Beolach—world’s hottest new traditional Celtic band to play

In the charitable spirit of St. Patrick and as a warm-up to St. Patrick’s Day, the Forest Glen World-Music Concert Series is presenting its 10th not-for-profit benefit concert in Rockford. Net proceeds from the concert go to support the Rock River Valley Council of Girl Scouts.

The next concert series will feature Beolach, a six-member band from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 8, at the restored, historic Coronado Theatre in Rockford. The band is made up of some very talented stepdancers, featuring the Inverness County style of stepdancing, which, in some people’s opinions, is the neatest style of stepdancing around. All stepdancers are welcome to dance in the aisles—maybe even on stage. If you liked Riverdance, you’ll love this concert.

Beolach has received international acclaim and is considered to be the best and hottest new traditional Celtic band from Canada, and is one of the most harmonic, innovative Cape Breton bands ever. Cape Breton is an island off the northeast coast of Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s Maritime Provinces, off the eastern coast of Canada in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Cape Breton is said to have more musicians per capita than any other place in the world. Natalie MacMaster and Her Band,featured at the fourth Forest Glen concert on Sept. 19, 1998, are from Cape Breton. If you enjoyed the concert, as many people did, you will love this Beolach concert.

Beolach is a Gaelic word meaning “lively youth.” The group performs an energetic mix of Celtic music, including Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton tunes, featuring two fiddles, pipes, whistles, keyboards/piano, guitar, and drums. The band began at an impromptu session at the Celtic Colours International Festival in 1998 and, after a strong initial response, went on to play festivals and concerts in North America and Europe. The group recorded its self-titled album in the summer of 2001, and they are now working on their second. Their current album features original compositions and unique, dynamic arrangements of traditional Celtic tunes.

Beolach has thrilled audiences with spirited performances, witty presentations, and versatile stepdancing. It takes Cape Breton tunes from their usual fiddle/piano context and presents them with the renewed energy of a young six-piece band. While performing in a contemporary style, Beolach maintains a great respect for and understanding of transitional Celtic and Cape Breton music.

Beolach is Patrick Gillis (guitar), Mairi Rankin (fiddle), Wendy MacIsaac (fiddle), Mac Morin (piano/keyboards), Ryan MacNeil (pipes & whistles), and Mathew Foulds (drums).

Beolach concerts are unique and entertaining, offering some of the most exciting and melodic music in the world, to give the listener an exciting, pleasurable feeling in the here-and-now. Every tune the band plays creates this feeling.

The Beolach concert in Rockford is part of the Forest Glen World-Music Concert series sponsored by Forest Glen, Rockford’s national award-winning apartment community on McFarland Road, just south of Riverside Boulevard.

The Forest Glen World-Music Concert Series has included only the very best world-music artists on Earth: the famous traditional Irish band, Patrick Street: the equally exciting Irish band, Solas; the spectacular, toe-tapping, French-Canadian music of La Bottine Souriante from Quebec; the exciting and wild fiddling and stepdancing of Natalie MacMaster and Her Band from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia; Altan, one of the world’s most well-known Irish bands; and the Scottish band, Skyedance, featuring Alasdair Fraser. Two years ago, the series brought the Sharon Shannon Band to the newly restored Coronado Theatre. Last year, the series featured Lunasa, also at the Coronado.

All net proceeds from Rockford’s Beolach concert will go to support the Rock River Valley Council of Girl Scouts. Also, Beolach concert tickets make great holiday gifts.

Reserved seats to the general public will go on sale at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 14. Tickets are at $12 for children/students/seniors (seniors, age 65 and over) and $17 for adults, when purchased in advance. Order your tickets soon—tickets purchased the day of the concert will cost an additional $3. For reserved seating at Rockford’s Beolach concert, call (815) 968-5222, or visit CentreEvents ticket outlets, the Coronado Theatre, or MetroCentre box offices, or go online at, or visit The Tin Whistle, 1414 N. Main St., Rockford.

The Forest Glen concerts have been attracting larger and larger audiences, with the last concert nearly sold out. This Beolach concert is expected to sell out. Order reserved seating tickets early.

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