Seasons, a family band that includes Mary-Kate Spring, Peter Winter, Mary-Teresa Summer, Mary-Grace Autumn, and Mary-Clare Chun (Chun means spring in Chinese), will return to Boettcher House for a free outdoor concert on Sunday, Aug. 12, at 5:30 p.m. The band is known for its blend of Celtic sounds and original music.
Making music together has always come naturally for the five siblings of the Lee family who comprise the band. Between them, they play a number of instruments, including piano, harp, Celtic harp, hammered dulcimer, violin, concertina, mandolin, bodhrán, guitar, and pennywhistle. The band is known for engaging audiences with a mix of traditional Celtic songs and original tunes.
Mary-Kate, the eldest member, reports that inspiration for the group's original selections comes from a variety of sources. "We are very inspired by history, legend, and experiences in our own lives," she recounted. "(We) tend to fuse these influences together. Sometimes a song might have an old feel or an old storyline, but the emotion behind the song connects with something very personal." She noted that she and Peter often write the initial song and work with the other band members to develop the arrangement. She added that recently Mary-Grace has begun to compose original songs as well.
In fact, Mary-Kate noted that Mary-Grace has written a song that has become a staple at Seasons concerts. "My sister wrote a new jig called 'The Goat on the Roof,'" said Mary-Kate, adding that the song is based on Mary-Grace seeing an actual goat standing on a cottage roof in Ireland. "We've been playing it at all our shows." Mary-Kate added that the concerts are filled with songs that make it easy for the audience to join in. "The atmosphere at our concerts is definitely uplifting (and) energized, and we all tend to have fun onstage and bring a bit of humor to our stage banter," Mary-Kate relayed. "We like to form a connection with our audience and make the show very personal."
The band has released a CD, "Songs From Seasons," that Mary-Kate stated is selling well, but she added that the group is anxious to make a new album. In addition, a recently recorded track will be included on a Celtic compilation CD, which will benefit Four Diamonds. Along with the CD, the band was involved in a concert with The Celtic Martins and Rebel Heart Irish Dance called "Celtic Celebrations." Mary-Kate added that Mary-Grace has been especially busy this past year, recently taking first place in the Miscellaneous Instrument Competition for the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh. "In mid-August, she is heading to Ireland to compete in the All-Ireland Traditional Music Competition with musicians from all over Ireland, the U.K., and the U.S.," Mary-Kate shared. The group will be opening for Scottish folk singer Julie Fowlis at the end of September, along with playing at Music on the Mountain, Celtic Craic, and McClain Celtic Festival.
It might be assumed that musical siblings have parents who are also musicians, but Mary-Kate stated that is not the case. "My parents are not musical but have a deep love of music," she noted. "We grew up listening to all varieties of music - folk, Celtic, and rock 'n' roll." More information about the band is available at http://www.seasonsmusic.com.
Boettcher House, 2369 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, is located in Landis Woods. Free parking will be available. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. In the case of inclement weather, the event will move inside Boettcher House, where space will be limited. Readers who have questions about the event may call 717-290-7180, ext. 3100.