On St. Patty’s Day, Sunday, March 17, the Celtic Breeze Band and the McCafferty Irish Dance Troupe will combine talents to headline Irish cultural festivities at the Garland County Library.  Their performance will be in the Library’s auditorium at 2:30 p.m. at 1427 Malvern in Hot Springs.

The Celtic Breeze Band, with four of its five members residing in Hot Springs Village, plays the full historical portfolio of the Celtic Music tradition, from Irish Gaelic music dating back to the 600s a.d. up to many modern country, gospel, and popular tunes with Celtic roots that can be traced through the Scotch/Irish communities of the Ozarks, Ouachitas and Appalachia back to the Celtic Isles.

The Celtic Breeze band is composed of:

L-R: Charlie Mink, David Childs, Alice Canham, Deb Reed, Jo Leong

Charlie Mink, from Hot Springs (Mountain Dulcimer/Harmonica/Celtic Breeze Founder)- Charlie is a former contract musician with the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Ark. He currently teaches individual and group classes in Dulcimer and can be seen playing his Olden Gray Dulcimer at various locations around Hot Springs;

David Childs, from Hot Springs Village (Celtic Harp), has been involved with music since middle school, playing clarinet and saxophone and serving as his high school band’s drum major. He now plays the Celtic Harp and is a Certified Harp Music Therapist;

Alice Canham, from Hot Springs Village (Vocals/Bohdran)- Alice is a retired Radio personality, Commercial Voice Over professional, and award-winning actress who currently performs with the Hot Springs Village Players, the Voices Rising Chorus, and the Cedar Mountain Singers;

Deb Reed, from Hot Springs Village (Flute/Irish Whistle)- Deb plays with the Hot Springs Flute Ensemble and can also be found traipsing around the wilds of her Wisconsin Maple Syrup Tree Farm (and it is good syrup!);

Jo Leong, from Hot Springs Village (Fiddle)- Jo is a classically trained violinist who plays with the Saline Symphony and the Hot Springs Village Strings (but she has agreed to play fiddle for Celtic Breeze). Jo is a Professor Emerita of Interactive Design, Game Development, and Immersive Reality (wow!) at the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design.

The McCafferty Academy of Irish Dance is owned/operated by Marisa Christiansen, a Certified Teagascoir Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha, with An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha, which is the world’s oldest Irish Dancing organization. The McCafferty Academy in Little Rock specializes in traditional Irish Step dancing and Ceilidh dancing. McCafferty offers Irish dance lessons to ages three to 93; no dance experience is required.

The Academy dancers who will perform at this event, the Advanced Troupe, are:

Upper L to R: Annalise Conrad, Lily Burks, Celeste Caruthers
Lower L to R: Allyson Jensen, Lillian Nelson, Haylea Mabry

Spend your St. Patty’s Day afternoon with the Celtic Breeze Band and the McCafferty Academy of Irish Dance, and be transported to a celebration of Irish music, dance and culture.”

By David Childs, Celtic Breeze

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