Celtic Aire brings the excitement to the NTIF

Master Sgt. Eric Sullican, U.S. Air Force Band ensemble Celtic Aire bassist and vocals, speaks with fans at the 38th Annual North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas Texas, March 8, 2020. After each performance, the band handed out CDs and connecting with the audience. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)
March 10, 2020

After months away from Celtic Aire, the band, made up of members from other U. S. Air Force Band members, was back together and ready to bring the noise with classic Celtic folk songs and covers of modern pop songs to the 38th Annual North Texas Irish Festival.

The festival ran March 6 through 8 drawing an estimated crowd of 60,000 boasting 13 different stages with performers from around the world and allowed the U.S. Air Force Band premier Celtic and folk ensemble to show the force professionalism and Irish heritage in a unique way.

“I caught a bit of the performance,” said Patrick Rins, NTIF performer from the band Calan. “I found it really interesting, [when I saw them]. We have military bands back home in the U.K., but they are mostly more formal wind bands or brass bands. So, to see a military band like this engaging with their roots playing more diverse kinds of music, I thought it was really inspiring and something we could learn from in the U.K.”

The ensemble first performed at the festival in 2016 and many of the people who saw that performance couldn’t wait to hear that they were coming back.

“I have been hoping they would come back and I am so super excited that they came back,” said Robin Ewoldson, NTIF social media coordinator. “They are one of my favorite groups, I saw them every chance I [got]. They are one of the most requested groups to come back. I really love how they perform ‘Dublin Girl’, their version of that song really sticks out to me.”

Whether from near or far, this group was formed in 2007 to connect the Air Force to more people through the power of music.

“I am so happy to be able to perform with Celtic Aire again and to be at this festival,” said Master Sgt. Julia Cuevas, Celtic Aire vocalist. “We can reach so many more people and connect the local communities with their veterans. This band is a part of another important popular genre, which allows the Air Force to perform at great events like this.”