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2/27/2012 9:01:00 AM
Verde Valley Concert Association closes season celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Celtic Spring
“Celtic Spring” comprises six siblings who play the fiddle and step dance, accompanied by their mother, Mary, on the keyboard and father Greg on bodhran and percussion. Their music hails from Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
“Celtic Spring” comprises six siblings who play the fiddle and step dance, accompanied by their mother, Mary, on the keyboard and father Greg on bodhran and percussion. Their music hails from Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
By Merlyn Brown
Verde Valley Concert Association

Ushering in the "wearing of the green" a full week before St. Patrick's Day, the Verde Valley Concert Association closes its concert season when it presents a breath of the Blarney with "Celtic Spring" taking the stage at the Mingus Union High School auditorium in Cottonwood, on Saturday, March 10, at 7 p.m.

How to describe this fantastic troupe? So much more than just a "band." Let's try - Celtic Spring. A burst of energy.

Driving music. .Riveting Dancing. Youthful exuberance. Unparalleled talent all in one family. Yes, all this and more.

The band "Celtic Spring" comprises six siblings who play the fiddle and step dance, accompanied by their mother, Mary, on the keyboard and father Greg on bodhran and percussion.

Their music hails from Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. While firmly grounded in the traditions of their ancestors, Celtic Spring's music is all its own.

The six Wood siblings have spent most of their lives on stage, bringing their unforgettable performance to live and television audiences in the millions.

They each began learning the fiddle and Irish step dancing when they were 4 years old. They can hardly remember when they did NOT play the fiddle and dance. The siblings are also classically trained violinists.

This influence has brought a certain beauty and clarity to their music.

To learn the traditional fiddle styles of Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the siblings have studied under some of the finest fiddlers today.

A defining element of Celtic Spring is the dual expertise in music and dance. The Wood siblings are champion Irish dancers and they have been influenced by French Canadian and Cape Breton step dancing styles.

The tight choreography, powerful footwork, intricacy and precision of their dancing astound audiences. Just when the audience might think "We've seen it all," Celtic Spring erupts into the exceptional feat of fiddling and dancing simultaneously!

While immersed in traditional music, the band has developed a unique style and repertoire that includes numerous original compositions.

A depth of expression is evident in their stunning arrangements - from haunting airs to hard-driving dance tunes. In recent years, Celtic Spring has added expressive vocals and rhythmic octave mandolin.

Celtic Spring's amazing performances have taken the band around the United States, Canada and Europe.

They have performed in theaters and venues nation-wide, including symphony appearances and numerous festivals, plus the top Irish festivals in the country, such as the Milwaukee Irish Fest and the North Texas Irish Festival.

In 2002 "Celtic Spring" was named Grand Champion of the World at the World Championships of the Performing Arts in Hollywood.

In 2007 12 million people watched Celtic Spring on NBC's "America's Got Talent", where the band was one of the five finalists.

In the summer of 2008, Celtic Spring brought its enthralling show to yet another continent, when they performed at the International Festival, World Youth Day 2008, in Sydney, Australia.

The band has released two CDs - "Cornerstone" and "At the Source."

The siblings are: Elizabeth (24) - fiddle, step dance, octave fiddle; Deirdre (22) - fiddle, step dance, vocals; Sean (20) - octave fiddle, step dance, octave mandolin, fiddle; Maire (14) - fiddle, step dance; Aidan (9) - step dance, fiddle.

The Verde Valley Concert Association is supported by Verde Valley Medical Center, and many other local organizations.

Individual tickets for this concert are $15 for adults, $5 for students, with children under 12 being admitted free of charge if accompanied by an adult.

Bring the youngsters and oldsters for a rollicking good "begorrah!" time. Details and tickets are available by calling (928) 639-0636, or at the door on the evening of the concert.


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