TopHouse is a band from Missoula MT, specializing in a high energy blend of various genres including acoustic folk, traditional Irish, blues, covers, and bluegrass. The trio has played for various festivals and events around Montana, including the Bitterroot Celtic Festival, the Billings Freedom Festival, Bitterroot Brew Fest, and various events for the Missoula and Hamilton downtown associations. They have also been the featured band for 406 hops brewing news, and were named in the top tier of the Missoula Independent’s “Best of Missoula” category for Best New Band.
American-made celtic music from Polson, Montana. Vocally-driven Irish quartet captivates with a unique brand of musicianship and humor. Traditional and original Celtic tunes, from toe-tappers to hanky-soakers, have graced venues from schools and churches to brewpubs to national festivals and Highland Games, all the way to Ireland.
“Bogglingly infectious, high-spirited and heartening… a revelation!” – Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
“Delightful in every way!” – Mike O’Connor, National Representative – Ancient Order of Hibernians
“You lads are fantastic!” – Dublin City Ramblers, 2012 Irish Music Award winners
Aside from their tremendous repertoire of spirited Celtic tunes and unpredictable raucous humor, the lads offer several musical specialty shows.
Rinceorí Na Sléibhte
(DANCERS OF THE MOUNTAINS)
In 2005, students attending the University of Montana founded the Missoula Irish Dancers. Irish dance is a traditional art of the Irish culture, which is shared with the Missoula community and surrounding areas through teaching and performing for the public.
Our mission is to preserve the Irish culture by way of teaching traditional Irish step dancing to new generations of dancers, and performing.
George and Diane Cowan started Irish Folk n Fun to fill a need for Irish music in the Flathead Valley back in 2000. Since then the band has expanded by adding Gail Parrish on Bass, Linda Harshbarger on Irish tin whistle and percussion, and Anna Lane joined this last year with her silver Flute and Irish tin whistle. George plays mandolin, harmonica and adds vocals. Diane is seen with guitar, mountain dulcimer, hammer dulcimer and harmonica as well as leading major vocals. Anna Lane brought in vocals and guitar when not on the wind instruments. Irish Folk n Fun plays regularly around the valley at rest homes, assisted living, art fairs and groups large and small. As well as Irish Folk music, the group also has sets of American Folk and also 50s rock and roll.
Tra le Gael was co-founded in 1999 by Gary Morris on guitar and mandolin, Katy Meyers on Celtic harp, Karin Hilding on flute and penny whistle, Sue Jostrom on fiddle and France Dupuis on cello, as an organic extension of a Celtic music class at North Valley Music School in Whitefish, right here in the Flathead Valley. They recorded their first cd, Celtic Turns in 2001. As Sue and then France transitioned out of the band by 2002, Barbara Calm joined on hammered dulcimer. For ten years Tra le Gael was the quartet of Gary, Karin, Katy and Barbara, and developed into a local favorite band. They performed at community concerts, festivals, dances and private events throughout Montana and at the NW Folklife Festival in Seattle, made their 2012 cd Sailing Home to Glacier, and appeared on the Montana PBS program 11th and Grant with Eric Funk. Now, the foursome of Jason, Barbara, Katy, and Ed, joins us yet again as long-time supporting members of the festival.
McKenna Flannigan is a native of the Flathead Valley and has been playing the fiddle since she was five years old. Besides Celtic music, she plays Bluegrass, American Old Time, Swing, Metis, Jazz, and Canadian Old Time, and original tunes. McKenna is a full time student and spends her summers attending folk music camps, workshops, and festivals and enjoying the beauty of the Flathead.
The Montana Highlanders Bagpipe and Drum Band was established in 1998 right here in the Flathead Valley, by piper and pillar of the community, Jay Johnson. With the help of long time pipe band drummer, Andrew Harvey, a group of 6 people formed the original Montana Highlanders. The old timers, Jack Taylor, Jim Moyer and Jay Johnson himself, are no longer with us, but their talent and dedication to quality performing got us started solidly down the road to success. The band is led by Pipe Major Rod Douglas and you can often find them marching in parades throughout the Flathead Valley, playing for Veterans, and around town on St. Patrick’s Day.
The Celtic Dragon Pipe Band, from Missoula, are Montana’s Premier Pipes and Drums Band who perform and compete in Grade IV throughout the Northwest and in Canada. Their music mainly consists of traditional pipe band music, relying on age-old arrangements shared among bands from around the world: marches, strathspeys, slow aires, jigs, hornpipes, and reels. Led by Pipe Major Rob Lynn, the Celtic Dragons also entail a Highland dance group and you can see their group performing and competing throughout the region.