‘Masters of the Fiddle’ performance to support Cradle of Hope

| Kristi Anderson | October 23, 2013 | 0 Comments
Photo courtesy of NatalieMacMaster.com

Photo courtesy of NatalieMacMaster.com

Whether it’s a toe-tapping jig or a poignant ballad, Natalie MacMaster and her husband Donnell Leahy — known as Masters of the Fiddle — say they always win over their audiences with their energizing performances.

While Leahy is widely acclaimed for his agility on the fiddle and contemporary style, MacMaster is renowned for her highly accented Cape Breton fiddling style.

The Canadian couple will perform soon at a concert to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Cradle of Hope, a non-profit organization based in Roseville providing financial aid to women facing crisis pregnancies and their families.

Both MacMaster and Leahy had music careers prior to their meeting — MacMaster as a solo artist and Leahy as part of a family group.

“When we were dating, it was such an exciting time,” said MacMaster. “We shared a common bond on so many levels and uniquely on a musical level. Our courtship was easy.

“It is even more exciting now because Donnell is my husband, not a boyfriend,” she added. “He is a permanent part of my life and I am so very proud of him. This is us, this is our life.”

The couple has five children, ranging in ages from 1 to 7, and one on the way.

“We now have our own flesh and blood to share our lives and our music,” MacMaster said. “That elevates everything to an even greater level. It is truly a dream for us.”

Family is key

MacMaster and Leahy, who are Catholic, still tour independently, but when they tour together, the children are always with them. The couple home schools their children at home and on the road.

“A normal day for us on tour is to arrive at the venue around noon, eat lunch, maybe rehearse a little and do a sound check,” said MacMaster. “Then there is usually time for a lesson with the kids — maybe math or reading — then supper, and then the show.”

MacMaster and Leahy believe there is a connection between music and the mind.

“I really believe that music helps with learning,” MacMaster said. “I also believe music enriches your soul. Every time I hear music playing, I am brought to joy. When I am playing music, there is even more joy because I am also on the giving end.”

The couple is excited to share that joy, along with their lighthearted music, humor and even a little bit of dance, while concert-goers support Cradle of Hope’s motherhood fund.

“This is part of our faith,” said MacMaster. “This is what we believe in.”

Cradle of Hope is a non-profit organization providing financial aid to pregnant women and families with children less than three months of age. The program pays for maternity-related expenses including housing, medical, transportation and baby items. Since 1973, Cradle of Hope has assisted more than 24,000 mothers and their babies, providing nearly $5 million in assistance.

Want to go?When: 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2
Where: Ted Mann Concert Hall on the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus.
Tickets: Visit the concert event page or call (612) 624-2345.
Information: Visit the Cradle of Hope website.

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Category: Faith and Culture