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Musical Tradition

Regional band ‘Celtica’ scheduled to return for concert in Madison, Ind.

Event presented by
Madison Performing Arts Foundation

(March 2019) – The Nashville, Ind., band Celtica established its roots in a folk instrument shop where Tammera Lane, the band’s founder, worked during college. “I became acquainted with several different musicians who played all sorts of interesting instruments, like bagpipes and penny whistles,” she said. After getting together with some of these fellow musicians, Lane, who plays piano and hammer dulcimer, found that she and her friends were familiar with the same Irish tunes.
“After that, we began to evolve into a band. Different people joined in, and we found that it had a nice sound.” After a few transitions, including a move from and back to Indiana for Lane, Celtica has found a revival about a decade later from the band’s beginning.

Photo provided

Nashville, Indiana band Celtica is pictured above.

Celtica will perform in Madison at 7 p.m. Friday, March 8, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 412 W. Main St. This concert is organized through the Madison Performing Arts Foundation, which works to bring musical and classical performances to the Madison area. 
Lane said that Celtica has evolved over the years and has most recently introduced some new instrumentation. “I call us progressive because we like to accent different styles of music,” she said. Even though the band plays traditional Celtic tunes, which includes the ancient music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Cornwall and portions of France and Spain, Lane said it is not uncommon to hear a blues riff or a flamenco guitar variation as they perform.
Celtica consists of three members in addition to Lane, who sings and plays a variety of traditional instruments. Carolyn Dutton, who holds a master’s degree in violin from Indiana University, plays the fiddle for Celtica. “She can play anything and everything,” said Lane.
The band also includes Tom Lozano, who is originally from Spain and provides percussion, as well as music on the hurdy gurdy, a traditional instrument considered the forerunner of the violin. Celtica is rounded out by Clancy Clements, who plays a variety of bagpipes and penny whistles. “Clancy plays a type of highland shepherd pipes, which have a very sweet sound, unlike what people typically think of bagpipes,” said Lane.
Lane was introduced to Celtic music during her time as a student at Taylor University in Upland, Ind. “In my music history class, I was most intrigued by music of the medieval-Renaissance period. I loved the modes and the romance of that time period,” she said. She found that Celtic music used scales, modes and instrumentation similar to the type of music that she fell in love with.
The band typically performs traditional Celtic pieces that they arrange in their unique style. “We like to take something and rework it,” said Lane. “We might use a different chord structure or different instruments in the same song, which varies from a lot of Irish bands that play the same thing over and over.” Lane also provides vocals in a variety of Gaelic dialects.
This will also not be Celtica’s first appearance in Madison. They have performed over the years at Thomas Family Winery, the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art, and most recently, at a Madison Performing Arts event last year.
“I think that Celtica will be really interesting to the public again because they play folk music and because of how they incorporate interesting instruments,” said Starla Raley, president of Madison Performing Arts Foundation. “They were really excellent last year.”
Celtica has released two albums that reveal the band’s diversity. “The first consists of hymns. It’s all instrumental and very meditative. A lot of people say they put it on to help their children sleep. It’s very quiet and soothing,” said Lane.
The second album that Celtica released is called “Celtic Fire.”
“That one is quite similar to the name. It’s very high energy and all instrumental,” said Lane. She said one of the band’s hopes is to record a Christmas or winter album that contains their variations on old world carols.
The band often performs at churches, schools, libraries and history centers. “We bring a cultural, historical and educational bent to our concerts, but we like to make it fun, enjoyable and humorous for the audience,” Lane said, noting that the type of music that they play reveals a depth of history.

The March 8 concert is free to the public but donations for the Madison Performing Arts Foundation will be accepted. This concert is the eighth in a season of 10 concerts sponsored by the Madison Performing Arts Foundation. The next concert will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28, and will feature a violin virtuosi from Indiana University. More information about Madison Performing Arts events can be found at www.visitmadison.org.

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