Celtic Night, Recording Session and the Heber Creeper!

For the past umpteen years, Leaping Lulu has showcased the band with Riverdance style dancers in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration known as Celtic Night!  This year was no exception, as the band performed on March 11, 2017 at the Ellen Eccles Theater in downtown Logan, Utah.  After a whirlwind of rehearsals both with and with out dancers, Leaping Lulu took to the stage.  Long time singer Kent Braddy, who left the band in 2014, came back from Arizona to sing with the band.  Nostalgia was the emotion of the day.  This incarnation of the band had lasted 10 years and it was wonderful to have the “Irish tenor” back in their midst!  The crowd loved the show, provided a standing ovation, and bought many of their 5 CD’s released to date.  Here are a few photos of the performance:thumbnail_20170311_205402.jpg

The band:  Liz, Sara, Sam on percussion, Don, Nate and Kent

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The dancers.

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Liz featured out in front of the band, dazzling the audience with her piccolo playing.

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Cache Valley touts many arts organizations, and we play in most of the musical ones, and contribute/support most of the artistic ones.  One of the valley ring leaders/maestro/impressarios is Jay Richards.  He produces two musicals a year, composes musicals, conducts and develops area wide singing talent.  He also is an avid producer of his musical pieces.  And when it comes time to record, he calls on us to help him out.  He has a recording studio in his converted garage, and several times a year,  I find myself in the recording room laying down tracks for whatever project is at hand.  He was commissioned to write music for a small 4 years school in Idaho and needed “trombone overdubs” for one of the selections.  Here are a few shots of the action:

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If you want to hear yourself live, you keep one side of the headphone off of your ear.  It also gets in the way of the back part of the trombone.

I play on about half of the albums you see here:

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A shot of the mixing gear:

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A shot of Jay and Me:

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The Heber Valley Historic Railroad (HVRR) is a heritage railroad based in Heber City, Utah. It operates passenger excursion trains along a line between Heber City and Vivian Park, which is located in Provo Canyon. The HVRR carries over 94,000 passengers a year.

Originally, the line carried freight and passengers from 1899-1967 between Provo and Heber City.  In 1970, it re-opened as the “Heber Creeper”; a tourist train line described here:

“The railroad line is approximately 16 miles (26 km) long. A typical round trip ride on the train takes about 3 hours. There are a total of four passing sidings outside of the Heber yard limit. Notable landmarks seen from the train include Mount Timpanogos, Cascade Mountain, Deer Creek Dam and ReservoirProvo RiverSundance Ski Resort, Tate Barn, and Soldier Hollow. A variety of wildlife including deereaglesfoxmooseturkeyshawksmountain lions (cougars), and beavers, have all been seen from the train as well.”

“During the 2002 Winter Olympics the railroad was part of the Olympic Steam Team, carrying spectators to the Soldier Hollow Olympic venue. The railroad’s No. 618 and 75 steam-engines, were joined by the Nevada Northern Railway Museum’s No. 93 steam-engine, in pulling eight-car trains full of passengers, to the Soldier Hollow depot where they disembarked and continued to the venue entrance on a horse-drawn sleigh.[1] The day prior to the Opening Ceremony of the games, all three locomotives were combined into one triple-headed train, and used to transport the Olympic flame from Soldier Hollow to Heber City as part of the torch relay.”

In 2016, Leaping Lulu was contracted to perform on the train as part of Heber City’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration.  I played cajon (a drum that you sit on) and can testify that playing on an old train is akin to playing under the influence of Jameson’s Irish Holy Water!  The train lurches from side to side making playing quite the challenge.  We played 20 minute sets in each car, before moving on to the next car.  The “concert” culminated in everyone singing along to Danny Boy, the quintessential St Paddy’s day tune.  It was such a success, that Heber City contracted Leaping Lulu to perform yet again for 2017.  Eye candy for you train enthusiasts:

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140 peeps bought tix for the train ride, so they ended up with 3 cars (all from the early teens and 20’s of the last century) and a concessions car.  We played 15 minutes sets in each car on the way out, and a different 3 sets on the way back.  The pic above was a quick rehearsal before the passengers loaded.

I blog to you from Nevada City, California; our over night stop on our way to Stockton, California for my performance residency at University of the Pacific.  Thus begins our 2 month music and wine journey for Spring 17.  Stay tuned and I will update you regularly as we drink…er I mean perform our way across the West!

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Author: euro916

I am a college professor in the music department of Utah State University. I will start my sabbatical on May 1, 2016 and plan to document the year's experiences in this blog. The sabbatical consists of musical endeavors in Europe/UK for 3 months, and half a semester as guest artist in a couple of California universities. Thanks for following!

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