The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 23, 2007

Celtic Festival returns

SUNBURY -- Skirling pipes, the rattle of drums, wailing fiddles and lilting voices will all be part of the Fourth Annual Sunbury Celtic Festival on Saturday at Spyglass Ridge Winery in Rockefeller Township.

In addition to music from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., the festival features more than 30 crafters, an English car show, food and wine tasting from five regional wineries. Highland cattle will be on display, and a falconer is expected as well.

The Nittany Highland Pipe Band of State College will pipe in the British cars at 11:30 to get the music started, and throughout the day, the pipers and drummers will perform between acts on the stage.

Headlining the show this year is fiddler and step dancer April Verch of Pembroke, Ontario, Canada. An acclaimed Celtic fiddler, April Verch is the first woman to win both the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championship and the Canadian Open Fiddle Championship, and her first album yielded a Juno award, the Canadian version of the Grammy. Her music is Celtic-inspired but includes elements of bluegrass and even Brazilian melodies.

She will perform in the main music tent from 3-3:45 and again from 6:45-8 p.m.

Opening the music in the main tent from 12-12:45 is Celtica, a Lewisburg-based trio featuring Flora Eyster on flutes, Rich Grace on guitars and vocals and Steve Catania on mandolin. They will do a second set inside the winery at 1 p.m. Known for their interpretations of jigs, reels, ballads, pub songs and sea chanties, Celtica always presents authentic Celtic music without embellishment.

Following Celtica at 1 p.m. is the amazing Celtic-influenced duo Brazz Tree. The duo combines elements of Irish music with jazz and punk rock for a unique take on guitar and fiddle music with incredible vocals thrown into the mix. They've been a real sensation in clubs in New York and have been gaining air play around the country. They were recently featured on "Mixed Bag" on WVIA-FM. They'll be back on stage from 4:15-5 p.m.

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