Growing up in San Luis Obispo County, summer was synonymous with long days at the beach, popsicles in the backyard, fireworks on 4th of July, and outdoor classical music concerts presented by Festival Mozaic (which was, at the time, called the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival). My mom, younger brother and I would often pack a picnic lunch and head to a pastoral Central Coast venue for Mozart, Bach, Brahms or Beethoven performed en plein air by some of the world’s finest classical musicians. People talk a lot these days about the difficulty of hooking children on classical music, but in settings like those we experienced, with musicians of that caliber, the music wasn’t a chore to behold – it was a privilege, and we knew it.
So imagine my delight in bringing my own two children to the Festival Mozaic Family Concert featuring Colcannon on a Sunday in mid-July! Though the venue needed to change from the outdoor See Canyon Fruit Ranch to the indoor Monday Club due to unseasonable (like, REALLY unseasonable) thunderstorms, the magic remained as the Celtic sounds of Colcannon’s musicians on fiddle, Irish Flute, guitar and bass joined together with singer/storyteller, Mick Bolger to bring the story of “The Pùca” to vibrant life. In the story, a shapeshifting spirit called a pùca takes the form of a giant goat who helps a young man dig deep and turn his lazy fiddling into music of the heart one wild night. My kids, five and nearly three years old, were rapt in the crazy story that included plenty of toe-tapping music from the ensemble. With rain falling outside, friends and friendly faces all around, and high-energy tunes, the Monday Club put out the vibe of a fun, whimsical party for all to enjoy. I’m so happy to our family’s tradition with Festival Mozaic. We’ll come back every year!