Willow Brae is the duo of Andrea Stern, virtuosic Celtic harpist, and multi-instrumentalist Laura MacKenzie, on traditional wind-powered instruments and voice. Together they bring to life the airs, dance tunes and songs of the Irish and Scottish countrysides, conveying the warm resonance of traditional music and song as well as the spark and excitement of quick-paced dance tunes.
Andrea Stern has performed as a soloist and with orchestras in both North and South America, and has given concerts around the world as a featured artist on cruise ships. Andrea trained on concert harp at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory in Boston, and performs frequently with various ensembles across the Midwest. With Willow Brae, Andrea delights audiences of all ages with her sparkling interpretations of Irish and Scottish music on the Celtic harp.
Laura MacKenzie has been well recognized for her work in traditional music with numerous honors and awards, from performing arts fellowships to her own “Laura MacKenzie Day” proclaimed in 2014 by the City of St. Paul. She enjoys a diverse career in performance, from stage shows and festivals to theater productions and studio work. With Willow Brae, Laura performs on a dazzling array of wooden flutes, various whistles, concertina, pipes and voice.
Andrea and Laura have been collaborating on concert performances, recording projects and community programs since 2002, after discovering a shared love for the music of these traditions. They have brought this music to numerous festivals, fairs, concert halls, community centers and schools around their region.
Willow Brae is also available with Irish step-dancers. In addition to concerts, Laura and Andrea offer family and community programs combining music with stories, lore and dance.
Enjoy the music of Willow Brae on "Collected," traditional Irish and Scottish music featuring Celtic harp, wooden flutes, pipes, whistle and voice. This album is a compilation selected from various projects. "...a rich spectrum of sound, from radiant to reflective."
- "MacKenzie maintains the magic" - Sing Out
- "Andrea plays Celtic harp with attention-riveting virtuousity" - Twin Cities Acoustic Music Newsletter
- "Andrea has a powerful and beautiful sound." - Connie Brown, Double Bass, Minnesota Opera
- "MacKenzie is a master of all things bellowed and blown" - Dirty Linen magazine