High-energy Celtic music and dance on tap for St. Pat’s

Saturday, March 16, 7:30 p.m.—RANDOLPH – Internationally acclaimed fiddlers and step-dance sensations Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy will return to the Chandler Center for the Arts for a spirited celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m.

MacMaster and Leahy continue to bring fans throughout the world on a musical and personal journey of discovery, inspired by the rich Celtic traditions of their Cape Breton and Ontario homelands. For this special visit to Vermont on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the longtime Chandler audience favorites will feature their talented children alongside skilled musicians, singers, and dancers deeply steeped in the folk music and movement of Canada’s storied Celtic communities.

The entertainment world is filled with extraordinary stories, but few match the true-life tales of Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, Canada’s reigning couple of Celtic music. Indeed, when two of the planet’s very best traditional fiddle players married in 2002, the proverbial mantelpiece was instantly filled with JUNO and East Coast Music Awards – the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys.

MacMaster and Leahy followed different life trajectories early on – she a Cape Breton native who could step dance as soon as she learned to walk and he the oldest brother of the acclaimed family group Leahy.

The duo crested the traditional music peak when matrimony brought them together, proving that they were every bit as dynamic working together as they were performing apart.

“The fiddle was definitely common ground for us when we first got together,” MacMaster recalls with a chuckle. “I was so in awe of Donnell’s family – of 11 siblings who could play and had a family band. And now here I am doing almost exactly the same thing – well, kind of!”

MacMaster refers to her and Leahy’s six musically gifted children, who today are a centerpiece of the MacMaster/Leahy family live set. The pair realized early on that being on the road without their kids was infinitely harder than touring with them, and so another stellar Canadian family band was born.

For tickets and more information about the Natalie MacMaster/Donnell Leahy performance on Saturday evening, March 16, call the Chandler Box Office at 802-728-6464, visit chandler-arts.org, or stop by Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph, weekdays between 12- 4 p.m.

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