In Memory of

Anthony (Tip) Ciotti, Jr.

February 5, 1951 - July 1, 2016

You can view his obituary here.

Tip, you are forever in our hearts and in our music. We love you and miss you.



Words from Eric Newcott, the founder of Leigheas

 I first met Tip and his wife, Carol, on St. Patrick's Day during an evening meal at the White Horse Pub in Virginia Beach on a lonely evening when I most needed a friend.  Little did I know that God would send along not one but a wonderful family of friends and my favourite band of musicians in the whole wide world!
     It started over a conversation about corned beef and whether or not it was a traditional Irish dish.  The conversation then somehow changed over to music and how we were musicians.  Before long, phone numbers were exchanged and an invite for tunes in the near future at the Ciotti house.
     A few weeks later, we met again to share some tunes and listen to Tip and carol's Irish traditional music recordings.  I was struck by the virtuosity of Tip's playing, and we had a wonderful evening.  We then agreed to keep in touch while I moved to Ireland to continue studying Irish traditional music at University College Cork before returning to Hampton Roads to study medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School.  Tip and Carol came to hear the seeds of Leigheas as they were being sewn during a St. Patrick's Day Party of first year medical students I organised.  Not long after that, I volunteered to play for the Tidewater Irish Association's Annual Hooley and wanted some strength in numbers that evening so I phoned up Tip and my friend Jay Taylor and "Leigheas" was born as we were all connected some way in medicine.  We played for our dinner that evening and found we really got on well musically and as friends.  Tip and his family opened up their home and their hearts to the band as musicians came and went through our ranks and as we played out more and more in the community.  The Ciotti household was our rehearsal space and Carol and the Ciotti children were our road crew!  In time, Carol took up various percussion roles, the Marimbola, and Celtic harp-all much to our delight!
     Tip has been a wonderful friend-his disciplined classical training and musicianship allowed us to quickly develop repertoire, and I am most grateful for him helping me to achieve my dream of being a fiddler and piper in a "Trad band" channeling my creative energies and keeping them alive during my arduous journey to become a physician.  I enjoyed his versatility and wizardy-we could whip up scads of Irish and Scottish tune sets one evening and then go on and play a concert of Mariachi music the next!
     Tip was also a supportive friend-always willing to listen to me when I needed to talk to someone about the stresses of medical school.  As a dentist, he had a lot of parallels with me and shared his insight as someone who had gone through similar challenges.  He used to phone me up regularly to check on me when I was hard at the books, and he provided me a refuge away from the books when we were playing tunes together.  He helped me make a recording, and he welcomed all of the other wonderful musicians who have made Leigheas what it is.  I was so grateful that he has kept the dream alive by becoming the band leader as my own work has taken me back overseas.  We have always kept in touch over the years I have been away, and I had been looking forward to getting back to gigging with the band, again, once I was a bit more settled in my medical career.
   Sadly, Tip has been taken away too early-there are so many concerts we were hoping to play, and plans for good times together that will not be held, now.   I miss him no longer being a phone call away no matter where in the world I am, and I ache for one last tune with him.  Tip, you have been the heart and soul of Leigheas over the years, and I thank you for your friendship.  Tip, I pray that somewhere in Heaven you are having a rollicking good time playing the accordion with great musicians of old now gone from our world and that now and again, may you hear Leigheas playing a few tunes in your honour and long may your legacy last.

And to close, a Gaelic blessing:  

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

In Memory of Tip Ciotti

February 5, 1951 - July 1, 2016


Upcoming Gigs

Current Leigheas Performances

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 @ 10:00 a.m.
Tidewater Arts Outreach - South Norfolk Community Center - Private Performance
1217 Godwin Ave,
Chesapeake, VA 23324

Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 10:30 a.m.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help - Private Performance
4560 Princess Anne Road
Virginia Beach VA 23462

Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 1:00 p.m.
Gardens of Virginia Beach - Private Performance
5620 Wesleyan Dr.
Virginia Beach VA 23455

Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 3:30 p.m.
Commonwealth Senior Living - Private Performance
1030 Topping Ln
Hampton, VA 23666


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