Friday, December 9, 2011

A statement and apology

The following is a very important statement. Máiréad has exercised her right in editorial control of her forum. We have always told her and all of you that it is her forum even though it is not an official instrument for her. We received an email from her regarding the negative commentary by some of our members off site and also on a post in the messages section of her forum. This needed to be addressed promptly. With regard to comments off site please read the previous blog post here entitled "For The Record". Forum admin Mike Brown has issued an official statement in the messages section of the forum. We deeply regret that Máiréad has been upset by the comments she has read when she has been so supportive for these almost four years of our service to her. We also regret that her charity of choice was brought up in the discussion as well. Finally, we regret that negative comments about her employer have been connected to her forum. To all of the above we offer our sincere apology that the forum and the artist's name have been used in inappropriate ways. We have taken a scan of the forum's off site support arms on Twitter and Facebook and it appears no issues have occurred there. The forum is endeavoring to check itself internally as well. Here is a statement from departing admin Scott Manke:

"It is with humble heart that I offer this apology to Máiréad for what has been said and done in her name or that of her forum. The rhetoric off site and to a lesser degree on site I accept full responsibility for. The forum was built to honor the artist and we took great pride in the community built and the positive things its members have done to build the base of support for Máiréad, and in support of each other and her charity of choice.

My own opinion on the operation of the forum was to be light handed and allow a bit of latitude. This was based upon my experience on other sites that ran a far tighter ship. But with that freedom also comes responsibility and consequences. These things happened on my watch and I am as guilty of the criticism as any. The forum membership and its remaining leadership team should not be tarnished by my mistakes. While I was light handed internally, I was heavy handed externally. No person or operation is without flaw. There is a Christian parable that is worth a paraphrase. Basically, don't criticize for the speck in someone else's eye when you have a plank in your own. This applies to individuals, forums, and companies.

No matter how often it has been stated that comments off site are not statements by the forum, it seems that some will always take it that way especially when uttered by one of its leaders. Knowing that, I attempted to step down earlier this year. The replacement was short lived as she discovered she did not have the time in her busy schedule. I stepped back in but should not have and should have done what I did recently and that was to create more global moderators to assist Mike and Dave.

Leaders are like everyone else and at times have great success and at others great failure. Patton, MacArthur, LBJ, Nixon, etc. all had to accept responsibility for errors in judgement. While I am none of those, they are examples of all too human leaders who had to make statements of apology. At no time have the things I have said off site been official statements by the forum. I apologize for any statements that have given offense to the artist.

I acknowledge the accommodation shown myself and the members over the past three years by the management beginning in Wilkes-Barre for the first MáiréadFest in 2009. The artist herself has been most gracious with her fans and her forum and deserves better than this particularly at a very important time in her life and career. They have granted several requests to the benefit of forum members over the past three years. I apologize that this has been lost in all of my personal commentary off site.

Again, this all has been my responsibility as the former leader of the forum, and I accept that and apologize to Máiréad, the owner and creator of her forum, the membership, the charity, and the artist's employer. Mike and the team will see to it that there are no additional issues internally or on any of the forum sites."

Mr. Manke has stepped aside and we hope that the forum family will once again be a positive place for Máiréad to enjoy in the future. We thank her for her continued indulgence throughout this challenging year and previously. We thank her for taking the time from her busy schedule to contact us so that these matters could be properly addressed. Once again, though, off site comments by people who happen to be members are not supported by or are statements by the forum. We will do our best to keep the in house operations free of controversy. We thank the fans for their support of the artist and for being part of this small segment of her fan base.

Forum leadership team

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wow, it has been a long time since we blogged here!

A great deal has happened since the previous blog! Firstly, Máiréad's birthday fest went off wonderfully thanks to the hard working folks at the PBS station in Springfield Illinois and a little added pressure to correct an error. Forum folks were right up front to help make the night special for her and also for her friends on stage. Great fun with interactions made it a wonderful show on top of being a wonderful show!!! Late in the show we unveiled a birthday banner designed by dutchfan Henny. At the after show Máiréad did the first meet & greet on her birthday that we know of. She shared honors with the delightful Lisa Kelly. Lots of photos, gifts, and a lot of smiles and tears. It was a fantastic night from start to finish and we hope great memories for Máiréad.

Forum folks attended quite a few shows on the tour and familiar faces were there up front right until the finale in Austin. Many felt it important to be there as some thought it may be the final SFTH show in the states. It turned to be the case. Celtic Woman is now wrapping up that great show with a few stops in Europe and Japan. But not before a very well received tour of Germany and Austria.

