Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

The Fortuna Concert Series will play host to Good Company on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Fortuna Monday Club at 610 Main St.

Ann Marie Woolley, Sam McNeill, Bob Stockwell, and Janet Finney-Krull returns to the Fortuna Concert Series about every other year as Good Company. Together for about 16 years, they perform toe-tapping tunes, Irish airs and ballads.

”I have been playing instruments since I was nine years old and have continued in throughout my life in one form or another,” Woolley said. “Sam McNeill and I have been playing together for over 30 years. We used to have a group called the Union Town Ramblers which used to be the name of Arcata.”

Good Company plays their original arrangements with multiple instruments and blending vocals. During one of their festive performances you will hear violins, flutes, pennywhistles, mandolin, cello, guitars, recorders, accordions, dimbek, and a bodhran, which is a hand-held Irish drum.

The group performs annually at the farmers market in Arcata and appears at others. “We do a lot of weddings,” Woolley said. That is what we do the most of, but we also do concerts and private parties.

”The most unusual event we performed at was a living wake. It did not start out like that, but during the planning stages as the gentleman knew he would be passing soon, decided he wanted to be there,” Woolley explained.


Advertisement

“He was so full of life and really enjoyed the event. He passed shortly after.”

Kevin Woolley, son of Ann Marie Woolley, will appear as a guest fiddler, and vocalist on some of the tunes. He has been playing since he was 5 years old and was a part of the ArMac Orchestra that traveled to many national and overseas locations. “They traveled to London and competed,” Ann Marie Woolley said. “They won very high awards during that high school competition. He has done some amazing things.”

Bob Stockwell came on board about 16 years ago when the group under another name was due to perform at the Fortuna Music Festival. One of their members was in the Coast Guard and was expected to be deployed. McNeill and Woolley asked Stockwell to cover during the concert. Even though deployment did not happen, life did, and Stockwell stayed on with the group.

A desire to expand the group and increase the depth of their sound they held auditions where they found a jewel in Janet Finney-Krull. The group has been going ever since and according to Woolley, “We love playing in Fortuna. It is such a friendly community and you can really feel that in the audience. You see it in their faces and they really feel the music.”

Tickets for the concert are $10 for general admission, $8 for students, and $8 for seniors.

Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. and tickets are available at the door. If you would like more information about Good Company you can contact Ann Marie Woolley at 443-6889 or amwoolley@suddenlink.net. For further information about the Fortuna Concert Series contact 682-6092, visit their website at www.fortunaconcertseries.com, or email them at fortunaconcert@live.com.