Celtic, French Canadian music featured at Standish art center | Entertainment

STANDISH – La Compagnie will perform the season’s finale concert at the Northeast Art Center in Standish on Sunday, March 13, at 2 p.m.

The band is comprised of five multi-talented musicians and a percussive step dancer. The energetic band is said to bring French Canadian and Celtic music at its best. At the core of the band are traditional pipes, fiddle, flute, whistles, and concertina. By adding guitars, mandolin, Middle Eastern and West African percussion, the band expands this ancient music to new dimensions.

La Compagnie members are:

• Jean Marie Learman-Lowe (flute, tin whistle, recorder, squeezebox, guitar and vocals) adds many musical dimensions to La Compagnie. She is comfortable spinning a colorful story or belting out a sassy Irish song or chantey.

• Kathy Morris (tin whistle, guitar, banjo, bodhran and vocals) is the heartbeat of La Compagnie with her thundering beat on the bodhran and infectious laugh. If you want to request a number, Kathy is the “go-to” person. She has an extensive knowledge of folk and traditional music that spans centuries.

• Nellie Osantowski grew up in mid-Michigan where she studied violin from a young age at the Michigan State University Community Music School. Nellie is a public school orchestra director for Saginaw Township Community Schools and teaches in the Saginaw Strings program.

• Genot Picor (guitar, Native American flute, cittern, hammered dulcimer, professional storyteller and vocals) is the group’s leader. Born in Michigan, Picor has traveled and performed throughout the country and eastern Canada. He is a retired public school teacher and currently writes for the Mackinac Journal, The Great Lakes Pilot and The Voyageur Press.

• Mark Szabo (upright bass, guitar and vocals) is La Compagnie’s narrator and naturalist and an award winning member of the National Association for Interpretation. Genot Picor likes to say Mark is the “bounciest bass player and fastest ‘flat-picker’ he knows . . . and a good clogger to boot!” Mark provides the narration portion of La Compagnie’s interpretive program.

• Sheila Graziano discovered her passion for dance at an early age. Based in Chelsea, she has been performing myriad styles of percussive step dances for many years.

Tickets are sold at the door when the box office opens at 1:30 p.m. the day of performance. Ticket prices are $8/adult; $7/senior citizen; $4/student; and $2/children under 12 years of age.

The art center is located at the corner of Grove Road and US-23, a half-mile north of the Standish traffic light. For additional information, contact the Northeast Art Center at 989-846-9331, or visit its website at nemiac.org.


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