News came earlier that Celtic Woman would do a Christmas symphony tour in December. These artists do a wonderful Christmas show but they have never toured one. So the avid fans out there are very excited about this new twist and have been snapping up good seats as best they can. Celtic Woman will be supported at nearly every show on that tour. It begins in California and goes all over the country and to Canada, wrapping up, hopefully, in Denver. We say hopefully as the ladies are traveling from Atlanta the day of the Denver show.

Perhaps the most exciting news was the recording of a new DVD and PBS special. Not totally unexpected but the location was. Atlanta at the fabulous Fox theater. And fabulous it was throughout the two day event. Notice was fairly short as it tends to be for these things yet the forum rallied the troops and got the word out so that a large number of familiar faces would greet Máiréad and company. Forum admin, Mike, rented a ballroom at the venue the day of the first show. It was billed as multi-forum and it was. It came complete with food and a birthday cake surprise for one of our moderators. This was also the site for recording a new fan documentary about the impact of Celtic Woman on their growing fan base. It was filmed in HD and is now in the editing process. Almost 150 people attended the Tuesday event in the ballroom and of those 135 were forum members or soon would be. The Chloe Agnew fan forum, Lisa Kelly fan forum, Lisa Lambe fan forum, and even a a few CWF folks were there and by all accounts it was a great lead in to that night. We wrapped it up with a group sing of You Raise Me Up by over 50 people plus instrumentalists. The next night we had a forums dinner that had almost 60 in attendance.

The new Celtic Woman show is called, Believe. And by the end of that first night we were all believers as were the artists. The show was beautiful and the usual mix David Downes is known for. Many Believe it is his best work to date. We'll leave that up to you. Máiréad did not have a huge solo role in the recording. She did not at Powerscourt either. Yet she was on stage a lot and again gave us a new fast air in the first act, the Foxhunter, which is a customary showcase piece for her playing and stage craft. It is likely a replacement for Granuaile's Dance on tour. Some were disappointed she did not have a second fast air in the first act. She did not at Powerscourt either. So we hope she will retain Coast of Galicia on the tour. In the second act she did her customary slow/fast combo. The slow air she introduced has an Irish name but translates to Women Of Ireland. It is very pretty and then followed up by a fast air that we are awaiting a title for. It likely is an Irish tune but most of us are not fully acquainted with many of those. In a change up Máiréad did not interact with her drummer friends but instead dueled with a fast footed gent from Riverdance. It was great fun for sure, and brought the audience to their feet as she always seems to do. In fact Celtic Woman got the audience they wanted and then some when after each of the 22 pieces performed they received a standing ovation. It was amazing and those on stage were taken aback by the reception. After the show the first night forum fans shared the neighboring pub with Celtic Woman choir, band, techs, and David Downes. It was a lovely way to wrap it up with a casual mingle. The show the next night was equally good though many of the familiar faces were seated well back. The audience was very good but did not approach the first night.

So, another new Celtic Woman showcase for the incomparable Máiréad Nesbitt will tour next year. Her new attire for the show as always is a perfect fit from Synan O'Mahoney. It has been another banner year for her to be sure. The forum is very grateful to be a small part of her experience. But the forum itself is also growing at now over 470 members. It also continues to grow on Facebook and Twitter. In Atlanta additional funds were raised for Máiréad's Oxfam charity and it is our hope to present the copy of the check to her in person the day of the Christmas show in Pittsburgh. It already far exceeds last year's total. We'll post another blog with a 2011 retrospective at the end of the year. Until then, thank you for supporting Máiréad in all of her musical endeavors.

Forum leadership team

Friday, April 15, 2011

For the record

Hello everyone!

Máiréad's birthday is in just a few days and all of us on the leadership team hope you'll post a birthday wish for her in the messages section of the forum. We're sure you'll agree that Máiréad just becomes more amazing every year. Please also support her on her blog and on Twitter along with attending shows.

Something we need to clear up as well. The leadership of the forum has the ability to guide and direct the conversations within the forum. We also can edit or delete posts that violate the forum decorum. The forum is there for one purpose only and that is to support and promote Máiréad. Some comments have been received that it has become too much of a social networking site and lost the focus on the artist. The leadership team is working hard to regain the focus and spending time shifting things around.

