Category Archives: holidays

An Irish Christmas Céilí 2018

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Nothing makes me merrier than celebrating Christmas with Iowa’s finest Irish dancers as fiddler for the Champagne Céilí Band.

Join us on Saturday, December 15 at 2 pm at North Liberty South Slope Community Center.

Tickets are $16 at the door.

Haunted Irish Folk Music at the Sanctuary on Friday, October 26

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Frank, Joe, Keith and I have a show for you that is full of all the best of our most haunted music. Ghosts and monsters abound!

December 16 Christmas Ceili

As a proud returning member of the Champagne Ceili Band, I warmly invite you to join us on Saturday, December 16 at 2 pm at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.

Christmas Ceili 2017: Christmas in Killlarney will be an afternoon of dance, music, fun, food and community.

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From the Facebook event page:

Watch your favorite Irish dancers perform both traditional and contemporary Irish dance along with some seasonal favorites! Then join in for a jig yourself!
Performance
Ceili (social dance)
Pot luck
Tickets sold at the door: $16
3 and younger free (on lap please)

A day to celebrate!

This beautiful Irish landscape was created by my father-in-law Jon Dutcher as a gift for my parents.

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Regardless of how you feel about green beer or the question of the snake metaphor, today is a day to celebrate the depth of beauty and humanity in Irish culture now and for centuries past.

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate without leaving home, did you know that Tomm Moore’s Song of the Sea as well as The Secret of Kells (same creator and production team) are both available to stream on Amazon? Free if you have Prime!

If you still need more selkie in your life, I refer you to our version of “Song of the Seal” from our 2005 album I Shall.

No celebration is complete without live music though so we look forward seeing you tonight at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts! All ages are welcome. The show begins at 7:30 pm.

Please share the love!

St. Paddy’s is upon us!

Plenty of opportunities to catch some Irish music over the next several days! First, we’ll see you on Friday at 2 Dogs Pub. I recommend the black bean burger with teriyaki green beans. We’ll start playing at 8.

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Then on Saturday, we’re thrilled to be opening for Dervish at the Englert.

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Sunday is a day of kitchen wizardry because on Monday, St. Patrick’s Day, we’re having a potluck and music event at Uptown Bill’s called ‘Ireland to Iowa; A Living Tradition‘. The potluck begins at 6 pm. I am bringing Guinness stew (one traditional and one vegan) and soda bread (one traditional and one gluten-free). There will then be a performance at 7 pm and a session beginning at 8 pm.

The plan for the 7 pm concert is to feature original compositions written in Iowa in the Irish tradition. The concert portion of the evening will feature compositions by me, my bandmates Brad Pouleson and Keith Reins, our friends Dave Hicks, Dennis Roseman, and Guy Drollinger and more and the session following the concert is open to all.

We hope to see some friendly faces as we celebrate our eleventh St. Paddiversary with the Beggarmen!

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3rd Annual Irish Christmas Ceili

3rd Annual Irish Christmas Ceili

Friends and family, I am asking a favor. This event means a lot to me, my music students, my son, and his dance school. Please consider attending, bringing your family, and telling everyone you know about it. You most definitely will not regret it.

I’m attaching a note from Tréa Champagne, Director/Instructor at Champagne Academy of Irish Dance, about ways that you can help support this wonderful community event.

Dear Friends of the Irish Arts,

Our 3rd annual Irish Christmas Céilí is coming up on Friday, December 13th, 2013 (6:30 – 9:30pm) at Old Brick in Iowa City, Iowa. We’re excited about promoting a local céilí (pronounced “kay-lee”); which is a relaxed gathering involving traditional Irish folk music and social dancing. More information about our céilí can be found on the below website.

In addition to a performance by some of the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance students, we will have a silent auction that spotlights many local artists and businesses. This special holiday event is open to the public and is the school’s only fundraiser of the year. The money raised will be used to cover the cost of the event itself (hall, band, callers, travel expenses, performance, beverages, supplies, etc..) as well as supporting both the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance and Old Brick of Iowa City.

You may not realize it, but you are a vital part of keeping the Irish arts alive in Iowa. Please consider showing your support by contributing using one of the options listed below. Please feel free to share this information to those you think would be interested in our céilí!

Thank you for your consideration, and we hope to see you at the céilí!

Tréa Champagne
Director/Instructor
Champagne Academy of Irish Dance
IowaIrishDance@gmail.com
https://sites.google.com/site/champagneirishdance

Will you help support the Irish arts in Iowa? Please consider one of the following options:

1. EVENT AUCTION ITEMS (due by 12/10/2013)
We are looking for items to be made available for bids during a silent auction at our 2013 holiday event. Want to provide an item, but aren’t sure what? Acceptable items from past auctions: jewelry, gift certificates, small home furnishings, children’s toys, and assorted craft items. Items that make good Christmas gifts are always popular! Please submit an auction form with every item (or smaller items packaged together as one). For more details, and to locate the auction item web form, please visit https://sites.google.com/site/champagneirishdance/home/auction-item-form.

2. EVENT SPONSORS (due by 12/10/2013)
We are seeking sponsors for our 2013 holiday event. In return for your generosity, assuming we attain enough sponsors, we will be printing shirts for the event, and will place your name (or business logo) on the back. For further information, please visit (https://sites.google.com/site/champagneirishdance/home/sponsorship-form).

If you are interested in helping out in other ways with this year’s event, please let us know… new people bring new ideas. If you have any questions, please email IowaIrishDance@gmail.com.

Advance and Retire

Atticus had his Irish step dance debut a few weeks ago for a hooley put on by the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance.

Holiday hooley

Holiday hooley

We were in the ceili band playing for the dance and I was really proud to be joined by a few of my students who really held their own playing for the dancers.

Holiday hooley

Playing for a ceili is a meditative experience because we repeat one tune many more times than we might normally if we were playing for a session or a performance. The familiarity of the tunes and the repetition lulls me into an altered state of mind.

The caller teaches the dance and then, when the dancers are ready to bring the tempo up to dance to the live music, calls out instructions to keep them on track.

I recall sitting there fiddling, watching the bouncing and twirling dancers, communicating with my band mates and students by means of winks and smiles, catching glimpses of my sons partying with their beloved babysitter.

Holiday hooley

All this set to the background sound of the music of my heart played on the pipes, the fiddle, and the drum along with the caller’s reminders to “advance, advance, retire, retire. Advance, advance, retire, retire”.

Holiday hooley

I had a rare moment of perfect clarity about the cycle of seasons, the bittersweet truth of ends and beginnings, of children growing and changing. Advance, advance, retire, retire.

Between the hooley and this moment, there has been the crush of holidays (Christmas and Liam’s birthday), the peace of retreat (our cabin in the woods New Year’s tradition), and the resumption of Regular Life. Through all this, I still hear the refrain in my mind (advance, advance, retire, retire) when I’m washing the dishes, walking the dog, anytime that my mind goes still for a moment.

It’s not a bad soundtrack to a day.