The Tongue Family Band is slated to perform Feb. 25 from 7-9 p.m. as a major fundraiser for the Thunder Bay Lighthouse Preservation Society. This concert will take place at First Presbyterian Church, corner of US-23-N and Long Rapids Road.
The Tongue Family Band was started in 2006. At the time, Steve Tongue, a pianist with background in jazz and classical music, was looking for a way to involve his whole family as a musical group.
He and his wife, Amy, a flute player, had recently attended a concert by the Irish band "Lunasa." They were inspired by what they heard and started to learn Irish and Scottish tunes as a family with Steve on guitar, Amy on flute, daughters Abby (age 17) and Lara (age 14) on fiddles, and youngest daughter Emma (age 12) on the bodhran (Irish drum).
Since then, Emma has taken up cello and provides the bass line for the band. In addition, the girls have studied and become proficient in Irish step dancing, which adds visual dazzle to their performances.
Starting in 2008, the family began making appearances around Northern Michigan with performances at Horizon Books and Kilkennys Irish Pub, as well as special events at Old Mission Peninsula Lighthouse, Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Oryana Food Cooperative, the Boardman River Nature Center, Northwest Michigan College and Old Mission Peninsula Library.
They have also been featured at the Maritime Heritage Festival in Alpena, the Falling Rock Cafe in Munising and at Traverse City Friday Night Live and Film Festival events.
Proceeds from their upcoming concert in Alpena will benefit the restoration efforts of the Thunder Bay Lighthouse Preservation Society. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 per family. The tickets are available at the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce, Riverside Framing & Gallery or at the door the evening of the concert.