Celtic Music Festival ramping up

HUERFANO- The fourth annual Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival is gearing up already for the four-day event, taking place from Sept. 25 through Sept. 28.  The concerts and classes will be hosted at venues throughout the towns of Gardner, Walsenburg, La Veta and Cuchara.

    Festivities start Thursday evening in Gardner with a rousing  concert introducing all the weekend artists.  Friday begins a three day schedule of workshops, classes and open playing sessions led by our visiting artists in addition to our four exciting concerts.

    The first concert, on Friday night at Walsenburg′s Fox Theater, is a double bill.  It opens with the world renowned Paraguayan harpist, Alfredo Ortiz, and is followed by an "Irish Bash" featuring uilleann piper Jerry O′Sullivan, Irish harper Lynn Saoirse and the multi-instrumentalist and singer, Kevin McElroy. 

    Saturday afternoon offers a free Celtic rock concert with Scotland′s Ceilidh Peppers band followed by ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) dancing for everyone.  Saturday night, another Irish hooli-hoo at the Fox features Liz Carroll.  Performing with her are Shannon and Matt Heaton and Irish step dancer Kieran Jordan.  Jerry O′Sullivan, long-time friend and musical cohort of these artists, will be joining in the night′s fun. 

    The festival′s finale is a Scottish led concert at the Fox on Sunday afternoon.  Performers include festival favorites — singers Margaret Bennett, Ed Miller and Alison Bell with harper and singer of Sileas and Poozie fame, Patsy Seddon.  They are backed by an array of musicians and some surprise guests.  The Scottish concert has always been unique in having a specific theme. This year’s theme is coal mining’s heyday in Scotland and Huerfano County.

    This high-spirited concert will reflect the miner’s work and play through music, song and dance, interwoven with samplings of their own personal stories.

The 2008 festival will end with an open ceilidh of singing, dancing and playing — all instruments are welcome!

    For more information about concerts, workshops and children′s events and early registration see our website:    www.celticmusicfest.com or telephone the festival′s director, Barbara Yule at 719-746-2061.