Father of Texas Re-enactments – Celtair String Band
Visitors to the Austin County area the first weekend in November were able to step back in time and enjoy re-enactments of the life of our founding fathers in Texas History. San Felipe’s Colonial Heritage Day brought a full day of historic programs and activities to the area. Two of the visitors that day were Mel and Betty Peters they are part of the Celtaire String Band. The Peters came from Hockley, TX. Donned in period clothing from the early 1700s they looked to be a part of history that most can only enjoy from a good history book.
The couple was on hand to entertain visitors of the day with their musical talents. Mel Peters played the fiddle while Betty strummed along on the bass box. The Peters “certified” members of the crowd as official “colonial band members” for playing the tamborine in one of David Crocket’s favorite tunes Soldier’s Joy. The last time Crocket played this song was at the Alamo in 1836.
The group is in their tenth plus year of re-enactment. Their specialty is playing period Americana music. They have traveled all over the United States performing for people, but most of their talents are shared right here in Texas. They have done re-enactments at the Alamo, The Texas Renaissance Festival, events at the Historical George Ranch and Liendo Plantation, Dickens on the Strand in Galveston as well as Civil War re-enactments. They also travel to schools for historic programs and will perform at weddings or private parties.
The group actually consists of Mel Peters on fiddle, pennywhistle, guitar, jawharp & vocals, Mark Shafer on mandolin, guitar & vocals, Mary Shafer on guitar & vocals, Betty Peters on percussion (Bass Box), spoons & Limberjack. Mel and Betty Peters represented the group at the San Felipe event.
“We have great programs for our area students, we perform “historical vignettes” for elementary & secondary schools. This is one way of enlightening our children with the roots of our Texas music traditions and preserving it now & for the future Texas children. We get the kids involved in playing along with us through hands-on activities & allow them to appreciate the old-time music & how it was made…before batteries & amps! Creating Music Memories!”