A Celtic band, bagpipers, singers and dancers are part of a free will offering concert to benefit the Oster Regent Theatre on March 29 at 7:30 PM. The band name, Banish Misfortune, also happens to be the title of one of the tunes they play. It is also an expression of the positive force of music from Ireland, Scotland and other Celtic nations.
Set aside your troubles, banish misfortune, and be energized by the music, which includes dance tunes (reels, jigs, slides, hornpipes, polkas, waltzes), airs, songs, and composed music within the Celtic music tradition. The band’s primary instruments include fiddle, accordion, flute, penny whistle, guitar, banjo, bodhran, plus vocals. Part of the concert will be recorded by Cedar Falls Cable Television.
The band is comprised of five musicians that all play multiple instruments. Chuck Berry (fiddle) is an engineer and Cedar Falls business owner who hails from Michigan. He alternates between two acoustic fiddles and an electric. He is a trained classical violinist. Berry has attended many east coast music workshops. One of his hidden talents is antique tractor engine repair.
Bill Gors (accordion) is a native of Waverly, currently lives in Waterloo, and works as a trim carpenter. Bill has been playing the piano accordion since the age of ten. His Italian-made Polka King sets the tuning pitch for the group. Bill is the proud owner of a vintage Norton motorcycle.
Kris Reints (flute, piccolo, penny whistle) is a classically trained musician originally from Minnesota and now lives in Waterloo. Kris is bassoonist for The New Horizons Band. Her field is social work. Kris also coaches girls’ volleyball.
Douglas Nichols (guitar, banjo, octave mandolin, vocals) is a secondary school educator, woodworker; and grew up on the river on Cottage Row in Cedar Falls. Nichols is the group’s recording engineer and manager. He likes to build instruments in his occasional spare moments.
Martha Nichols (vocals, banjo, ·guitar, bodhran) is a needlework author and costumer from Cedar Falls. She was fortunate to have had as a friend and mentor the reknowned Dublin singer and song historian Frank Harte.
Ross Schupbach has been playing the Scottish Highland Great Pipes for over nineteen years and teaches the pipes to various students in the Cedar Valley area. Schupbach will be playing a couple of tunes with the full band and will play some piper duets with Russ Clark who has been playing the pipes more than ten years.
Invited guest artists also include Zoe Edgington and Martha Easton performing Irish Step Dancing, Mike Thoma on guitar and vocals, Gaylord Stauffer on Celtic Harp, Matt Nelson on Cello and Fiddle, Matthew Bancroft-Smithe on Mandolin and Bazouki, and Zumba dancers.