“Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul and you answer.” Star Richés
Art means different things to different people, but the dictionary defines the word as the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. Something in us humans hungers for art, for something beyond the ordinary. We may find it in a child’s drawing, in the strains of a Mozart sonata, or in a grandiose production in New York. If we stumble upon it, we’re lucky; most times we have to look, even search for it. I and many of you found beautiful art in the Christmas Concert held in Baxley at the Old City Gym back in December 2013. People from several counties, including Jeff Davis and Bacon joined Appling County voices to perform this magnificent program. I’m still reeling from the experience.
In addition to enjoying the arts ourselves, most of us try to instill in our children the love for art. We want for them the things that we love, but our location and the unavailability of appropriate programs hinder our efforts. All too often we fret over our deficiencies, feeling helpless to do much about them. Take heart. I have good news.
The Arts Council of Appling County sponsored that Christmas concert and has another opportunity coming on February 25, 2014, which we are really excited about. The Gothard Sisters are coming to the fine arts auditorium at the high school in Baxley. They are a dynamic all-female Irish music and dance group. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, they perform traditional Irish songs and tunes, as well as their own original compositions. Fans range in age from the very young to the very old. People who’ve seen them tell me that their live show is joyful and exuberant, full of surprises, and refreshing and inspiring to audiences. The performance includes fiddle tunes written by the sisters, sibling harmony, and Irish step dancing. The young ladies have not only folk roots but also the nerve to take risks with style.
The group, truly made up of three sisters, was recently named the Best New Irish Artists in the 6th annual Irish Music Awards. Keith Doherty, of the Jacksonville Celtic Festival in Jacksonville, FL, says of them: “The Gothard Sisters bring a new dynamic to the Celtic circuit. Their onstage charisma, energy, enthusiasm and extraordinary talent are second to none… these artists will no doubt take the world by storm.”
While the sisters are in Baxley, they will do a workshop with our choral students from both the high school and middle school. The students are looking forward to the freshness and the novelty of the program.
I like the idea of something different. How often do we get a chance in South Georgia to see and hear such a performance? We are culturally deprived in our little corner of the world, even though it’s a great place to live and I don’t plan to move any time soon. Usually when our hunger for art grows really strong, we head for Atlanta and the Foxx Theater or down to Savannah or Jacksonville. Well, don’t miss this opportunity to drive the short distance to Baxley. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
I can hardly wait. Mark your calendars, too. The program will be at 7:30 on Tuesday, February 25 at the high school auditorium in Baxley. The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for students, but children 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult admissions. Y’all come.