2007-07-13 / Columnists

Notes from the High C's

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
by Sharon Gabriel

by Sharon Gabriel

I hope you were able to attend the concert on Sunday because if you didn't, you missed a very unusual group. MacTalla Mór is very hard to explain. To say that they are a Celtic band would not be explaining them at all; I came to Ft. Tilden expecting to be bored and was anything but.

I was speaking to Patty Devlin Olfang, the leader of the group, and found out that not only is she the leader, but she is the mother of all the other musicians. The pipers are Jesse and Levon, the lead singer and keyboardist is sister Ilana and her son Erik is their accomplished songwriter. They are just a lovely family. MacTalla Mór's style of Celtic music is like listening to rock 'n roll, jazz and even some rap intermingled together. Figure that out on bagpipes, keyboard, an Irish drum called a bodhran and a set of regular drums, and you have the most unusual sound you have ever heard. This great group had people dancing in the aisles and joining in with clapping and swaying with the music. Two young girls were doing some Irish steps and along comes Mary Dever Kelly joining right in and she didn't miss a beat, even as the music went faster and faster. You did a good job, Mary.

At the end of the concert I believe they ran out of cassettes because everyone was buying them. Somehow, I left mine on the table and it disappeared.

Oh, well! Next time I'll put it away. Thanks to Geraldine, Gene, Beverly and Owen, who I joined at Tiberio's after the concert. We had a few laughs and closed the place for the night, then I came home and took a cold shower after being in the hot sun all day.

To go from good-old Irish to good-old American, the concert on Sunday, July 22 will feature The Road House Band, a country and western group that was supposed to appear at the first concert last summer when it poured for the whole day and the concert had to be cancelled.

The band promised that they would perform this year and so they will be at Ft. Tilden at 6 p.m. on July 22. I'm sure there will be some western dancing and some square dancing, which is so much fun. That's when you realize that not everyone knows their left foot from their right.

So come on down with your calico skirts (the girls, that is) and western boots and have a good time.

Our Fall Festival is moving along and will be on Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9. It is actually a week or two early this year because there are Jewish holidays on the following weekends and it wouldn't have been feasible to plan for those dates. Being that the dates are a little early, we should probably have great weather.

Just keep your fingers crossed.

The museum trip to the Culinary Institute of America and the Frederick Vanderbilt Mansion is set for Wednesday, October 24 and the reservations are filling up fast, so if you are thinking of coming along with us, please give me a call or see me at the concert on July 22.

The price is $75, which includes a coach bus, a three-course lunch and the visit to the mansion. Of course, at that time of the year, the trees are all changing color and the trip itself should be beautiful.

As I mentioned at the concert, if you haven't yet seen the Rockaway Theatre Company production of "South Pacific," please make your reservations. It was practically standing room only on opening night. This is another one of their magnificent productions. The cast is first-rate, and are to be congratulated for their very fine performances. Every single song is well known and I found myself humming along as they sang.

Thank you John, Peggy, Susan and your staff for bringing such great productions to Rockaway.

The Music Memory Program in the schools is over for the term and will start again in the fall. However, once again, our Rockaway schools performed beautifully and came away with second and third prizes citywide. Good job, kids!!

If you attend the concerts, fall festival and other events we present, I hope you will consider becoming a member of the RMAC. It's a long, hot summer and fall for us and your membership is what keeps us going.

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