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Sandra Reid

Sandra was hooked by Celtic music while growing up in Canada's Ottawa Valley, where Scots settlers once mingled with Irish and Bretons from neighbouring Quebec. Her own ancestry comprises these three ethnic groups, and she feels a deep connection with this collective Celtic heritage. With her soaring and powerful voice, Sandra is one of the few singers performing in all six of the modern Celtic languages.

A classically trained singer, Sandra has also mastered the folk singing style of the traditionalist, particularly with regard to ornamentation, rhythm and phrasing. Some of her teachers of classical vocal technique and Celtic folk singing traditions; Alan Seale, Robert Leonard, Bernard Diamant and John Boyden as well as Alexei Kondratiev, Pádraig Ó Cearúill, Róisín Ó Donnell, Meg Flaherty and Liam Ó Caiside. With her sublimely beautiful mezzo-soprano, she interprets each song from the standpoint of an educated singer with a deep emotional and spiritual attachment. This allows her to use as much or as little of her trained voice to create the effect she wants for individual songs. As a result, she cannot be easily categorized as classical or traditional; her vocal treatment lies somewhere between the two. What is consistently remarkable about her singing is the spirited intensity of her interpretations. They are every bit as powerful and full of life and expression as the best of the traditional singers and revivalists of Celtic songs today.

Sandra has performed solo concerts in New York City at The New School Tischman Auditorium, Glucksman Ireland House (New York University), the Irish Arts Center, the American-Irish Historical Society, Celtic League Pan-Celtic Conference, Tara Circle Irish Festival and the Greater Danbury Irish Festival. She has appeared as a soloist with the Ottawa-Regional Youth Choir, the Cantata Singers of Ottawa, the Welsh Choral Society of Ottawa and at the Ottawa Folk Festival.

Sandra has recorded two CD's with the Lyrichord Discs label in New York City; La Traversée: Songs from France, Celtic Brittany, Canada and Louisiana, and Hal-an-tow: Songs of the Six Celtic Nations. Sandra was the only North American singer to compete in the women's song competition in the Irish language at the Fleadh Cheoil na-h-Eireann, the All Ireland Traditional Music Festival in Sligo, Ireland in 1991. She has undertaken many intensive study trips to the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland, where she learned many songs in the sean nós (old style) tradition of Irish folk music. She has been featured on many radio and television broadcasts in Ireland, the United States and Canada. Sandra has also appeared in an award winning music video MA ZADIG A MA MAMM for the television arts channel BRAVO.