I can't wait 'till you all can hear these tunes and songs.
Lots of recording, writing, singing, playing and planning going on around here at the moment! Random explosions of people yelling "I love this!" "I can't choose my favorite song!" and "YES!!" going on.
I can't wait 'till you all can hear these tunes and songs.
The winner of the February contest is John Olson! Here is his wonderful story about his experience at one of our Christmas shows, which happened on a tragically significant day in December.
Any show by The Gothard Sisters is joyous and memorable and I loved all nine shows I saw in 2012. Their first Christmas show a week earlier in Seattle was beautiful and wonderful in every way and would otherwise be my entry. However, though essentially the same show, the Celtic Christmas Concert in Carnation, WA on December 14th was extra special. This concert was on a day that will live in American history. Earlier that morning the lives of twenty precious children and six brave educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, as well as the mother of the shooter and the shooter himself were tragically lost. The spirits of people arriving for this concert were saddened and we needed to be uplifted. We had come to the right place. The venue, the Tolt Congregational United Church of Christ, resembled a rugged stone Celtic chapel with its arching outside bell tower, stunning stained glass windows, and an ornately carved wooden altarpiece. A month earlier the Gothards filmed their music video Greensleeves / What Child is This? at this church and they were invited back to entertain for the church’s Good Neighbor Fund. The audience - largely a mix of townspeople and church members - were there to support their community and to enjoy Christmas music with Celtic energy. While the performance area was tiny and the lighting was dim compared to some of their venues, the girls lovingly choreographed every detail perfectly and made the small church glow like a warm blazing fireplace.
Fittingly, the program began with a time of silence and prayer for the Newtown victims followed by the lighting of a Candle of Peace. Then Willow, Solana, and Greta took the floor. And, quicker than a broken shoelace, their opening fiddle number, Jeannette, and Irish dancing to Greta’s exuberant Celebration Reel moved us from sadness to happiness. The joy kept rolling in with Silver Bells, Ballybrolly, David’s Jig, and the most spirited version of Hark the Herald Angels you will ever hear. Treble Jig showcased their amazing competition-level footwork. Next were their arrangements of Midsummer Jigs and the old Christmas songs, Pat-a-Pan and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Then Solana and Willow thundered away delightfully on Double Drums and danced us off to intermission with Christmas Reel. The chatter at break had a warm community feel to it - friends greeting friends; introductions being made; home baked goodies being sampled; and many remarking about the lovely Gothard sisters and all their talents . . . and about how nice it was to be there after the bad news of the day. At least two people talked reflectively about these three young ladies being the same age as the Newtown children when they began violin training.
The concert resumed with the girls adding white satin shirts for their performances of Carol of the Bells; Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Trepak, and The Friendly Beasts. Then it was back to their blue, gold, and red costumes for Here We Come a Caroling ending with Solana doing a yellow ribbon slip dance to Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Next were the lively Coventry, A Capella, Willow’s Fairy Dance Jig and Music for a Found Harmonium and a lovely version of O Holy Night.Then Solana sang a lovely rendition of Silent Night. When Solana concluded the last phrases of the song; “Sleep in Heavenly peace. Sleep in Heavenly peace.” she stood peacefully and motionless for several moments with a loving empathetic expression on her face. Suddenly, for those of us there, these words about the wish of rest for newborn Jesus seemed to transform into a prayer of Heavenly peace for the victims in Newtown. We could not have a more comforting and sweet message and tears came.
Willow introduced the finale song with “Merry Christmas and good night. Good night and Joy be to you all” and the girls sweetly harmonized the chorus from the Celtic song Parting Joy. On this particular night it was more like a benediction of peace and consolation for an evening of togetherness that we all needed. We did, indeed, feel joy. As I drove home in the thick fog that night I thought how much the world would be missing if Greta, Willow, and Solana had missed their chance to grow up and to bloom into talented performers and, more importantly, wonderful role models of good behavior and joy.
Here is that announcement we've been hinting at for the last week. It is very exciting news - watch the video to find out!
Yes, that's right, we're recording a new album!
In the Fall we released a single (one song - fairy dance jig), but now we are back in the studio in earnest and recording an entire album's worth of new material.
At the moment we're aiming for a Summer 2013 release, followed by a national tour based on the new material, plus all your favorites from Story Girl. To keep up with all the latest news from the studio, go RIGHT HERE!
Hey all - I just wanted to let you know that we just reached a significant milestone on FB (5,000 likes) and we'd like to take a moment to thank YOU - every one of you who has ever shared a video, told another person about us, given one of our CDs away as a gift, suggested our music, come to a live show, brought someone else along to a live show or sent us a friendly email. We feel so very grateful, and that is why we are constantly working on new music and performance numbers to live up to all of your support.
THANK YOU - now here we go towards 10,000! You all are integral to the next part here and we're excited to get there together! :)
This page has just barely gotten started, but our new page ("Resources") is an exciting new addition to the site. Here I've started compiling what I hope to be a thorough list of some Celtic music, dance and culture resources for you. Right now I have a bare bones list of other Celtic music bands, sibling bands, our favorite recording artists, Celtic festivals, Irish dance schools, homeschooling links and much more.
I'll be adding to the list as time goes on, and if you have some links to suggest, please send them along to the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, enjoy the new resources page! Also, the members-only page is now up and running for those of you on the mailing list. It is password protected and only available for mailing list subscribers. If you are on the mailing list, the password is in the latest newsletter for the month of January and will be included in any email that you get from us. Enjoy the exclusive videos and other fun stuff included in the members-only section!
Recent photos added:
Check out what this lucky girl got for Christmas! Her grandma made her three American Girl doll-sized Gothard Sisters dresses! I love it!
The first song from our Christmas show in Lake City was this tune arrangement! The first tune is a new jig written by Willow this Fall, called the "Flurry of Fall," which then incorporates the French Christmas Carol "Bring A Torch, Jeanette Isabella" in the middle and then goes out with another version of the "Flurry of Fall," which is now a reel.
The video was filmed, edited and produced by Kent Harrison of Sammamish Sounds, who also filmed and edited our latest music video, Greensleeves. Enjoy the clip!
Hark the Herald Angels Sing live at Washington State University on November 30th, 2012. Enjoy!
See more live show videos right here.
New lyric video slideshow by Lola Faulkner on youtube. Added to the lyric video section of the video page. :)
Our arrangement of Greensleeves can be found on the album Christmas.