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Queens Chronicle

Fiddler in the park: Thursday night concerts

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Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 10:38 am, Fri Jul 6, 2012.

Groups of all genres will fill the postage stamp-sized Sergeant Collins Park in Woodside with music every Thursday of July and a couple days in August.

As the sun starts to go down at 7 p.m. the neighbors start to file in for the concert series dedicated to Louise McKenna, a community member who was involved in past concerts. Some residents donated funds in her name for the outdoor productions.

“It’s all sorts of people and ages, which is really kind of nice,” Vita Tanga said on a sunny day while strumming his guitar.

“It’s everyone from the neighborhood, a big mixture,” fiddlist Cady Finlayson added.

Tanga, Finlayson and Tim Alworth, who plays the bodhran — the Irish drum— will perform on July 26.

Their gig?

Irish music with a spin, Finlayson and Tanga said.

None of the band members are Irish, but they have an affinity for the music of the country. Finlayson, a full-time musician, fell in love with the genre at an Irish bar many years ago. And Tanga caught the Irish fever three years back when the duo began performing together all over the city.

They performed at the Woodside on the Move Concert in the summer of 2010 and were pegged as a good fit for following concerts in the neighborhood by the Northern Woodside Coalition and Goliard Concerts.

Their repertoire includes all upbeat reels and jigs, and a few pipe tunes — although the pipe tunes will be played without the bagpipes. Reels are classic Irish tunes played in 4/4 time and traditionally accompanied by a spirited hard-shoe dance that punctuates the melody with hardy stomps. Jigs are the infectious and most common of Irish tunes, performed in a quick 6/8 time.

The spin or global flavor that this musical team adds to the music is sometimes an electric guitar and a modern intro.

Some of the song titles on their CD “Electric Green” are “Pumpkin’s Fancy,” “Foggy Dew” and “Itchy Fingers” — although most of the jigs and reels performed on Thursday are unnamed.

All the songs bring a smile to the audience’s faces and will probably prompt some residents to get on their feet and dance.

“Pumpkin’s Fancy” is a whirlwind of notes that flies around in a high pleasant tone while “Foggy Dew” moves much slower through the melody and hits on lower notes, conveying the feeling of a socked in day.

Summer evening concert series

When: Thursdays, July 12 though Aug. 9 at 7 p.m.

Where: Sgt. Collins Park, in Woodside, 58th Street and Broadway

Tickets: Free, (718) 205-1030

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