World-famous fiddler will give three Maine concerts

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LEWISTON — World-renowned fiddler Richard Wood will give three concerts in Maine, courtesy of the Franco-American Heritage Center, New England Celtic Arts and Prince Edward Island’s Festival of Small Halls.

He will be joined by singer-songwriter Gordon Belcher; fiddler Ward MacDonald, director of the PEI Fiddle Camp; and traditional Celtic vocalist Collette Cheverie.

They will take the stage at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 4, at the Franco center in Lewiston; Wednesday, May 5, at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in Carthage; and Thursday, May 6, at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts.

The Festival of Small Halls, a celebration of music, art and dance across Prince Edward Island, will run from June 11-20. It will showcase island and Atlantic Canadian performers with 49 shows in 16 small halls throughout the province.

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“The Maine Celtic Tour, developed by NECA, is the perfect vehicle for us. It uses the same size venues we use in our festival and gives us a ready-made market in which to start our promotion,” said Small Halls director Steve Horne. “Maine is our closest neighbor in the United States and the ‘hands across the border’ approach makes the most sense.”

Wood has impressed audiences across Canada as well as in the United States, Europe and Japan. He has released six CDs and has won three East Coast Music Awards. Career highlights include TV guest appearances with Shania Twain on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Good Morning America;” a Carnegie Hall performance with Irish legends The Chieftains; and a performance with Jean Butler of Riverdance on “Celtic Electric.”

Belcher has been entertaining audiences in Canada and around the world for more than a quarter of a century, performing solo at concerts, ceilidhs, conventions and pubs. He has toured extensively across Canada, as well as in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Japan.

MacDonald has played concerts, festivals and square dances across the Maritimes and other parts of Cananda. He has also taught and performed at music and fiddle camps in the United States, including the Maine Fiddle Camp in Montville. He is an emerging composer having had some of his tunes published or recorded by other well-known Maritime musicians.

Cheverie, a native of East Point, PEI, is a respected interpreter of traditional folk songs. With her crystal-clear voice, she recants stories of lost love, hardships and tragedies of past immigrants.

Tickets are $12 at the Franco center; $10 at Skye and Unity. For reservations, call Franco at 689-2000, Skye at 562-4445 or UCCPA at 948-7469. The Franco center is at 46 Cedar St., Lewiston. Skye Theater is at 2 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Road and U.S. Route 2 in Carthage. UCCPA is at 42 Depot Str., Unity.

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