believe every single song that evening. Her father apparently was an Irish Tenor, and she learned many a song from him. Paul, the other co-founder of the group, played guitar and sang most of the songs, but occasionally he'd break out another instrument. Occasionally he'd use the Mandolin, and for at least one song he used a banjo and for one or two others an accordion made an apperance. :)

    It was hard to choose which cd to purchase, since they had a bunch of them available (including a new one they just put together called Celtic Love Songs), but I eventually settled on their "Songs of Scotland" cd and got their autographs on it. :)

    The crowd had thinned out a bit by then, so we all chatted some more. (Though Kathy was drawn off by some people in attendance from the Ross clan, who apparently wanted to interview her since she had some ties to the clan :). Margie told me that she really appreciated my enthusiasm in the audience. (Hey, we were 2nd row, front & center - and the youngest people there - easy to spot :). When you're at a Celtic concert, you gotta clap (and sing) along whenever possible. (And smile at the performers....there's nothing worse than performing and staring out at a sea of deadpan faces. I know! :)

    Soon, though, @Candai & I called it a night as we had to drive back to my work (where I we left my car) before either of us could drive home. Great night of music, overall! YAY! :)

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