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News / Clark County News

Celtic, Irish-inspired music at Kiggins enliven St. Patrick’s weekend

Flutists with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra perform, joined at times by family members

By Andy Matarrese, Columbian environment and transportation reporter
Published: March 18, 2018, 8:54pm
3 Photos
Corrie Cook, from left, Darren Cook, Molly Duggan, Lydia Cook, Sofia Cook and Judy Miller perform at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend Celtic music recital on Sunday at Kiggins Theatre.
Corrie Cook, from left, Darren Cook, Molly Duggan, Lydia Cook, Sofia Cook and Judy Miller perform at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend Celtic music recital on Sunday at Kiggins Theatre. (Steve Dipaola for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

St. Patrick’s Day rolled into St. Patrick’s weekend with traditional Celtic and Irish-inspired music from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on Sunday afternoon at Kiggins Theatre.

Musicians and guest performers performed traditional tunes and songs, found works of classical music from Irish composers and led a singalong for guests.

Corrie and Darren Cook, flutists with the orchestra, performed in several of the songs. In a few of them, their youngest daughters, Sofia and Lydia, joined them onstage to provide percussion.

Corrie said they dug through their music ahead of the concert to find Irish music and other offerings with an appropriate Irish flavor.

They found a flute duel, arranged by Shannon Heaton, that was published less than a year ago, Cook said, and therefore likely hadn’t been played much. It was also written for Irish flutes.

“So Darren went and ordered one and learned how to play it real quick,” Corrie Cook said.

Every instrument in the States was out of stock, Darren Cook said. He eventually found a flute-maker in Ireland who had been working at it for 30 years after building his first flute from a wagon wheel. He ordered it, then went to practicing.

The Irish flute is similar to a baroque-era flute, he said.

“It’s kind of a pre-modern instrument. … It took a specific direction to have that kind of sound, and it’s played a lot in Irish pubs and different places,” he said.

They’re similar to a penny whistle, he said, so it has a few more finger holes than what he might usually play, but a lot of the music is learned by ear, meaning finding written music is a bit more challenging.

“It’s really more about the style, and that’s what was new to me,” he said.

He spent three weeks leading up to Sunday’s recital practicing and getting the right feel.

“I just did a lot of listening on YouTube to try and get that sound in my head,” he said. Then, he and his wife went about looking for more music where they could work in the new sound.

“Once we had the Irish flute it was like, ‘How many places can we use it?’ ”

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s next performance, which will highlight beloved film and video game scores, is April 14 and 15.

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Columbian environment and transportation reporter