Featuring award winning instrumentalists and dancers, the Celtic Martins from south-eastern Pennsylvania have been entertaining audiences for over a decade and a half with their high- energy, fiddle driven Celtic music and Irish dance. Their creative upbeat arrangements based on original and centuries-old traditional Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, French Canadian, and Americana tunes, are joyful and infectious, leaving listeners with both a sense of satisfaction and a desire for more. Their shows also feature Irish step dancing by the Martin sisters, always a crowd favorite.
The Celtic Martins is truly a family band. The six Martin siblings each began their musical career with the fiddle around the tender age of 5, branching out over time to other instruments, including Irish whistles, bagpipes, guitar, accordion, cello, drums, percussion, and vocals. They are joined by their parents on guitar and bass. The Celtic Martins have been performing since 2004 and have quickly become a musical sensation, appearing nationwide at various festivals, theaters and other venues such as the Bethlehem Music Fest, Smoky Mountain Highland Games, the Kutztown Folk Festival, Bitterroot Valley Highland Games, and more.
The Celtic Martins are;
Emily Roeder-fiddle, bagpipes, Irish dance
Melissa Martin-fiddle, Irish whistles, accordion, Irish dance
Brian Martin-drums, guitar, percussion
Christy Martin-fiddle, cello, bagpipes, Irish dance
Name: Nelson Martin (Dad)
Favorite Pastime: Canoeing, hiking, camping, playing music with my family, reading James Herriot Books, riding bike
Vacation Spot: Adirondacks
Restaurant: The Black Dog Cafe
Book of the Bible: Ephesians
Football Team: The Phillies
Musicians: Larry Carlton, Phil Keaggy, and Eric Johnson
Little Known Fact: My first language was Pennsylvania Dutch
Occupation: Painter, siding installer, and musician
Name: Elaine Martin
Instrument: Bass guitar
Pastime: Rug braiding, drawing and watercolor, hiking, going on walks, playing bass guitar, homeschooling the kids, canoeing, camping, gardening, reading, going out on dates with Nelson, and hanging out with my family.
Vacation Spot: Adirondack canoe area
Book of the Bible: Galatians
Other Musical Ventures: I play music with my family and that is an adventure!
Little Known Fact: I walked through the drive-thru at the bank once.
Occupation: I pull double shift as a mom and booking agent for the band.
Name: Emily (Martin) Roeder
Instruments: fiddle, bagpipes
Favorite color: yellow and orange
Pastime: inventing cookie recipes, being a private pilot, flying airplanes (especially the stunt plane!); dates with my husband, Elijah; spending time with my sons, Aiden and Callum; bicycle rides, cooking, reading Nancy Drew books, performing, having parties in the back yard, playing and dancing in hoedowns...
Musicians: Eileen Ivers, James Riley, and Micheal Cleveland
Game: Dutch Blitz
Awards: 2009 and 2010 Berks County Fiddle Champion
Little known fact: played fiddle and recorded with a punk band when I was about 11
Occupation: Stay at home mom
Name: Zach Martin
Favorite Color: Blue
Pastime: Target sports, hiking, hunting, swimming, fishing, ice hockey, reading, Amateur (Ham) radio, biking...
Favorite Bluegrass Musician: Stuart Duncan
Favorite Season: Winter
Book of the Bible: John
Awards: 2011 1st place winner in the 10 and under in the Berks County fiddle competition
Book: The Leatherstocking Tales (James Fenimore Cooper)
School: Homeschooled in the 12th grade
Name: Melissa Martin
Instruments: fiddle, guitar, Irish whistles, accordian
Favorite color: Yellow and pink
Pastime: crocheting, reading, listening to jazz, pesting Alex, writing mysteries, reading old band journals, playing with my nephews...
Vacation spot: “The gray cabin”
Musician: Butch Imhoff and Joanie Madden
Game: Dutch Blitz
Book: Persuasion, Trolley Car Family
Music that I've been listening to recently: Joe Vinuti, Stephane Grappelli, and the Time Jumpers
Little known fact: Played the National Anthem with a Suzuki class at a Reading Phillies game
School: 2010 graduate from homeschooling.
Awards: 2009 2nd place winner and 2014 1st place winner in the Berks County Fiddle Competition
Occupation: fiddle and Irish dance teacher
Name: Christy Martin
Instruments: fiddle, bagpipes, cello
Favorite Color: navy blue, pink...
Pastime: canoeing, swimming, Irish dancing, babysitting my nephews, reading, camping, swing dancing...
Vacation Spot: The cabin
Band: Leahy, Cherryholmes, and the Quebe Sisters Band
Book: Jane Eyre
Book of the Bible: Romans
School: 2015 graduate
Awards: 2013 Grand Champion Fiddler in the Lyons Fiddle Festival
Other Musical Ventures: Member of the Martin Sisters Band
Occupation: Irish dance teacher and painte
Name: Brian Martin
Instruments: Guitar, drums
Pastime: Fishing, hunting, hanging out with my friends, woodworking...
Vacation Spot: The cabin
Musician: Tony Rice
Game: Presidents (Scum)
Book of the Bible: Matthew
School: 2014 graduate
Little Known Fact: I like bluegrass better than Celtic
Other Musical Ventures: I'm a drummer with the Quittapahilla Highlanders
Name: Alex Martin
Favorite Color: Green
Pastime: Railfanning, anything outdoors, baseball, playing the fiddle, riding bike, and reading books.
Vacation Spot: Ferryboat Campsites
Song: Easy club reel
Book: Calvin and Hobbs
School: homeschooled in the 8th grade
Photo by Matt Wlasniewski