Celtique Air
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Celtique Air

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Music

Press


"The walls of the cathedral seemed to fade . . . we were transported to a mist - shrouded loch, deep in the green Scottish countryside."

Anne Ingraham - Arts & Entertainment reporter, August, 1990

- The Daily Gleaner


"a diverse well paced program . . . balanced between instrumental and vocal numbers. . . .' "Both are story tellers extraordinaire."

Sara Kennedy, Arts & Entertainment Reporter, July, 1991 - The Daily Gleaner, Fredericton


About Workshops

"Both gifted educators, this background permits them to facilitate workshops and seminars on various aspects of Celtic music."
"Their easy going manner and interaction with participants, generate an excellent climate for learning. . . "

Reverend Douglas Blaikie regarding the Prsbytery Conference at
Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick. August, 1995

- Rev, D. Blaikie


About Workshops

"Celtic Air gave parents and children 45 minutes of fun!"
"Children did not have to be quiet or still . . . in fact they were expected to perform . . ."
"Ms. McKinnon and Ms. Ogilvie know the art of delighting a young audience and are in no way condescending."

Sara Kennedy, Arts & Entertainment Reporter for The Daily Gleaner, July, 1991
- The Daily Gleaner


". . . These two very accomplished performers . . . performance was enjoyed by those in attendance which included government officials, local dignitaries, and a number of special guests from Ireland . . ."

Mary G. Jones, Administrative Assistant to the President & Vice - Chancellor of St. Thomas University.
September, 2007. - M.G. Jones, Administrative Assistant to Office of the President & Vice Chancellor


". . . Until I heard Ms. McKinnon play it last night I never knew that you could elicit such sweet sounds from a tin whistle. Ms. Ogilvie also played beautifully on what must be one of the most delicate sounding instruments ever created by man . . ."

Anne Ingram, Arts & Entertainment Reporter for The Daily Gleaner - The Daily Gleaner


" . . . The clean articulations of Ms Ogilvie's Celtic harp were crisp, allowing each note to be heard, even at the brightest tempos. . . Both Ms. McKinnon and Ms. Ogilvie are storytellers extraordinaire . . . both ladies had the audience laughing, clapping, and stomping. . ."

Sara Kennedy, Arts & Entertainment Reporter for The Daily Gleaner
- The Daily Gleaner


"On behalf of the Commander, I would like to . . .thank you for the support that you have given to the Commander's Concert. . . . a result of your thrilling performance, . . . as Maple Lovelies.
. . . .your energy and enthusiasm . . choreography was terrific!! . . .rave reviews . . directly attributed to you."

Lieutenant - Colonel A.G. Miller, Base Administration Officer
C.F.B. Gagetown - National Defence


" 'My dad instilled a love of the language, the poetry and the music in us. My mother encouraged that and instilled a love of dance, customs and traditions.'
McKinnon has sung Gaelic songs in public since she was a child. . . .
'It's part of who I am. It's an incredibly rich language. It's very poetic. It's very expressive' . . . this year she's offering weekly classes. . .
. . . For Helen , Gaelic is more than a hobby. . . .wants to ensure this ancient language survives. . . .
Helen's contribution should not be underestimated."

Lori Gallagher reporter for the daily Gleaner, September 15, 2007. - The Daily Gleaner


Discography

"Voice of the Leal" - a demo of 8 selections featuring harp, voice and tin whistle.
"Call of the Glens" to be launched this October.

Photos

Bio


Helen and Jane first joined forces as members of a larger Celtic folk group - Oran. "When Jane took up the harp and started being part of my Gaelic songs, I thought I had died and gone to heaven". That was 21 years ago and while they both continued to teach school and raise families they also found themselves accepting invitations to give recitals, present workshops and collaborate with other musians to create the tapestry that is the New Brunswick Celtic folk music scene. Eventually the invitations came from neighbouring provinces as well as the state of Maine. In 1996 they performed at the International Folk Harp Festival in Olympia, Washington.
Now that both are retired from their day jobs and their children have flown the proverbial coop, Celtique Air has new creative freedom. Helen, who has been teaching Gaelic language for many years, is developing a Gaelic course recorded on CD, including songs which reinforce pronunciation and cultural understanding. Her latest workshops have been in New Brunswick and Michigan.
Jane is composing songs and instrumentals and learning to use digital music production software so that virtual orchestras are now available to her. This new repertoire has been the motivation to add other musicians in some of their performances. Depending upon the venue, Celtique Air may also include violin, cello, mandolin, guitar and or percussion.
Helen is a native Gaelic speaker, born in Grand mère, Quebec, of a Scottish mother (Isle of Lewis) and a New Brunswick father who took to Gaelic like a fish to water. The kids spoke only Gaelic until grade one and it was Dad who taught them the old Gaelic songs, legends and poetry, while Mom instilled dance and customs. (The lyrics of Celtique Air's "Call of the Glens" were written by Helen's father). As she grew, Helen was involved in all things Scottish - dance, pipeband and, of course, singing. Her voice is a gentle, clear soprano with a warm vibrato. This natural vibrato has made its way into her performance of tin whistle as well. Helen's facility with languages resulted in a teaching career in the New Brunswick French Immersion programme. This experience contributed to Celtique Air's interest in Acadian traditional music. Helen is also very involved with directing five levels of choirs ages five to senior citizen age.
Jane Ogilvie began her musical life as a pianist, participating in music festivals and recitals throughout her early years. Her relationship with the accordion began by accident when the family was storm-stayed on the island of St. Pierre, off the coast of Newfoundland. To keep his daughters occupied, Dad bought them instruments and Jane was handed a small squeeze box. Jane went on to study music at Université de Moncton with piano as her major , but when she began teaching music in the schools, it was the portable accordion that she found most useful in the classroom. "Then one day, when I was listening to The Chieftains, I heard this instrument come in - it completely changed the feel of the piece. It became haunting and far away. Someone told me it was a harp and I knew I had to learn to play it." Harp is now her primary performance instrument. Jane's formal training has proven to be an asset to the duo in many ways, none the least of which is the ability to write arrangements and compositions which include the orchestral world.
Jane and Helen have each contributed to the CDs of several local groups, including Oran, Gary Silliker, Solstice and Eric LeBlanc. Their first Celtique Air CD, "Voice of the Leal", includes Gaelic repertoire as well as the music of Turlough O'Carolan and Robbie Burns. "Call of the Glens", to be launched October, 2008, will be their first full-length album and spans a wide range of styles, from acapella Gaelic songs to a medley of jigs and reels to original contemporary compositions. Fellow musicians, who often play with Celtique Air in concert, have generously contributed their talents to this project.
Celtique Air now looks forward to expanding their boundaries, artistically and geographically. Their hope is that they are able to pass along the delight they experience in performing and teaching this beautiful and infinitely diverse music.
Celtique Air is very pleased to be an integral part of Gaelstrumm. When a larger group is required for certain functions, then Gaelstrumm is usually the one they perform in.