A Scottish singing, dancing, and musical celebration is about to begin in Launceston, as season 20 of Celtic Force opens.
The showcase of Celtic music, song, and dance put on by the St Andrews Caledonian Pipe Band has been entertaining Tasmanian audiences for almost two decades.
Since then, hundreds of Tasmanian performers, schools, and community arts groups have had an opportunity to get involved in the show.
Celtic Force creator and current St Andrews Caledonian Band Pipe Major John Ralph said the show had been a constant companion for almost half his life, since its inception in 1999.
Mr Ralph said it was great to take their community band to another level through the show.
“It’s just been absolutely marvelous,” he said.
“For the last 20 seasons, so much of what I and others do has made way for Celtic Force.
“It has been such a great opportunity to explore other dimensions to Scottish pipe band music well beyond what pipe bands normally do.
“And, the chance to work with such a wide range of artists has been fantastic.”
Mr Ralph said this year the audience could look forward to a “generational shift” in performers.
“We’ve had a lot of generational change … a lot of new faces,” he said.
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“We’ve got a fabulous young Irish trio called The Fiddle Stix involved. They’re a local band, they busk in the mall and at the Harvest Market.
“They’re just beaming at the opportunity.”
Other show highlights will include Sally-Anne Richter and Freddie Todman, acapella group The Fellas from Launceston Church Grammar School, alongside the Celtic Force Highland and Irish Dance Troupe and the Burnie School of Irish Dance.
Seasons of Celtic Force have also been shown in Hobart, Burnie, and Ulverstone.
Members of the cast have also performed smaller versions of the concert at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.
Celtic Force was an inspiration for other Tasmanian performances, such as Scottish Power, which played its 16th season this year. It also featured previously in Ten Days on the Island and Here’s to the Heroes, which performs in Launceston on Anzac Day.
“By the end of this season of Celtic Force, there will have been 97 performances of Celtic Force since 1999 and I’ve been in all of them,” Mr Ralph said.
“We’re looking forward to chalking up 100 performances in 2019.”
The 20th season of Celtic Force will take place at the Country Club Launceston on July 21 at 2pm and 7.30pm, and July 22 at 2pm.
- Tickets to Celtic Force are only available through Ticketmaster or the Country Club Launceston. Tickets cost up to $38.