Celtic band Hawp to play at Centre Nov. 6

On Nov. 6, the Elora Centre for the Arts will host a concert featuring former residents of the town.

Celtic ensemble Hawp, will be performing its unique brand of music, dance and song as part of its Ontario tour for the release of its debut album Storm & Calm.

Originally formed in Kitch­ener by husband and wife team Andy and Niamh Webster, the band includes fiddler Anne Led­er­man; Philadelphia born, Jason Pfeiffer on flutes, whistles, and bodhran (Irish drum); and Niamh Webster’s brother, Ciaran Myers, on dance.

Niamh and Ciaran grew up in Elora and have lived in the town most of their lives. Many in the area in particular know her, because the area was where she began her career, teaching Irish dance. Up until the couple’s recent move to Nova Scotia, she was still giving lessons regularly at the Grand River Dance Academy in Fergus.

The band was formed when they decided to combine their talents to create an ensemble of some kind. Andy, who comes from Scotland, is the band’s lead singer and plays open tuned guitar as well as the bouzouki – a large stringed in­strument similar to a mandolin. Niamh Webster, in addition to dancing and choreographing, also sings and plays piano.

When asked what the band’s influences are Andy Webster said, “We have a huge range … a lot of other Celtic acts obviously, but also clas­sical composers such as J.S. Bach and Beethoven and rock and pop acts such as Ben Folds and The Beatles. We keep everything sounding traditional acoustically, but our arrange­ments tend to be a bit more classical or pop song like in structure.”

One big fan of the band is Frank Leahy of the Celtic group, Leahy. A quote from him is displayed on the back cover of the album and says, "This music speaks to me of Scotland, its people and the tradition that inspired much of the music I grew up with. Each listen takes me home."

The show in Elora starts at 7.30pm and admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12.

Tickets can be purchased at www.hawp.ca or  at the door. To hear some of the new tracks from the album, visit www.myspace.com/­hawp­band.