On Tuesday, November 12, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy performed at The Englert as part of Hancher's 2013-14 season. Here is what we heard back:
Loved the music of these master fiddlers and their tiny children. For those of us who have traveled to Cape Breton Island for their October Celtic Colors festival and spent time in Celtic regions of the United Kingdom, the chance to hear these fiddlers in our own town was a superb one. Our friends in Door County notified us that they had just heard McMasters and Leahy about the time that Hancher sent us a last minute reminder so we bought the tickets by phone.
Maybe we need to have a better way to identify the types of music that are coming to town; often the name of a group of musicians does not elicit awareness of the musical genre' and so many visiting groups or artists don't comprise our selection of favorites. If we could sign up for notifications about upcoming concerts in performance our favorite music, Early/Baroque, Jazz/Blues and Celtic/Folk, perhaps that would be the solution, omitting Contemporary/Pop from our notifications.
Masters of the Fiddle was all we had hoped for. We have attended Natalie McMaster's concerts at Hancher, and that is why we returned. They put on a joyous, musically enchanting performance. Their connection as a couple and their beautiful family take me close to tears. I can't wait until their return - hopefully, in our new Hancher!
Lynne & Ken Reimers
The entire concert was amazing. Bring them back.
Thank you so much for booking a spot on the MacMaster/Leahy tour. They and their entourage are amazingly talented musicians, entertaining performers, they hit it on all counts. I hope you will continue to book them for future performances in whatever variations they tour (e.g., MacMaster, MacMaster/Leahy, Leahy, and any other combinations). I love their invigorating performances!
Masters of the Fiddle was our first time seeing Donnell and Natalie in concert. I have enjoyed a CD of hers for a few years. (Volcanic Jig is my all time favorite piece.) This was an excellent concert! We drove from IL and stayed the night, just to see this concert. It was more than we expected. The talent, variety in the music, energy in the performance, and casual charm towards the audience, of all of the performers, was delightful. I had mentioned this concert to friends, also fans. They couldn’t attend this concert, but did attend the concert in Springfield IL, the previous Friday. They sparkled with anticipation for us to see this and glowed telling how much they enjoyed their concert. People we were sitting next to said this was their third concert. I hope we are able to see this company perform again and again!
That's really fiddling around!
GREAT ENTERTAINMENT; HOPE THEY RETURN SOME TIME.
I thought the show was fabulous. The performers were wonderful and so accomplished. I thought The Englert was a good venue because I could see their faces and they told interesting personal stories. Seeing their kids perform brought tears to my eyes. Excellent, fun and entertaining.
I thought the Masters of Fiddle concert was excellent. Natalie and Donnell were exactly that-Masters of the fiddle. They played their instruments like they were part of their soul. It was a magical performance.
I was so happy that Hancher brought Natalie MacMaster back to Iowa City! For our family, this performance was the highlight of the season.
Thank you for all you do to keep our Hancher performances alive during this time of rebuilding. And, please bring Natalie back again very soon!
Mary Fraser Strang
Natalie MacMaster and husband Donnell Leahy were simply the best. I'd seen her with the Utah Symphony in Salt Lake City and knew she was lighting in a bottle. I didn't know what a fantastic fiddler Donnell is. It's a magical tale, certainly and when they brought the kids on stage it was way over the top in charm and human interest. Supporting cast of Mac Morin and Tim Edey were up to the task. It was too bad that in this all too short concert (2 1'2 hours) we couldn't have heard more of them. As usual, the Englert staff were super. Thanks for bringing this concert to Iowa City.
My son introduced me to MacMaster and Leahy many years ago, and I have loved them ever since. It was a dream to see them at the Englert! (The only + to losing Hancher - the small venue.)
I kept thinking of how many calories Natalie has to burn to grow that baby, play as she does, and dance! *Impressive!*
One complaint -- and I've mentioned this before. In such a place as small as the Englert, the volume is MUCH TOO LOUD!!!!!!! That level would work well at Hancher, but not in teeny little Englert. My partner has to wear ear plugs, and even so, he sometimes has to go out to the lobby for a break.
Otherwise, *well done, you!!!!*
Mary Jo Dane
This was a very enjoyable concert. Since we previously saw the Leahy Family and have listed to their recordings, we sort of knew what to expect, but were not at all disappointed. The Englert provided a nice setting for their small ensemble and personal approach with the audience.
I don’t have any suggestions other than to continue to book events that provide Irish and other forms of Celtic music, e.g. Lunasa, Danu, Cherish the Ladies. Celtic Storm is a great party band, but sometimes to the detriment to those of us that are more interested in the music than the party. Just my two cents… Thanks.
I love their music. I have been following their individual groups for years, and have enjoyed every concert I have attended. This was the first concert I have seen them do together. Their children were fantastic! Keep bringing them back to Iowa City!!
The concert was every bit as fun and energetic as I had hoped it would be. I would pay to see them perform more than once a year. I think they are one of the best performing musicians I have seen for a while. Thanks for bringing these wonderful musicians to our area. The Englert is a great venue for entertainment.
We really enjoyed the music and entertainment!! Music was wonderful and they made it seem very cozy with their stories. The children were awsome and a wonderful treat!!! Would go to them again if they return and try to get others to go also. Thanks for finding such great talent!!