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Golden Bough Celtic Folk Trio Performance May 22
golden bough
Members of the Golden Bough Celtic Folk Trio, Margie Butler, Paul Espinoza, and Kathy Sierra will perform in concert on Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, 42 Snell St., Sonora. Photo Contributed

The St. James Concert Series presents Golden Bough Celtic Folk Trio, an ensemble of modern-day minstrels, in a program which will feature songs from their recordings, pieces from their upcoming CD, lively sing-alongs, ballads, and rousing instrumental pieces. Backing themselves with an array of acoustic instruments: Celtic harp, guitar, octave-mandolin, accordion, violin, penny-whistle and bodhran (the Celtic hand drum) Margie Butler, Paul Espinoza, and Kathy Sierra blend their voices in the pristine harmonies that have become a Golden Bough trademark.

The concert is scheduled on Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, also known as ‘The Red Church’ at 42 Snell St., Sonora.

More than just another Celtic band, Golden Bough brings a fresh and fun approach to their musical programs. Since their formation in 1980, they have traveled to numerous countries, bringing their music to enthusiastic folk fans the world over. To date, they have released over 30 recordings. In the recording studio, as well as on stage, Golden Bough captures the essence and joy of traditional music.

Margie Butler, who is featured on vocals, harp, penny-whistle and bodhran, first heard the music and Celtic myths of Ireland from her father, an accomplished tenor. At an early age, she knew she wanted to share the enchantment of this music and culture with others.

When not performing with Golden Bough, Margie leads The Central Valley Youth Harp Ensemble, made up of as many as 15 young people, from age seven to 17, performing on the harp.

Paul Espinoza performs for this program on vocals, guitar, octave-mandolin, and accordion. He has been creating in the arts, either writing stories, songs or poems, since his early childhood and was first introduced to folk songs by his mother, who, having made the journey to California from Oklahoma as a teenage girl, brought a wealth of American folk music with her – singing as she worked around the house and when it became bedtime.

Espinoza’s first introduction to Irish music was from the Clancy Brothers, who would popularize the music of that culture to a wide audience in the United States.

In 1980 he and Butler founded Golden Bough, and they have never looked back.

Kathy Sierra is a classically trained violinist, violist, and vocalist, beginning her violin studies at age five and performing with the Honolulu Symphony at age seven. Upon moving to Sacramento, California in 1981, she continued her violin studies, and also learned the alto sax. In high school, she became the youngest member of El Dorado County’s Sierra Symphony.

Since 2001, Sierra has actively toured both the West coast and internationally and has completed seven recordings with Golden Bough.

For area music enthusiasts who are seeking a bit of history, masterfully blended with virtuosic instrumentation, sweet and seamless vocals – and, the occasional pun-filled yarn – then an afternoon with Golden Bough is the perfect solution.

Tickets for the concert are available at The Mountain Bookshop, by calling (209) 536-0825, or at the door. Tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for students under 18.


This is the final concert of the 2015-2016 St. James concert series for this season.