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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | March 10, 2020

Celtic Aire brings the excitement to the NTIF

By Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon 11th Wing Public Affairs

After months away from Celtic Aire, the band, made up of members from other U. S. Air Force Band members, was back together and ready to bring the noise with classic Celtic folk songs and covers of modern pop songs to the 38th Annual North Texas Irish Festival, which ran March 6 through 8.

As the sounds of flutes, fiddles, tin whistles, mandolins, banjos and bagpipes fill the air as thousands of patrons fill Fair Park. The crowd of nearly 60,000 people, were able to experience classic and modern Celtic culture amid the 13 different stages with rotating performances from around the world. This allowed the U.S. Air Force Band premier Celtic and folk ensemble to show Air Force professionalism and Irish heritage in a unique way.  

“Last night was the first time I saw them and they are phenomenal,” said Sean Cochran with 31 years of NTIF. “They are fantastic. Their singers have got the best voices in the house. I really liked when the bagpiper came in, sounded great. The band is very professional and more polished than a lot of the other bands here.”

Not only did the audience notice the talent of the band, but also fellow performers. Patrick Rimes, a musician with the band Calan, performed at the festival and was able to catch one of the band’s sets.

“I caught a bit of the performance,” said Rimes. “I found it really interesting, [when I saw them]. We have military bands back home in the U.K., but they are mostly more formal wind bands or brass bands. So, to see a military band like this engaging with their roots playing more diverse kinds of music, I thought it was really inspiring and something we could learn from in the U.K.”

The ensemble first performed at the festival in 2016 and many who witnessed that performance couldn’t wait to hear them again. As a volunteer with the NTIF team, Robin Ewoldson is in charge of social media for the festival.

“I have been hoping they would come back and I am so super excited that they came back,” said Ewoldson. “They are one of my favorite groups, I saw them every chance I [got]. They are one of the most requested groups to come back. I really love how they perform ‘Dublin Girl’, their version of that song really sticks out to me.”

Whether from near or far, this group was formed in 2007 to connect the Air Force to more people through the power of music.

“I am so happy to be able to perform with Celtic Aire again and to be at this festival,” said Master Sgt. Julia Cuevas, Celtic Aire vocalist. “We can reach so many more people and connect the local communities with their veterans. This band is a part of another important popular genre, which allows the Air Force to perform at great events like this.”