Conway in step with Canadian Celtic.

FAMILY: Leahy comes to Conway.
  • FAMILY: Leahy comes to Conway.
This might be the Von Trapps turned Celtic: Lakefield, Ontario’s Leahy, a multitalented family band of eight brothers and sisters, will perform at Reynolds Performance Hall on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 21-22, on the University of Central Arkansas campus in Conway. Tickets are $10 and $20 (free for UCA students and faculty) and available by calling the UCA box office at 866-810-0012 or on the web at www.uca.edu/tickets. Both shows are at 7:30 p.m. and will feature fiddle-driven music (with keyboards, percussion and bass), step dancing and country-folk style singing. For those who caught the energetic Bowfire show last year, UCA Public Appearances director Guy Couch says Leahy does that type of stage fury one better. Leahy was “discovered” by country sensation Shania Twain in 1998 and opened for her on her world tour a few years back. The Leahy clan settled in Canada in the early 1800s, and the tradition of Irish song and dance has been passed down through each generation. The members of the current touring family learned the fiddle from their father; their mother, a champion step-dancer from Nova Scotia, taught them to sing, dance and play piano. Leahy has released three CDs, won several Juno Awards (Canada’s equivalent of the Grammys) and tours in both Canada and the U.S. Couch says Leahy is “hard-driving Celtic music, heavy on the fiddle and heavy on the step-dancing. When the three brothers start fiddling together and then all eight start stepping, it’s like the roof will come off.” The performance is held in conjunction with UCA’s International Week, Feb. 21-25. International students will serve as ushers at the performances.

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