If you missed the recent Muses Celtic Spring concert at the Hot Springs Village Woodlands Auditorium, you missed a golden opportunity to believe you were listening to angelic voices in a cathedral in Dublin or a chapel in St. Andrews.
The Muses Creative Artistry Project did not fail, as they brought to the Woodlands the magical sounds of Celtic origin. The writer’s Irish grandmother, hailing from Limerick, Mary Conner, would have thought she’d gone home for Sunday mass, as she listened to celebrated musical works of art inspired by Irish and Scottish composers, as the Muses performed each song to perfection.
As an ensemble, Muses offered a wide variety of choruses infused with harmonies and absolute soprano flawlessness. When these dynamic voices are gathered together and sing in unison, the effect is absolutely astounding.
Founder and soloist, Deleen Davidson, designed a program covering all aspects of Celtic harmonies, including prayerful pieces along with exuberant toe-tapping tunes.
Each of the Muses, including Davidson, were featured in solos perfectly suited for their impeccable soprano range.
Not to be forgotten was unmatched accompaniment on piano by Elsen Portugal and Paul Stivitts on drums. In addition, Adrienne Inglis entertained on several instruments, including bass flute, piccolo, flauto traverso, D whistle, Bb fife and low whistle.
Charming and exquisite Celtic harp solos featured Shana Norton. Norton plays principal harp with the Mid-Texas Symphony, but her love of Celtic music was sparked when she took a trip to Scotland and learned from Scottish women, how to play the harp entirely by ear. From the tiniest pipe whistle to the large bass flute, Inglis plays a colorful collection of flutes from around the world. She also plays principal flute with the Round Rock Symphony Orchestra and the Texas Choral Consort, and has freelanced extensively as a performing and recording artist. She recorded on the “SpyKids 2,” “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” and “The Children’s War” film soundtracks playing as many as 12 different flutes.
Popular, as well as a variety of lesser known Celtic songs, were highlighted, including “Down by the Sally Gardens,” “Dulaman” and “Danny Boy,” along with humorous numbers, including “What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?” When “Hush the Waves,” was performed, one could almost imagine themselves sitting on the cliffs overlooking the channel and listening to the beat of the ocean. The traditional Irish blessing, “May the Road Rise to Meet You,” closed the show with a standing ovation.
All Muses programs are designed with a focused intention to educate, delight, inspire and encourage deeper involvement in the arts through direct encounters with live performance, original artwork and creativity.
These priorities always intersect at a point of curiosity for individuals who are open to learning, to having new experiences, to being involved in exceptional undertakings.
The Muses Young Artist Program directly mentors selected high school and college students, allowing them to study and perform the highest quality literature; they work with, and learn from, fully professional artists and musicians.
These interactions teach artistic entrepreneurship, giving these particular young artists professional performance experience, lessons in the craft and instruction on preparing for professional performances and presentations.
Beyond individual artistic talent, student participation requires and builds self-discipline, personal responsibility and the ability to set goals, manage time, prioritize and creatively solve problems – all valuable and transferable life skills.
Watch for tickets to go on sale for “Man of La Mancha,” Friday, June 15, at 7 p.m.
For more information on the Muses go to https://www.themusesproject.org.