‘Rant Maggie Rant’ will be featured guest in ISO’s Galaxy of Celtica

Performances scheduled for January 13 (Canada) and January 14 (U.S.)

Jaunty jigs, rollicking reels, and lots of foot-stomping fun will be on the programme for the International Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming January Extravaganza, “Galaxy of Celtica.”

The performances will take place Friday, January 13, at 7:30 p.m., at the Imperial Theatre, Sarnia, and Saturday, January 14, 7:30 p.m., at McMorran Theatre, Port Huron.

Under the direction of Maestro Douglas Bianchi, featured guests will include the popular Celtic ensemble Rant Maggie Rant,  dancers from the Sarnia School of Irish Dance, and the ISO’s Pipe and Drum Ensemble, under the direction of pipe major Tom Rankin.

Rant Maggie Rant will take the stage with the ISO in several selections, including: Winter’s Flower by Kevin Lau, The Water is Wide and Lea Rig, arranged by Ben Bolt-Martin, as well, will perform a number of their own signature arrangements.

Since their debut in 2008, Rant Maggie Rant has consistently won over audiences at festivals, folk clubs, town halls, churches, concert halls and symphonic stages.

The original goal was to take traditional Celtic music as the foundation, then liberally colour outside the prescribed lines. In a nut-shell, have fun!

Traditionalists love their approach, as the ensemble respects the time-honoured styles. Drawing on the music from the seven Celtic nations: Ireland; Scotland; Cornwall; Wales; the lesser known Isle of Mann; Galicia (Spain); and Brittany (France); as well as from Quebec, and Canada’s East Coast, new Celtic music listeners are drawn to Rant Maggie Rant’s fusion of World influences – Mediterranean rhythms, African hand drumming and percussion, blues/rock guitar backdrops, revved up tempos, unexpected time changes, and a unique rhythmic attack, all adding to their unique and eclectic style.

Their repertoire combines contemporary compositions with traditional tunes, often blending them together to deliver an exciting performance with energetic drive. Based in Stratford, Ontario, Rant Maggie Rant showcases the talents of:

—Lindsay Schindler (fiddle, vocals): A founding member of Rant Maggie Rant, Lindsay is establishing herself as an electrifying performer: lightning fast and incredibly smooth with contagious energy, as well as a smile that lights up the stage.

—Glen Dias (lead vocals, recorder and incidental percussion): A founding member of Rant Maggie Rant, Glen is an engaging front man and a generous performer. His earliest influences and performances were in rock and UK folk music. With the Canadian west coast duo, ptarmigan, he opened several shows for the likes of world renowned jazz luminaries: guitarist Lenny Breau; and flautist Paul Horn This early career foray into folk was followed by a professional career in music theatre and opera.

—Barry James Payne (acoustic guitar, vocals): A roots-oriented singer and songwriter, Barry comes from a folk, blues and rock background. His project String Bone released its debut record in 2009, called ‘nadir’, with veteran troubadour Shannon Lyon at the producer’s helm and Bob Egan (Blue Rodeo, ex-Wilco) contributing to several tracks. The CD received very favourable reviews from critics at home and abroad. Barry has played over 200 shows, including a tour in Europe.

Rant Maggie Rant often engages other musicians to round out their sound depending on the occasion and request. Special guests have included: original member Rob Larose (drums & percussion); Loretto Reid (whistles, Irish flute, button accordion & concertina), Pat O’Gorman (pipes, Irish flute & whistles), Dave Nuttall (Irish whistles & wind instruments), and Steve Clark (bass).

Dancers from the Sarnia School of Irish Dance, under the direction of Mairin Ring, will be featured performing with the orchestra in collaboration with Rant Maggie Rant.

A popular highlight of these evenings is the Pipe and Drum Ensemble, comprised of members drawn from throughout the area.  This year, following their traditional ceremonial entrance, the group will be featured in Amazing Grace and a poignant arrangement of Auld Lang Syne.

This gala celebration will also feature the full International Symphony Orchestra in several selections, including: Vaughan Williams’ Sea Songs; Folk Tune and Fiddle Dance by Percy Fletcher; Weatherly’s Danny Boy; and other Celtic favourites.

Admission to “Galaxy of Celtica ” is by subscription, or individual tickets, which may be purchased at: the Symphony Office, 251 North Vidal Street, Sarnia; McMorran Theatre Box Office, Port Huron, Port Huron Music Center, 2700 Pine Grove Avenue, Port Huron or by calling: (519) 337-7775 or (810) 984-8857. Tickets may also be ordered by email – iso@rivernet.net.

For more info visit the website: www.theiso.org

Tickets for the January 13 performance are $39 (Can.) for adults, $36 for seniors, $13 for students (includes HST and theatre surcharge).

Tickets for the January 14 performance are $31 (U.S.) for adults, $28 for seniors, $8 for students.

The performances are supported by Frohm, Kelly, Butler & Ryan P.C. and The Whiting Foundation.

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