September 13, 2022
The Center for Irish Music (CIM) has created the Celtic Cuties songbooks, a series of four music books/CDs—one for each season—that introduce families with young children to Irish traditional music. Created as a take-home resource to support the CIM’s Celtic Cuties parent-participation music classes, the enchanting books/CDs will be released for sale to the general public in 2023.
Until then, you’ll have to sign up for the class! Celtic Cuties fall classes for families with kids ages 0-4 are open for registration, starting October 1st and 3rd.
September 2022 marks the culmination of an ambitious two-year project to create a much-needed resource to support song-based music learning at the Center for Irish Music for young children. The project was headed up by CIM executive artistic director Norah Rendell with Celtic Cuties instructor Alisa Potter Mee, and project manager Kate Durbin.
The delightful songbooks feature original artwork by award-winning artist Suzanne Gaadt (featured artist for the National Wildlife Association) and sheet music with lyrics, chords and translations to the Irish “gaelic” selections.
The original recordings feature performances of songs sung by Norah Rendell (vocals, flute/whistle) and Brian Miller (bouzouki, guitar, banjo, vocals), with an impressive cast of supporting musicians including Dáithí Sproule (Altan), Seán Gavin (Bua, Téada), Mary Vanorny, Danny Diamond, Hannah Flowers, Marc Anderson, Sherry Minnick, Adrienne O’Shea, Ian McKenna, Alisa Potter Mee and Aria Strauss.
Rhymes are narrated by Máirtín de Cógáin, Alisa Mee, Lavinia Finnerty (Irish language instructor from the Celtic Junction Arts Center) and one by Dáithí Sproule (The Fox Loves the Valley).
Each album of 24-25 tracks represents a tastefully-arranged collection of rhymes, songs and Irish dance tunes that represents traditional Irish instruments such as harp, uilleann pipes, bodhrán, accordion, banjo, fiddle, flute, whistle, bouzouki and guitar.
Brian Miller | guitar, bouzouki, banjo, vocals
Norah Rendell | lead vocals, whistle, flute
Marc Anderson | percussion
Máirtín de Cógáin | rhymes in English
Danny Diamond | fiddle
Lavinia Finnerty | rhymes in Irish Gaelic
Hannah Flowers | harp
Seán Gavin | uilleann pipes, bodhrán
Ian McKenna | accordion
Alisa Potter Mee | rhymes in English, vocals
Sherry Minnick | chorus vocals
Adrienne O’Shea | vocals, flute
Dáithí Sproule | vocals, guitar
Aria Strauss | chorus vocals
Mary Vanorny | fiddle
Producer | Norah Rendell
Musical Selections | Norah Rendell, Alisa Potter Mee
Arrangements | Norah Rendell, Brian Miller, Dáithí Sproule
Project Management | Kate Durbin
Engineering and Mixes | Joe Mabbott at Hideaway Studios
Mastering | Bruce Templeton at Microphonic Mastering
Original Art | Suzanne Gaadt
Layout and Graphic Design | Sara Specht, Aja McCullough
Music Notation | Brian Lenz
This project was supported by an anonymous donor who shares our passion for teaching Irish music to young children, and This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.