A weaving of daily thoughts by Susan, the owner of a small business, The Celtic Collection, a shop and The Cottage Room, an educational center.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

June House concert a real treat

On Sunday, June 28th, The Celtic Collection hosted Charlie Zahm in a house concert. Charlie has the a soothing baritone voice and performs a variety of music styles. He delighted the small group with music from Scotland, Nova Scotia and Australia. As Charlie sang for us you could almost feel the damp moist air of Scotland. Many of the the tunes were well known and so we were able to sing along.
Charlie was joined in a few selections by Bob Pegretiz,a Penny whistle player from Pittsburgh.Bob is recording another CD and has written a tune becoming well known in Pittsburgh, named Born of Fire and Steel.
The purpose behind a house concert is to create a small and intimate setting where the audience is treated to the best a performer can offer, without the noise of a pub atmosphere. This concert was exceptional and Charlie will be returning to us next year. Stay tuned to The Celtic Collection calender of events to see when Chalie will be here again.
To find out more about Charlie Zahm, go to his website at www.charliezahm.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A small history of The Celtic Cross

Celtic crosses have been a part of the Irish countryside as far back as the druids. The spoked wheel was the Celtic symbol for the sun. When Christianity came to Ireland, it brought its own symbolism of the Trinity, and fish symbol or "ichthus" used as a symbol of faith to early Christians. To the Celts, who were heavily invested in symbolism, the coincidences must have seemed striking. The two faiths intermingled with relative ease. Celtic Christianity absorbed elements of the pagan faith and Celtic Gods were transformed into Christian Saints.

The Celtic high crosses were generally constructed from sandstone and reached a height of twenty feet. The earlier crosses depicted druid decorations but by the 9th century the illustrations began to include elaborate scriptural scenes. There are many different theories as to the exact meaning of the original wheel. But it now represents the never ending love of the Christian God.

The Celtic Cross has become a popular symbol to the Irish and it's unique history and design is now popular around the world. They can be seen in necklaces, earrings and in rings. Celtic Crosses are found in private gardens and cemeteries in both the United States and Ireland.

We now have a new line of Celtic crosses at The Celtic Collection. These are larger decorative crosses carved out of light wood and finished with a bronze antique finish. These could be used to create a center for the expression of your own faith. Other crosses are etched on decorative plates that can be displayed. We also have a variety of Celtic cross jewelry designs available now and more are on the way. We hope to see you at The Celtic Collection soon.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tai Chi classes a hit

The Celtic Collection partnered with North Surburban Adult Services and The YMCA to offer classes in Tai Chi. That may seem like an odd class for a Celtic shop to be offering. But Mr. Harry Webb, who is the Scottish Gaelic teacher , is also a Tai Chi instructor. The class was a great success with 22 students attending. We were all surprised how good we felt at the end of each class. Harry was an excellent leader, making it possible for each member to enter into the exercise at their own pace. His sense of humor was also delightful. For those in the class, Harry recommended using google to get to the site "taiji.de " for the chance to see an expert performing what we just learned.The class is over for the summer but we will be offering another class in September.More information will be made available in The Celtic Collection's event calender in the future.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bagpipe instruction now available

As the owner of The Celtic Collection and mother of favoured son
Jonathan Shegog, I am proud to say Jonathan has graduated cum laude from The Citadel and will be joining us here at the shop for a short while.
Jonathan was the pipe major at The Citadel for two years. His responsibilities included instructing new cadets on the bagpipes, assisting with the merging of the pipe band and the regimental band for combined performances, and leading the pipe band in competitions and performances. Jonathan also represented The Citadel as a piper at events in and around the Charleston community for the 4 years he was there. On occassion, he flew back to perform for events in the Pittsburgh area. He also does performances with the Carnival Of Souls, a Celtic band from Pittsburgh, PA.

Jonathan is currently being interviewed by The Air Force Reserves and will become a pilot for them after he has completed his training. In the mean time, Jonathan will be in the Pittsburgh area and will be glad to offer bagpipe lessons at the Celtic Collection. If you think you would be interested in beginning lessons with Jonathan, please give us a call and we will be glad to set up an appointment.


The Celtic Collection
(412) 766-1044

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Celtic Collection gives The Dirk Award

For the second year in a row, The Celtic Collection has presented The Dirk Award to the cadet who has demonstrated leadership and dedication to The Citadel Pipe Band. The Citadel is a military college in Charleston South Carolina, founded in 1842 and well known for producing leaders . The Citadel has one of the few military Pipe bands that competes at Highland Games in the United States. It takes discipline to meet the critera of the school and devote time to the practice and extra activities required of the band members. This year the award was given to Cadet Captain Jonathan Shegog. Shegog is the only cadet to serve as the pipe major for two consecutive years in the history of the school. Pictured above is Captain S. James Dillahey, director of Piping for The Citadel, presenting the award to Cadet Captain Shegog on May 9th, 2009.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

We Love Celtic Jams!

