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‘Women of Ireland’ at CAC

Performance will showcase next generation of Irish performers

February 20, 2012
By APRIL LINE - Sun-Gazette Correspondent , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

The Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., will host "Women of Ireland" at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24. Tickets are available from the box office now and start at $20 for the balcony and range up to $37.50 for orchestra seats.

Last summer, the performers replaced Riverdance as the resident group in the National Event Center in Killarney, Ireland.

They performed five nights a week for three months straight.

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The Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., will host “Women of Ireland” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24. Tickets are available from the box office now and start at $20 for the balcony and range up to $37.50 for orchestra seats.

"Women of Ireland" was developed and is now managed and produced by Eric Cunningham, who is an experienced musician himself. He has performed with musical acts ranging from the Dublin Philharmonic to The Rolling Stones.

Starting off as guests of the Dublin Philharmonic on a tour of the United States in 2009, "Women of Ireland" is a cast of 20 performers, but only select groups tour together at a time.

Cunningham said that is an intentional choice.

"Since we started, two have had children - so it is important that the show doesn't depend on any one individual in order for it to happen," he said.

He also said he likes to be free to add new talent to the group.

When asked why he works as a producer in addition to working as a musician, he said, "I have always been involved in management or producing events or productions. Combining both is not a task that many musicians take up but I like the challenge."

Cunningham manages Frankie Gavin's band, Frankie Gavin & De Dannan. He also works with Gavin to vet and nurture the talented female performers. Gavin is another prominent Irish musician whose pedigree includes performances with multi-national philharmonics and 16 albums with De Dannan.

The "Women of Ireland" cast hitting the United States this year will include Denise Brennan, Nicola McGuire, Ciara Walton, Siobhan Manson, Theresa Cavanaugh and Cian Boylan. The shows always are produced and managed by Cunningham.

Brennan is a vocalist and one of the founding members of "Women of Ireland." Her professional musical credits began when she was just 19 years old. She has trained with legendary Irish performers such as Dr. Veronica Dunne and Morgan Crawley.

McGuire has been an award-winning vocal performer in Ireland since age 9 and is renowned for her work with her band, The Cosmonauts.

In addition to performing with ensembles and for radio and TV voiceovers, she studied vocal performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston and joined "Women of Ireland" last year.

Walton is classically trained in both voice and piano, but will perform as a vocalist with "Women of Ireland." Since she finished her studies in 2005, she has been cast in operas and has continued pursuing her passion for traditional Irish song, and has recently returned to Ireland from a year in Chicago, where she taught traditional Irish singing and performed in the Irish Folk scene there.

Manson is a dancing phenomenon, having begun at age 4 and the Hession School and continuing throughout her youth. She interrupted her studies to join Riverdance in 2004 and performed for Empress Michiko in Japan in 2009. Currently, she is enrolled in graduate courses at National University of Ireland, Galway.

Cavanaugh is the fiddle player and has enjoyed a career immersed in Irish culture and full of sharing her love of music and composition with many people. Her first solo album, "The Seventh Veil," was critically praised, and she is currently hard at work on her second.

Some of the songs that comprise the live stage show are "Storm in My Heart," "Grace O'Malley" and "Liberty Sweet Shore." The show will be a lively compilation of dance, song and breathtaking performances by these veterans of stage and song.

Cunningham said, "The show is 100 percent live and has been since its inception." The audience can expect to enjoy dance and song from the Irish tradition, with impeccable, authentic performances by some of the most talented women in the world.

For tickets, visit www.caclive.com or call the CAC box office at 326-2424.

 
 

 

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