Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 5, 2011.


Recording for IONA's 25th Anniversary CD is finished. We just need help to complete mixing, mastering, artwork and duplication.

Dia Dhuit, Dydd Da, Hola. Degemer Mad*, Hi! We’re IONA, devoted to  redefining Pan-Celtic music to include not just the conventional 7 nations but the traditions of New World Celts right here in the Americas.  For 2 years we’ve been working on our 25th anniversary album due out in October 2011. In 2006 our album, A Celebration of Twenty, marked our 20th anniversary and was acknowledged as the Best Trad Folk Album of the year by the Washington Area Music Association. With your help this one will be even better.

And what a tour de force it is! In 11 tracks and almost an hour of music we blend a total of 32 songs and dances from 13 different traditions (Appalachian, Bolivian, Breton, Cajun, Cornish, French, Galician, Manx, Irish, Québécois, Scottish, Shetland, Welsh), and Barbara sings in 5 different languages. All these varied Celtic threads woven into a single tapestry - it’s what we do! Wait till you hear it.

So, friends, what we need is a minimum of $5,500 to complete our album.  With Grammy winner, Scott Shuman as our engineer, we will have the distinctive sound that our fans recognize even as we venture in some new directions.  Our album art is being designed by Steven Parke, formerly Prince’s art director among his many credits. All the recording and some mixing is done, so the funding we need is to complete mixing, mastering, artwork, duplication, packaging and release.

If any of you heard our our previous albums (available at with some downloads at ), you'll know that we have followed the Pan-Celtic path we’ve been on since 1986. We’ve come a long way. We've invested all our hearts and souls to make this the best work we’ve ever done.

Thank you so very much for your support: we can't do this without you, and we promise you'll love it.You can read more about us and follow our progress on the album at (give us a 'like' while you're there!).

We would like to extend a special thank you to Scott Shuman, who filmed and edited our nifty Kickstarter video.

* That’s ‘Hello” in Irish, Welsh, Asturian and Breton respectively.

Please note that all Backers contributing $25 or more will receive a THANKS on the IONA website (just the name, no personal info will be published).


  • Absolutely! Our schools program has been endorsed by both the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council. We really enjoy introducing these traditions to young folk. Many of them have never heard the music even though they may know they have Irish or Scottish ancestry. When they want to know more about the instruments, music and dance, we know we have planted a seed which can grow into a love of music that will be a lifelong source of comfort and pleasure.

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  • We can (& do) talk about this at length! The thumbnail version: The Celts were the ancient tribes that occupied much of Northern Europe before the Romans. They were driven to the western margins (the Iberian Peninsula - Portugal, Galicia & Asturies, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany) by the Roman, Germanic and Norse invasions, but clung to their languages and culture over the centuries. Each has its own music and cultural influences. The Pan-Celtic movement brings these various traditions together under one rubric. When you mix the tunes together as we do, the differences and similarities start to emerge, bringing the concept of ‘Celtic’ into sharper focus. We’ve pushed the envelope further by including not just the Scottish and Irish traditions of Appalachia and Cape Breton, but also the Celtic elements of Québécois, Cajun and South American music.

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  • Well, we play traditional songs and dances which means most of them were composed centuries ago. But they are not ‘covers’ in the sense that we copy someone else’s performance. The arrangements, interpretation, harmonies etc. are entirely our own. In any given set we’ll weave together two or more tunes, usually from different nations, to create a unique original piece of music

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  • All the modern genres of the arts have their roots in older traditions. The traditional music that comes down to us is the best work of thousands of musicians over hundreds of years. All the second rate stuff got filtered out or forgotten along the way. As Celtic artists we have a responsibility to preserve our heritage and pass it along to the next generation so they too can build on it. Just as poems must be read aloud and plays must be performed, traditional music only lives if it is played. Some folk only want to play original music. Some of us choose to focus on the traditional. There’s room for all...

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  • Certainly a lot can be accomplished in a home setup, but a professional studio offers better acoustics, mics, preamps, software etc. and, most important, the benefit of the ‘ears’ of an experienced sound engineer. We often lay down a dozen or more tracks. Editing and mixing that much requires the right tools. An industry rule of thumb is that every minute of finished music takes an hour of recording and an hour of mixing. For a 55 minute CD that means about $9,000 in studio time. When you add in mastering, artwork, licence fees for any non-traditional material, and the manufacturing cost, the total comes in around $13,500. We’ve spent $8,000 so far which is why we need $5,500 to finish. We waited until the studio work was nearly done so you can be sure the project really will get completed.

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    Our eternal gratitude and a shout out from the stage, if you introduce yourself to us at one of our shows.

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    We'll mail you an IONA Decal.

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    9 backers

    You get a digital download of the new album.

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    4 backers

    We'll mail you a copy of the limited edition 'Live at Swift Run' (bootleg!) concert CD.

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    We'll mail you a copy of the new album.

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    21 backers

    We'll mail you an autographed (First Edition!) copy of the new album.

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    17 backers

    We'll mail you a copy of the new album plus your pick of any 2 from, 'Off the Beaten Track' (CD transcription of the discontinued cassette), 'Sound of IONA', 'Birken Tree', 'Branching Out', 'Mid-Winter Light' and 'Live at Swift Run'.

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    2 tickets to the Release Concert & a copy of the new album. The concert is at the Institute of Musical Traditions in Rockville, MD on Monday Nov 7. It is a double bill with Alan Reid (of Battlefield Band) and Rob Van Sant.

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    We’ll ship you a fine piece of Celtic carved pottery selected from Barley-Bran Stoneware ( by the potter herself, Barbara Ryan.

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    4 backers

    We'll mail you a full set of IONA CDs: 'Off the Beaten Track' (CD transcription of the discontuinued cassette), 'Sound of IONA', 'Birken Tree', 'Branching Out', 'A Celebration of Twenty', 'Mid-Winter Light', 'Live at Swift Run' and the new album.

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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    Set of 6 IONA audio holiday cards. These specially designed cards include a Christmas greeting in a Celtic language and a copy of the 'Mid-Winter Light' EP in a matching envelope. A unique greeting for those special friends

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    You can be Kathleen’s date at IONA’s Solstice Party! Kathleen will accompany you as an honored guest to our exclusive Holiday party (usually around New Year’s Day) with much music, food and craic.

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    Private concert in your home or other suitable site - for a party or just invite your friends in for the music. We’ll bring sound gear if needed. We will need travel expenses if you live outside the DC metro region.

Funding period

- (30 days)