Aran : An Irish Band  from Rural Western Pennsylvania

The “Aran Band” is a group of seven good friends who enjoy performing Irish, Scottish and other Celtic music.  The name Aran comes from the Aran Islands, located near Galway Bay off the west coast of Ireland, and the last Irish land seen by most emigrants who sailed to America.  We enjoy playing fast instrumental numbers, slow aires, and singing traditional ballads, drinking songs and shanties.  We have members from a wide area, but are centered around Johnstown, in Western Pennsylvania.   The band’s roots go back more than twenty-five years, when Ron Hamilton (pennywhistles, button boxes, bouzouki, percussion) began performing with Gary Noll (lead singer, guitar, bodhran, pennywhistle).   Next came the two “Seamuses,” Jim Brett (lead singer, guitar, bouzouki), and “Banjo” Jim Kupchella, (lead singer, banjo, guitar).   Joining soon thereafter were Jerry Clark (mandolin, bouzouki, pennywhistles, low pennywhistles), Carl Rahkonen (fiddle, bass, bodhran), and Matt Willen (mandolin, bouzouki, guitar, uilleann pipes).    We gather for a dozen or so public performances every year, and many more private get-togethers to enjoy the music we all love.
L to R: Jerry Clark, Carl Rahkonen, Gary Noll, Ron Hamilton, Jim Brett, and Jim Kupchella, at the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, June 21, 2008.

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Web-site created and maintained by Carl Rahkonen 2000-  Last modified 10/24/13
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