Tuesday Haley joined some local ceili dancers and played a few tune sets for an area church's elderly folks' luncheon in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
This weekend, Haley and I spent no time at home. Friday night after orchestra, we made the drive to New York and stayed with her teacher so she could have a lesson in the morning before heading out with him to play a couple gigs. The first was his annual library concert at Ossining Library. What a library they have there! This library has a room with a small stage. They draw a nice sized crowd. Brian plays with Brendan accompanying him on piano and throughout the gig, brings up his students one at a time to perform a set, then at the end he has them all up for a finale.
Haley's teacher played a set by himself, his talented daughter, Fiona, sang a solo, then he had Haley up for a fiddle solo. After Haley's solo, Brian and Haley played one of their favorite sets together then he brought up the rest of his students for another set. After Haley played, we were honored to meet the Irish Consulate General and his wife. The man who set up the event, Bill Reilly, also asked Haley to help him present an award...the Emerald Spirit Award to Jerry Moe, VP and National Director of Betty Ford Center's Children's Programs. This award recognizes individuals who have shown extraordinary dedication and devotion to improving the lives of family members of alcoholics and addicts.
|Waiting to go on stage|
|Haley waiting to perform|
|Haley, Finbar, Brian, Kate, and Johanna|
After the gig in NYC, we drove through the traffic and snow to Fairfield, CT. We took John Whelan Band member/fiddler, Genevieve with us because we all had to spend the night in a hotel so we'd be there for a gig at a church in the morning. The band played at the Bridgeport United Congregational Church. They joined the church choirs for some lovely Gaelic hymns. The pastor gave a lovely sermon on respecting other religious walks to God while remaining strong in our own faith. She was a powerful speaker and I really enjoyed her message.
|Rehearsing with the choir|
After church this adorable 3 year old was fascinated by John's accordion. He sat with her for a long while letting her press the keys. Watching her mind work as she ran her fingers up and down the keys playing scales then pushing in buttons to change keys and playing the next scale, I was fascinated by the way bright, young children learn when interested in something. She was so systematic in her experimentation with the keys.
Haley, Genevieve, and I joined our friends Kate and Sofia for brunch at a little pub in Bridgeport then I took the girls to the local mall for awhile to waste time while we waited for the last gig of the weekend. The last gig of the weekend was a ceili in East Haven, CT.
Ceili playing is a bit different than playing on a stage in a concert. The music is fast and furious because the dancers like it that way. Haley played for the better part of four hours (and said it was the most fun she had all weekend...the child is a bit crazy)! They did take breaks now and then while the piano player sang Frank Sinatra songs.
|Ceili band performing|
|Sofia, Haley, and Genevieve dancing|
|John invited Sofia to perform Czardas on her viola for the crowd.|
This weekend I learned that being "on tour" is exhausting but it is also a lot of fun. We met a lot of new people, saw a number of "old" friends, and participated in some great events!