Come to the Ceilidh
by Michael Nesbitt
The College of Piping in Summerside continues to expand its reputation through its summer show "Come to the Ceilidh" and free mid-day mini concerts.
Recording artist Patricia Murray hosts the event, presented Sunday–Thursday evenings during the summer in the College amphitheatre on Water Street. Though she is juggling the show with weekend concert and festival dates elsewhere in the Maritimes and Ontario, she welcomes the opportunity to be involved in the event and to have the opportunity to perform with musicians Kim Vincent and Brad Fremlin. "My style of music is based on my relationship to the College: I took Gaelic lessons here, and used to teach the bodhran, but it was mostly through the ceilidhs and concert series that I started getting into the music and performing; and I learned how to host from here. I love the environment here and really believe in what they are doing, so that is why I want to spend my time here."
Murray performs a variety of her work during the two-hour show, accompanied by Vincent and Fremlin who also individually feature their talents, but it is the College's own repertoire of talent that provides the mix for which ceilidhs are known. Skilled piping from college students like New Zealander Rowan Manson and Summerside's Nick VanOuwerkerk envelop the audience in classic Celtic culture and provide rousing backup for highland dancers. The college's band provides a bone-tingling drum beat for its numbers and Brad Fremlin's solo is only a tap short of mesmerizing.