There are outside sites on line that comment about Celtic Woman and the artists within it. The Máiréad fan forum does not endorse such sites nor does it operate in conjunction with them. The exception to that is Rick's Pixieland site. We have both a Facebook and Twitter site for the forum. What is said on individual member blogs is not a statement by the forum or its leadership. Only this blog speaks for the forum and its members. What members say away from the forum is not within our jurisdiction to police though at times the forum gets mentioned within those blogs. In a free society people have the right to their opinions. Within the forum itself those are tempered to a degree without being overbearing.

Máiréad has been supportive of the forum in the past because it has been a positive place and one focused on her. If at times that has strayed then it is something we in the leadership team are tasked with correcting. We thank Máiréad for her past support, and look forward to spreading the word about her for a long time to come. The charity drive for Oxfam in her name continues and the total so far is very impressive. That is just one of the positive ways the Máiréad fan forum family can help make a difference. Please join us in that annual charity drive. Some great things are lined up with all that as well.

Our thanks to all the members who have made the forum such a special place. We're working on making it even better.

Máiréad Nesbitt Fan Forum leadership team

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy anniversary enchanted forest!

Hello everyone!

Well today we celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the Máiréad Nesbitt fan forum. We also celebrated new directions and the start of an amazing new year for her and for us. We just concluded a 10 hour chat! Amazing. We had 22 total participants with as many as 16 at once several times. As usual the chat was all over the map just as it would be in the kitchen. It truly is a family.

Máiréad will be out on spring tour in just a couple weeks. We hope each of you will take the time to go support her along the way. The forum has been great at that this past three years and done so all over the planet! She is an amazing artist and wonderful person and deserves that ongoing support. She sure lights up when she sees a fiddler crossing sign in the audience!

We enter year four with some new leadership. Mike is now joined by Destiny as a dynamic duo (kind of like Máiréad and Ray!) to take us into the future. But we also don't forget the past and the forum origins. Not only do we thank Máiréad for her kind and gracious support but we also thank forum owner Scott Meenen and creator Dave Bussells. It was their vision that brought the forum about and has kept it going. Also there has been Elaina Axelrod who did much of the forum graphics early on and was incredibly active in the initial growth and success of the place. Scott Manke was forum admin from early on but now is emeritus and has a limited internal role.

There is now a forum Facebook page, forum Twitter account, and tomorrow the new Bow Echoes fan newsletter will be out! This is a quarterly online magazine done in cooperation with Rick Shear's Pixieland fan site. That site is packed with great photos and tons of details about Máiréad's incredible career. You can subscribe to the newsletter by going to his site and following the links.

All of this is about Máiréad. It is what she inspires. She also has inspired charity in others and our annual Oxfam charity drive is in full swing. The forum is a fun community and if you are not yet a member please join us. If you are a member and like it please tell others about it and about Máiréad. We thank each and every one of the over 400 members of the forum for being part of such a special place, and we thank Máiréad for her initial indulgence and her ongoing trust and support. You are one of a kind in so many ways, Máiréad, and you've no idea how much you are loved and how many lives you have touched so deeply.

Be looking in the forum for reviews and news and ticket availability during the year. We know of the spring U.S. tour and the German tour but there will likely be a lot more to excite Máiréad fans. Stay tuned! See you at a show or in the enchanted forest! Have a great tour everyone and you too, Máiréad!

Máiréad Nesbitt fan forum leadership team

Friday, December 3, 2010

Another memorable year

Hello everyone!

Well yet another wonderful year is coming to a close for Máiréad Nesbitt and for the forum in her honor. She began the new year in Switzerland wowing the audience there with the Tinker Bell suite among other lovely tunes. She was joined on stage by talented brother, Karl, which made it all the more special.

A spring tour was next and opening night of Songs From The Heart in Roanoke was a lovely forum event. What a great new creation by David and his stable of fine artists. Throughout the spring tour there were wonderful small gatherings and a special birthday for Máiréad in st. Petersburg. Forum administrator, Mike, passed 80 shows this year on the subsequent summer tour, and administrator emeritus, Scott, celebrated his 50th show in Albuquerque where it started for him in 2007. Máiréad and her forum made that night very special.

Prior to the summer tour Máiréad and her co-stars graced Australia for a promotional swing prior to returning later in the year to perform on tour. That tour was well handled by the people at Ovation channel and the forum was pleased to have folks at some of the shows to represent The Enchanted Forest.

Several of the artists left the group this year, but Máiréad hangs in there and has indicated she will be on stage once again in 2011 which promises to be another amazing year. Once again the Máiréad forum was able to raise a nice amount of money for her charity of choice and surpassed the previous year's amount. A copy of the check was given to Máiréad in Melbourne. Fund raising is already in full swing for 2011. Our thanks to everyone in her forum for their kind donations.

