2009-03-13 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

Sweet Sounds Of The Celts
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

Denis Macrae with his work. On display in Geoff's Art Class Exhibition now through March 29. Denis Macrae with his work. On display in Geoff's Art Class Exhibition now through March 29. "Geoff's Art Class Show" in sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA @ Fort Tilden remains on view through March 29. Admission is free. Gallery hours are Saturday 12- 4 p.m.; Sunday 1-4 p.m. and by appointment. Seasoned professionals, beginners who have recently been awakened to talent within and those who have been exercising the pleasures of painting for a longer time than that; all have been welcomed, encouraged and enriched in Geoff Rawling's Tuesday and Thursday art classes at Fort Tilden. Now the best of their work is on display. Come see the results of the freedom, enjoyment and expressiveness 'drawn out' (no pun intended) by Rawling. Perhaps you will see an aspect of a neighbor you never saw before. Perhaps you will even be moved to explore the possibilities within yourself.

Celeste Ray is a Celtic musician and singer who has entertained Rockaway audiences many times in a variety of venues. We can have the pleasure of enjoying the talents of the ensemble Celeste Ray and Four Celtic Voices (formerly known as Four Celtic Women), and their accompanying musicians, this weekend. March 15 they appear in Brooklyn at Our Lady of Angels Church at 2 p.m. at 7320 4th Avenue #1. For information: 718-836- 7200; www.ourladyofangelsparish.org.

On St. Patrick's Day, March 17, the group will be featured on QVC-TV as part of a day dedicated to all things Irish on the station. The group will sing and play Irish songs from their debut CD, "Four Leaf Clover." It is said that they "transport the audience to the Mystical Lands of the Celts." Ray and her colleagues play authentic Celtic instruments that include the bowed psaltery, harmonium, Celtic flutes, Celtic harp and the fiddle. Performance times are flexible because of the many programs planned that day. However, scheduled performances are 1 a.m.-2 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 6 p.m.-8 p.m., 10 p.m.-midnight.

Various types of flutes have been played in Celtic countries for more than a millennium, according to www.ceolas.org. The 'simple-system' flute, featuring six holes and up to eight keys, is the kind most used today. They came into more common use in Ireland in the 19th century. Modern copies of this traditional flute are generally fabricated from wood. The wood and the cylindrical bore provide a hollow, airy tone that is softer than that of classical flutes and smoother than the tin whistle.

Though the tin whistle, or penny whistle, may be the simplest and cheapest of the traditional instruments, it is difficult to play well. Consisting of a simple metal tube, it features six holes and a mouthpiece like that of a recorder. Its price can range from five dollars to hundreds of dollars. But in the right hands, even five dollars can sound like a million.

RAA CONTACT INFO:

Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718-474- 4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol.com; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance. org

Fort Tilden Highlights

"GEOFF'S ART CLASS EXHIBIT," the best and the brightest, will be on through March 29. Gallery hours: Sat. 12-4 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m. and by appointment. Free admission. See column for details.

PAINTING CLASSES FOR ADULTS: Tuesday nights, 7-9 p.m.; Thursday mornings, 10 a.m. - 12 noon. sTudio 7, RoCA @ Fort Tilden. $15 per class, supplies included. Instructor: Geoff Rawling.

FREE THURS. NIGHT MUSIC: Open mic and open stage for performing artists, including spoken word and comics, and scheduled bands every Thurs. night, sTudio 7 stage, RoCA, Fort Tilden.

'PROOF': Rockaway Theatre Co., Post Theater in Fort Tilden. Mar. 13,14 @ 8 p.m.; Mar. 14 @ 2 p.m. For tix: 718-347-6400.

kidsmART corner

The kidsmART after-school program is held on Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. in Building T-149 in Fort Tilden.

For children registered at the PS 104 program, the schedule is Monday - Wednesday, 3 - 4:45 p.m. RAA is continually accepting inquiries for positions as junior counselors and teaching artists.

Please send resumes to: chrisrockart 116@ aol.com. For questions regarding after-school programming, please e-mail: marinarockart 116@aol.com.

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