Our Celtic Jams are the best! Our jam won't spread on your muffins, but they will make your feet tap. As we write tonight six musicians gathered in our Cottage Room and jammed away on Celtic tunes and instruments. Three others dropped by to listen.
Tonight, Rob Metil is playing the banjo .Brett Gordon is phenomenal on the penny whistle and Button Box ,while helping keep the pace are Bodhran players Seamus Cusack, Jenda Domaracki and Ken Ketchum. Tim Rochford is strumming on his mandelin.
Whether you can play an instrument or want to tap your feet and absorb some Celtic ambiance, stop by at The Celtic Collection and The Cottage Room at 409 Lincoln Ave, Bellevue, PA 15202 on second and fourth Sunday evenings at 7 pm. Call us at 412-766-1044 if you would like more information.
Written by Susan Shegog and Bob Anderson in between breaks to enjoy music and dance...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Celebrating Celtic at Peters Township High School

A 17 year old student is splashing water and preparing her clay as she readies her potter’s wheel for a new creation. Susan and I are part of the Career Day at Peters Township High School in McMurry. The Celtic Collection is one of the colorful displays that feature entrepreneurs, artists, writers, graphic artists, dancers, film makers and more. Our potter friends are part of the class by faculty member, Pam Graff.

I’m writing these blog thoughts while Susan tends our new display table and plays the bodhran drum while students crowd around to find out more about their heritage or the shop's offerings. It seems like everyone is Irish. Or, maybe the Scots aren't telling? Either way, several students gave the Bodhran drum a try with Celtic musician and Storyteller artist, Susan Shegog, giving hints.

A few pictures below tell the story that its lots of fun to see hundreds of students learn about the arts, education, and entrepreneurial ventures as part of their future possibilities.
Blogged by Bob Anderson with Susan Shegog at the Peters Township High School, 4/2/09.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Musical Night with Mike Gallagher
and the Weathered Road

It 's a rainy night in Bellevue. The weather reminds some of us that we wish we were in Ireland or Scotland. The gentle drizzle refreshes the Friday night crowd who gathered at The Celtic Collection to hear the live music of Mike Gallagher, and Weathered Road. The house concert is in The Cottage Room, a cozy room with lovingly worn carpets and a firplace crackling behind the musicians. The crowd mixes around small tables, laughing, hugging and uncorking wine to toast with friends. Anticipation ripples through the air as the musicians tune their instruments in the background.

The audience slowly eased back in their seats to enjoy the singing of Pittsburgh's own Irish Troubador, Mike Gallagher. In our unique house concert setting, Mike sang many of his original songs, much to the crowd's delight. Mike included a new favorite of mine, Born Of Fire and Steel, a song about life in Pittsburgh. The lyrics to this beautiful tune were written by Bob Pegritz, a former pennywhistle instructor at The Celtic Collection. We are sure to hear this tune played again in "The Burgh." Mike was followed by the group Weathered Road. This band is new on the music scene in Pittsburgh and has a mellow folk sound. The Celtic Collection is looking forward to carrying their first CD when it is released sometime next month.

Over forty people enjoyed our house concert in The Cottage Room venue. We have room left for you at the next concert in June 28, when Charlie Zahm will entertain us. Charlie is a well known singer and guitarist whom you may have seen performing at Highland Games and Celtic music festivals. Be sure to check out our website for more information about Charlie and reserve your tickets - http://www.thecelticcollection.com/

Our volunteer crew is finished cleaning up after our evening of Celtic hospitality and celebration, so I am going to sign off and prepare to tell you about my Celtic dance excursion in Canada this weekend.

Susan Shegog
The Celtic Collection

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Gift of Words

Each morning I read from a prayer book of Celtic Devotions. Our lives today are deeply impacted by the rich wisdom of traditional Celtic Christianity. I came upon a reading this morning that I will share with you, dear reader.

three things are of God;
and these three are what Mary told to her Son,
For She heard them in heaven;

The merciful word;
The singing word;
And the good word.

May the power of these three holy things
Be on all men and women of Erin for evermore.

The spoken and written word holds such power as to change the world. Or for that matter, create a new world. I try to guard the words that tumble from my lips ,for I know they have power over my life and those of the people I am intertwined with each day. Words have changed the course of history and created new thoughts. Although I may not be able to share many words every time I try to blog, I shall choose my words carefully. I invite all who take the time to read this, to share words with me , so that we may begin a rich universe of thought and wisdom within the confines of this small space. But it holds the ability to impact the world outside with all the joy and thought of the Celtic ancestory we each have stored within us.

Slainte Mhath