Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mid-Winter Scottish and Irish Festival 2013

We spent most of the weekend working a wrestling tournament. The boys weren't wrestling but were working at the score tables with their wrestling teammates. My job was to write bout sheets. 

I lucked out, though, because I had to leave early yesterday. Ha! Haley was invited to perform with The John Whelan Band for the Mid-Winter Scottish and Irish festival in Valley Forge, PA. So, after getting up really early in the morning and working the tournament from 6am until 11am, we headed off to Valley Forge for the festival.

When we arrived, we walked around the festival for a few minutes and talked to some people we know. Then we got in touch with John and headed to the hotel for a rehearsal. I sometimes think Haley enjoys the rehearsals as much as the actual performances. She loves John and the "fiddle girls" in the band, Genna and Kathleen. Actually, I think she loves everyone in the band. 

They spent quite a bit of time choosing tunes for the set, deciding on orchestration, and playing through everything, making changes when necessary. Haley has been listening to the CD John gave her for Christmas and many of the tunes came from that. Though she "knows" them, she'd not played them before. Most of the other tunes, she learned on the fly. She and John worked out a version of King of the Fairies with the band. 

 The band sounded great together! I love the way John works out the sets so everyone has their time in the spotlight. They have so much fun on stage together.

After the performance, we were able to get a copy of Irish Philadelphia's band new CD called Ceili Drive. It features musicians local to the Philadelphia area. Haley and Dylan recorded a tune set with the Next Generation kids for the CD so it was cool for them to hear how their "work" turned out. I love the way Dylan's guitar sounds on the CD!

We have three busy wrestling weekends in a row coming up then our crazy month of March gets under way. March is a very busy month for my Irish musicians! Let the fun begin!!

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