Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts, 42 Depot St., will host Cara, a Celtic music ensemble from Germany, Thursday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.

When one looks at the mass of talented musicians coming out of Ireland these days and all the young and energetic bands trying to get to where bands as Lúnasa, Altan, Dervish, Beoga or Gráda already are, one might question why a German band should even try to go professional and tour the world with its own interpretation of Celtic music. Members of Cara fielded such questions over and over again when they started, but their debut CD “In Colour” was a massive success and festivals and venues all around Europe booked the band. Three successful tours through the United States have seen Cara share the big American stages with the named above top bands of the genre.

Cara is rooted in traditional music and song, but its own exciting compositions have received wide critical acclaim. While the two female lead singers are surely a hallmark of the band, the quality standard for instrumentals and arrangements is equally high. Cara combines mastery of vocals, piano, fiddle, flute, guitar, bodhran, uilleann pipes, accordion and concertina with a dry-witted and very entertaining stage presence.

For more information, call 948-7469 or visit unityme.org. Next up at Unity College Centre are The Toughcats, playing a benefit for Unity Barn Raisers Friday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $15.

Boys of the Lough

On Monday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m., the first of the full-time professional Celtic bands to arise on the international scene, Boys of the Lough, will pay a visit to Unity College Centre. Since the first tour in 1967, the Boys have traveled extensively in their mission to gain traditional music a wider audience and respect. Their warm and vital performances have won them friends from the village halls of their homelands to international concert and festival stages, establishing a precedent that many others have followed.

True originals, direct from the tradition, the Boys have earned respect on both sides of the Atlantic and continue to act as role models for countless younger musicians. Their concerts, recordings and compositions were crucial in bringing about the current explosion of interest in all facets of Celtic music.

Tickets are $20. Continuing in the Celtic music vein, Irish soprano Emma Kate Tobia will perform at the Centre Friday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.