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The Gothard Sisters

The Gothard Sisters

March 17, 2014

Irish Vocal/Musical Dance Trio

"...talented in so many ways it fairly boggles the brain."
                                               —CelticRadio.net

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These girls have been playing violin and dancing since a very young age, and they grew up performing on stages in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Greta, Willow and Solana Gothard started out with rigorous classical violin training and competitive Irish dance, leading them to leadership positions in the local Youth Symphonies and bringing them to the Irish dancing World Championships (held overseas in the UK) to compete in the solo championships for three years in a row. The sisters were on an Irish dance team from Seattle that placed second at the World Championships in Glasglow, Scotland in 2007.

The three sisters have also developed their talents on numerous other instruments including guitar, bodhran and voice, in the pursuit of a fuller, more compelling show. Their love for music, dance and storytelling is their inspiration for performing and recording.

The Gothard Sisters have recorded six CDs, beginning with their Christmas release in 2006 (“And to All a Good Night,” and progressing to their most recent original and Celtic CD, “Story Girl,” in November of 2011. This album quickly became a Celtic favorite and went on to win Celtic Radio’s “Album of the Year” award for 2011. Their latest Christmas album, “Christmas” played on national radio and includes a well-loved version of “Little Drummer Boy,” (renamed “Little Drummer Girl”) and was included on a Putumayo World Music compilation album of unique Christmas arrangements called “Celtic Christmas.”

These days the girls can be seen making their way across the country visiting festivals and venues everywhere to share their love of music, dance and the energy of live performance with the people that they meet. A live show with the Gothard Sisters is likely to include fast fiddling numbers with lively choreography, Irish step-dancing used in a myriad of ways, special songs and ballads and family entertainment at its best.

Greta Gothard, age 25, started playing violin when she was 5 years old by studying the Suzuki method for classical violin. Greta was homeschooled for her entire life and later attended the Academy of Music Northwest in 2001, and the Seattle Conservatory of Music in 2002. She was an active member of the Seattle Youth Symphonies for over 10 years, holding leadership positions in both the Junior and Youth orchestras.

Greta is also an Open championship level Irish dancer and 3-time World qualifier in the Western region, placing 8th and 9th at the Western regional Oireachtas.

Now she manages to teach several young Suzuki violin students privately between performing engagements while also coaching at the Chamber Music Madness workshops for younger children in Seattle, empowering kids and teens through a love of the chamber music repertoire.

In 2007, she started playing guitar to expand her musical knowledge, and has since become fascinated by Celtic music played in a variety of different ways. Greta enjoys arranging music, composing, teaching, running websites, studying videography and video editing, and performing regularly as part of the Gothard Sisters.

Willow Gothard, age 23, is an accomplished Irish dancer, having placed repeatedly in Open championship, earning 5th and 4th at the Western Region Oireachtas, 20th at the North American National Championships and earning the elusive recall at the 20087 World Championships of Irish dance in Philadelphia.

Willow, who was homeschooled, has been playing classical violin since the age of 5 and has performed in orchestras and chamber music ensembles. She interns and helps kids in the Seattle area learn to love music through Chamber music. Willow learned how to play the bodhran in 2007 and now lends her rhythms and driving force to the Gothard Sisters’ unique arrangements. In 2010 she also learned how to play the mandolin and continues to expand her musical knowledge, as reflected in her growing compositions and original Celtic tunes and melodies. Willow teaches private dance students at her home, and sews every single costume that the Gothard Sisters use in their live shows and videos by hand so they are completely unique.

Solana Gothard, age 17, is barely old enough to drive but has accomplished a lot in her young life. She was the youngest dancer from the Pacific Northwest ever to qualify for the World championships of Irish dancing when she placed 6th at the Western Region Oireachtas in 2006. She was 11 years old at the time.

Solana, who is homeschooled and largely self-taught, has always been fond of words and song, and is the lead singer for the Gothard Sisters. Her strong, sweet vocals are uniquely clean and pure. Solana has also played classical violin since she was 3 years old, which is around the same time that she started taking Irish dance classes. She has recently learned how to play the bodhran and other rhythm and percussion instruments to add to the sound variety of the Gothard Sisters’ live shows. Solana continues to study classical violin with the Gothard Sisters’ longtime coach, violin teacher and mentor, Lawrence Fisher. She is currently assistant concertmistress of the Cascade Youth Symphony orchestra in Seattle, WA.