All Around the Circle
In 1998, Wendy Moore headed up the The Celtic Rathskallions, a professional music group who present Celtic music, step-dancing, and storytelling primarily to elementary school aged children as education and family shows. They perform a minimum of 100 shows a year in schools in 75 school boards throughout Canada and perform as well at theatres, festivals, and for special events. In 2007, they began presenting Celtic Rathskallions and Orchestra shows nationally and internationally. Workshops are also available for teachers and students for beginner step-dancing, tin whistle playing, and sound technology. In 1998 and 1999 with grant money from the Davies Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston, The Celtic Rathskallions purchased quality sound equipment and a wide variety of additional musical instruments to be used in their show and full-time touring began. Travelling outside of Ontario, in 2001 they took their show to the southern United States with a travel grant from Canadian Foreign Affairs. In 2006, they began touring Alberta, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, and in June 2006, they did a two-week tour in Ireland. Performing most of their annual school shows in Southern Ontario, Northern Ontario has also been a focus for their show in schools and at theatre venues for the past five years. "I love bringing music, storytelling and step-dancing to elementary students, educators, and families all over the world. Such a wide range of audiences keeps us on our toes!" says director, musician, author, and performer, Wendy Moore. "It has been my full time job for over ten years. I want to continue to inspire and to teach and communicate to everyone the joy of the arts; music, step-dancing, writing, drama, and storytelling." Local businesses such as Renaissance Music in Kingston and the Ottawa Folklore Centre have been sponsors over the years, and the Ontario Arts Council continues to support the Celtic Rathskallions' various projects through specific program grants. Founding member Wendy Moore presently tours regularly with Paul Mills and Arthur McGregor. Wendy's musical and creative capabilities are inspiring for the group as she moves from playing, organising and creative writing, to stepdancing with ease and enthusiasm. Former Celtic Rathskallions who have been on "the team" and who now have other projects on the go include: Doug Reansbury, Brian Flynn, Alex Sinclair, Ken Brown, Roger James and others. Available for purchase are their latest CD, All Around the Circle, a tin whistle method book (with accompanying play-along CD), a 71-page Curriculum Resource Guide for educators, student activity sheets, and a published Maddie's Moon storybook. Their next CD, Dance to Your Shadow, the sequel storybook, A Tune For Maddie, as well as other new Celtic Rathskallions merchandise will be available in the spring of 2008.