Celtic Music Night

/Celtic Music Night
Celtic Music Night 2017-09-05T13:58:42+00:00

What is Celtic Music Night at St. Andrew?

Celtic Music Night is a fun, free, donation-supported community event organized by Dave Brewer whose aim is to fill the gap that exists in-between the realms of concert, music jam session, and cultural lecture. By combining elements of each of these events into a concise and free evening, we hope to serve as a friendly and accessible forum for people of all ages to learn and demonstrate the Celtic arts, and further the Celtic tradition while building community.

Click here to find out the date for the next Celtic Music Night at St. Andrew Presbyterian in Aptos.

Dave Brewer, St Andrew Celtic Music Night

What to expect

If you’ve never been before, here’s generally what happens:

You arrive at St Andrew Church, parking in the lot at about 6:50pm, and head into the courtyard to be greeted by a kilt-wearing David Brewer, who is standing by the door to the sanctuary.

As you enter the door way, you’ll see a wee marquee sign announcing the nights featured musical guest, and next weeks guest.

A small table has flyers for upcoming area concerts, and an email signup to get the email news of Celtic Music Night.

A small box is there for you to place a small donation for the night, whatever you can spare in pledge to support keeping the event & artists going.

There are also Celtic music cds available, and complimentary shortbread and apple cider, but that’s for the intermission! More on that soon, but for now, go on into the Sanctuary and find a good seat.

At 7:05 David marches into the Sanctuary playing the bagpipes to the tune “Saint Andrew’s March”, which he composed as the theme song for Celtic Music Night.

After that, David makes a few short announcements, and introduces the nights featured guest. Be it a fiddler, harpist, singer, or any number of other possibilities, the guest performs about 50 minutes worth of music for you to enjoy, and often casually tells the audience about the songs as they go.

After the 50 minutes, David will ask the audience if anyone has questions for the guest – an exciting time for you to find out anything you want about the music, instruments, culture, or life of the artist!

After one last song, David processes out of the Sanctuary with the bagpipes once again, and you are free to venture back to the refreshment table, to visit with the artists and have a snack *outside of the Sanctuary*.

As the buzz of the intermission starts settling down, anyone with instruments starts pulling chairs into a circle back in the Sanctuary to have an open Celtic music jam session… open to all skill levels.

Everyone is welcome to stay, and either simply listen & enjoy, or if they’ve brought an instrument, respectfully join in the musical fun!

This lasts as long as it lasts–usually about an hour before people slowly trickle out to go home… remember to sign the email list on the way out, to stay informed of the next week’s guest! Thanks for coming!

The Circle of Tradition

(the idea behind Celtic Music Night)

For thousands of years the circle of Tradition has worked the sustain and bring to us the music and culture that we are here to enjoy today, and so it continues… By attending Celtic Music Night, you have already entered into that circle—welcome!

The four stages of the Circle of Tradition are as follow:

O = Observe

We all begin on the outside of the circle, but as soon as we Open our ears and Observe the music and culture at work, we have entered into the tradition. This is such an important step—did you realize being a part of something so big was so easy?

Which brings us to…

L = Learn

We begin Listening to the music, Learning its patterns, and the stories behind the tunes and the people who wrote them—there in lies the culture…

This Leads us to…

P = Participate

We start singing the tunes to ourselves, and telling others about what we’ve heard and learned, and soon friends and family also come to appreciate what you’ve discovered and passed on to them. And then perhaps we decide to Play the music, learning an instrument or two. and Practice, and eventually even Perform it for others…

and by so doing, we…

T = Teach

Those who listen to us play or listen to our stories, are welcomed into the circle with you, as you have reached one of the most important parts of the Circle, the Connection, which seals it into an endless loop—Tradition. You have at this point channeled into the life’s work and times of thousands of generations that have come before, and given those-to-come a profound gift.

The best part of all of this, is that you can operate on whatever level within the circle you want or can. By coming to the performance, you are in, and by Telling another of something you learned while here you’re already going full circle!

I sincerely thank you for taking part and coming to Celtic Music Night—Enjoy the show!

—David Brewer

Dave Brewer, St Andrew Celtic Music Night
Dave Brewer, St Andrew Celtic Music Night

Celtic Music Night & David Brewer

Celtic Music Night Molly's RevengeAs an avid teacher of Celtic music, David Brewer co-founded the St. Andrew’s Celtic Music Night series in 2007 with past-Pastor Bob Bowles, as a grass-roots outreach to spread the joy of the traditional music and culture to the surrounding community, and it has continued to grow in popularity ever since. Drawing from David’s extensive Celtic music expertise from years of studying and performing the music, and connections formed around the world with musical colleagues met on tour along the way, the event in partnership with St Andrew Church of Aptos offers a truly unique night of music and culture, on a regular basis, and is accessible to anyone who comes out to enjoy, where beginning listeners, students, & novice players of the music alike, are able to mingle with professionals, and world-class masters in a casual atmosphere.

David Brewer, host of Celtic Music Night, is a founding member of the popular West Coast Celtic band, Molly’s Revenge, which was voted Best Band of 2005 at the Live Oak Music Festival in Santa Ynez, California. Molly’s Revenge has performed nationally and internationally with highlight appearances at the Chicago Irish Festival, the University of Hawaii Concert Series, the Ballarat Federation Tattoo in Australia, the Tamar Valley Folk Festival in Tasmania, twice at the Shanghai International Music Festival in China, and most recently in 2009 at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Scotland.

David discovered traditional music at the age of 11, and before long traveled to Scotland to study with master teachers. On his own, he has been a featured soloist at Barra Feis Piping Recital in Scotland, has been a featured highland piper with both the North State and Napa Valley Symphonies, and has toured nationally with Tomaseen Foley’s Celtic Christmas Show as the featured uilleann piper. In addition, David was the piper on a West Coast tour with Scottish super-group The Old Blind Dogs, a special guest of the six-time Grammy winning group The Chieftains, and a key musician for the sound track of the PBS documentary, “Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil & the Presidency.” David’s music is regularly aired on NPR radio.

David continues to teach privately. Some of his students have received accolades from the National Piping Centre of Scotland, and has taught at many notable workshops including the Pebble Beach Piping School, Sebastopol Celtic Music Festival, is a faculty member of the Community Music School of Santa Cruz, has been a guest lecturer on bagpipe history at UC Santa Cruz, and has participated in academic demonstrations at Cornell University, New York. Once a long time resident of Santa Cruz County, David has spent recent years living in Edinburgh, Scotland, and up-state New York, before returning to the Santa Cruz Mountains.