Máiréad now is in yet another recording process but is now home in snowy Ireland. She will be able to relax a bit and spend time with family and friends prior to hitting the road again for the tour opener on February 4th in Lakeland Florida. Have a wonderful holiday season, Máiréad, and all of you as well in her forum. Until then, Happy Christmas and a joyous new year!

The Máiréad Nesbitt fan forum leadership team

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oz and beyond

Hello everyone!!!

Well, the spring tour ended with a few stops in the great northwest. Then a brief time for Máiréad at home with family and friends. Far too brief really. Then time again to hit the road and the promotional swing in Australia.

Oz had it's first personal taste of pixie dust and for those at Penrith they won't quite ever be the same. We know that feeling very well here in the states. The girls did a whirlwind tour hitting radio and TV spots as well as the Penrith signing and performance. Máiréad led off the latter with a lovely rendition of Shenandoah followed by a bit of the fast section of The Butterfly. Well known standbys that most everyone knows and appreciates from her. You can catch that Penrith performance on YouTube courtesy of a forum friend Kim Gritten. Kim is the father of talented, young singer-composer Olivia Gritten. Both will be attending the CW performance in Sydney later this year. Kim was kind enough to make his way the 2-3 hour drive to Penrith to record the event and it was wonderful! Máiréad appeared on a radio interview that was also video recorded as well as a couple TV shows. BTW, check out the wonderful new Synan O'Mahoney black dress she is wearing!!! Stunning! Also note in the Penrith video that all the girls are wearing a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon.

Máiréad just put up a new blog as well which is always a great treat for all of us! In it she had lovely words to say about now former Celtic Woman, Alex Sharpe. The group is now proceeding forward as a quartet and so what David does with this will be very interesting. He hasn't let his audiences down yet and so we can count on a fine show when CW returns to North America to begin touring July 12th. They will end at what they have said many times is their favorite venue, Red Rocks outside Denver in Colorado. The tour finale is September 12th.

Then another break until late October when Máiréad and her friends begin the Australia tour. Six stops in five cities. This is the first tour of Oz and so it will be interesting to see how well it does. Most likely quite well. We'll have folks in the field both on the North American and Australian tours so check the forum for the reviews.

Máiréad Nesbitt is an incomparable artist and simply delightful person. You will notice something from her seldom seen in anyone today that holds any celebrity status. That is humility and a genuine care for her audience and supporters. you can hear it or read it in interviews and you can see it in person on stage and off. We wish her safe travels, wonderful performances and audiences each night, and plenty of restful time to recharge those Máiréadium batteries of hers! We'll post again here later in the tour. Until then, keep flashing those fiddler crossing signs, join us at a concert, and keep spreading he pixie dust!

All the best, Máiréad Nesbitt fan forum administration

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Another wonderful tour!

Hello everyone!!

Well, another wonderful tour has ended for Máiréad and her friends. it began in mid-February with three shows in Roanoke and the premier of Songs From The Heart. It ended last weekend in Salt Lake City. She now takes a hard earned and much deserved break until they return in mid-July with an opening in Canada. That tour will take them into mid-September and the finale at their favorite venue, Red Rocks, outside Denver. They then have another break until October and their first tour in Australia.

Máiréad has a prominent role in this new show with carry-over solos from the previous show of Coast of Galicia, and Granuaile's Dance. She has a new slow/fast combo of her incomparable Last Rose Fantasia and The Mason's Apron. Along the way she joins in the ensemble pieces like Nil Se'n La, Non C'e Piu, You Raise Me Up, and others.

Máiréad on this tour also experienced many high lights such as performing at Radio city with the PS 22 choir, receiving the Irish Music Award in St. Louis as best fiddler for 2009, and a surprise birthday serenade in St. Petersburg. She posted a blog on the tour and was the only one to do so. In it she thanked her forum for the donations on her behalf to Oxfam Ireland Unwrapped and also thanked her fans for the IMA award. She has always been most kind and supportive and is a class act in every way.

So now we wish her a wonderful and restful break, safe travels for the summer tour, and continued inspiration in music and all of life. Thank you, Máiréad, for the sacrifices you make to share your marvelous gifts with all of us. Thanks also to the membership of the Máiréad Nesbitt fan forum for the consistent support of that place and this truly amazing artist and person. Until next time, all the best!

Máiréad Nesbitt fan forum leadership team