Wednesday, 21 November 2012

An Irish Christmas in Connecticut - News

Jerry O'Sullivan
Cover of Jerry O'Sullivan
The Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts at Sacred Heart University celebrates the season with An Irish Christmas. This is Ireland at its best featuring a group of legendary performers bringing to life all aspects of Irish culture under one roof for One Night Only on Saturday, December 8 (2012) at 8pm.

The performers featured in An Irish Christmas include Ciaran Sheehan, Eilin O’Dea, John V. Shea, and The John Whelan Band featuring Kathleen Parks, Flynn Cohen, Liz Simmons and Tom Wetmore. Also performing on Uilleann pipes is the legendary Jerry O'Sullivan with fiddler Marie Reilly.

One doesn’t have to be Irish to thoroughly enjoy an authentic look into life in Ireland at Christmas when friends and family gather to celebrate the birth of Christ. It is inevitable that many of those celebrants, if not all, would play an instrument, sing a song or tell a story creating memories that last forever.

Dublin-born Ciarán Sheehan is an acclaimed actor/singer whose performances have been said to warm the heart and touch the soul. There is an amazing quality to his voice and his ability to capture an audience is nothing short of remarkable. He has many professional accomplishments to his credit, most notably playing the role of The Phantom inThe Phantom of The Opera for over 1,000 performances on Broadway and in Toronto. But perhaps of more importance than his accomplishments is his sincere desire to use his incredible talents to inspire others.

In recent years Eilin O’Dea’s work has mainly focused around the works of James Joyce. She recently adapted, directed and played multiple roles in Joyce’s The Dead. She has been performing her one woman show Molly Bloom, a theatrical dramatization of the closing Soliloquy in Ulysses to critical acclaim.

Since his Broadway debut in Yentl, John V. Shea has continued to work in theatre starring in Arthur Kopit's End of the World, Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive, Anne Meara's Down the Garden Paths, Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, the original production of A. R. Gurney's The Dining Room,Romeo and Juliet and Philip Barry's The Animal Kingdom, among numerous others.

In late 1997 John Whelan formed the John Whelan Band. In 1998, the band enjoyed a milestone year, thrilling audiences at such major American music events as the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Washington Irish Folk Festival, as well as throughout Europe. John also appeared solo in the critically acclaimed “Once Upon An Accordion” North American tour. Additionally he appeared in his first motion picture “Ride With The Devil” directed by Ang Lee and an untitled documentary, featuring concert footage of John performing in Connecticut and Missouri.

Jerry O'Sullivan is a contemporary Irish-American musician. As a youngster he learned Scottish highland bagpipes. Following a visit to Dublin he took upuilleann pipes and became a member of Green Fields of America in the 1980s, rubbing shoulders with Seamus Egan, Eileen Ivers and Mick Moloney. He has performed on over 90 albums including "Heartsongs" (Dolly Parton) and "Bones" (Susan McKeown). He has recorded three solo albums, "The Invasion," "The Gift" and "O'Sullivan Meets O'Farrel."

A premier Irish fiddler from County Longford, Marie Reilly performs with a unique and distinctive Leitrim fiddle-style passed down through eight generations. She was born into a family steeped in Irish traditional music – Her grandfather, father and uncles all being distinctive fiddle players.

Liz Simmons has developed a unique vocal, guitar and songwriting style that incorporates elements of traditional and contemporary folk music including Celtic styles, Old Time, and bluegrass. In addition to performing with the acclaimed John Whelan Band, she is the lead singer of Annalivia, an American roots string-band, and also plays in all-female Celtic roots quartet Long Time Courting, and in a duo with English singer Hannah Sanders.

Tom Wetmore, a stalwart in both American and Celtic folk culture, has been playing bass since he was 13 years old. Tom is a versatile acoustic and electricbass player in styles ranging from jazz to bluegrass and celtic. From 1987 to the present Tom has played with master hammer dulcimer player Walt Michael. Tom was featured with the John Whelan Band on the cover of Acoustic Musician Magazine in 1998.

Acoustic guitarist Flynn Cohen has performed all over the world with many notable acts in traditional and contemporary acoustic music. He can be seen on concert and festival stages with the neo-trad folk band Annalivia, legendary Irish Accordion player John Whelan, fellow trad guitar player Matt Heaton, modern bluegrass band Tony Watt & Southeast Expressway, and his own group of acoustic string wizards, The Deadstring Ensemble.
$25 - General Public
$20 - Senior Citizens/Faculty/Staff
$10 Students:

Tickets may be purchased:

By Phone: Edgerton Center Box Office at 203.371.7908 (Mondays through Fridays from 12noon-4pm).

In Person: at box office located in the lobby of the Edgerton Center

The box office will be open 2 hours prior to each performance.

Online at (24/7)

An Irish Christmas is presented on Saturday, December 8 (2012) at 8pm on the stage of the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Sacred Heart University, located at 5151 Park Avenue in Fairfield, Connecticut just minutes from exit 47 of the Merritt Parkway.

Another upcoming holiday event includes HANDEL’S MESSIAH on Thursday, December 6 at 7pm in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit on the campus of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. The performance of Handel's epic masterpiece features the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Music Director William Boughton, and the voices of The Christ Church, New Haven Choir.

The Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts is totally wheelchair accessible. Please let the box office know of any special needs when ordering tickets.

About The Edgerton Center for the performing Arts -

Sacred Heart University’s Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts (ECPA) is an intimate 776-seat theatre located in beautiful Fairfield, CT. ECPA is dedicated to creating and presenting high quality programming for families, students and the community that will entertain, educate and challenge. ECPA strives to extend and supplement the intellectual life of the classroom for students from Pre-K through college, thus creating opportunities for community and university interaction, while reflecting the ethnic, faith and cultural diversity of the region. News - An Irish Christmas in Connecticut

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