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A Canadian Celtic Celebration at Rockwell Hall

Posted: October 4, 2005
The Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall proudly presents Canada’s first family of Celtic music the Barra MacNeils, with special guest The Cottars on Friday, November 4 at 8:00 p.m. Their appearance at the Performing Arts Center is part of the 2005-2006 Great Performers Series, presented by M&T Bank.

Tickets for the Barra MacNeils, with The Cottars, are $30, with a discount for seniors. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Rockwell Hall Box Office, 1300 Elmwood Ave. or by calling 716-878-3005 or online at Box Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Making their second appearance at Rockwell Hall, the Barra MacNeils hail from Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia and are one of Canada’s premier Celtic groups. Steeped in Cape Breton tradition with strong Celtic roots and musical artistry, this diverse and talented family group continues to wow audiences around the world with their captivating vocals, harmonies and extraordinary musicianship.

Their much-anticipated new CD All At Once features the addition of siblings Boyd and Ryan MacNeil and delivers an exhilarating and rejuvenated sound. The six MacNeil siblings all sing and play a range of traditional Celtic instruments. They’ve been stars of the Canadian traditional music scene since 1986, but rarely venture south of the border. On a recent tour of Ireland the Barra MacNeils were nominated Best Folk/Traditional Group at the 2005 Celtic Fusion Awards.

The Barra MacNeils take their name from the ancestral homeland on the small island of Barra in the outer Hebrides. Along with all the extracurricular activities of any normal family, the MacNeil kids learned Celtic dancing from their mother, and took the music lessons that formed the basis of their renown. Whether it be at church dances or other public outings, the music of the MacNeils, sometimes alone, sometimes together, was certain to be the focal point of the evening.

With ten albums to their credit and a busy tour schedule, The Barra MacNeils are Canada's Celtic ambassadors in Scotland, England, Denmark, Germany and the United States. The Barra MacNeils were voted Group of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards, based on their successes with their 2001 release Racket in the Attic. The album also earned a Juno nomination for Roots/Traditional Group of the Year.

While still in their teens The Cottars represent the bright future of Canadian Celtic music. "One of the hottest acts in the folk world today" raved The Boston Globe. Since forming in late 2000, The Cottars have received standing ovations at virtually every show they've performed - from an early 2001 concert for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, to Boston Symphony Hall with renowned tenor John McDermott, to a St. Patrick’s Day concert for Senator Edward Kennedy and his family, to Tryphony Music Hall in Tokyo. Another career highlight came in 2004 with the CBC TV special “The Chieftains In Canada.” The Cottars’ musical heroes, The Chieftains, handpicked them to guest-star on the project.

The Cottars are a stunningly talented group of four young Cape Breton Celtic musicians; two brother-sister pairs—Jimmy & Roseanne MacKenzie and Ciaran & Fiona MacGillivray, are each a multi-instrumentalist, singer and stepdancer. With two albums, a 2003 East Coast Music Award for Best New Artist, and a 2005 East Coast Music Award for Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year to their credit The Cottars are convincing the world, one show at a time, that they are the bright future of Celtic music!

The Great Performers Series is sponsored by M&T Bank, and WBFO.
Media Contact:
Jeff Marsha, Director of Operations, Performing Arts Center | 7168783032 |

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