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Sligo fiddler highlights Southern Georgia Symphony’s Celtic Joy Nov. 28

To celebrate the holiday season, the Center for Irish Studies at Georgia Southern University is partnering with the Southern Georgia Symphony to offer Celtic Joy, an Irish-themed concert. The concert will be held Wednesday, Nov. 28, in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) on the University campus at 7 p.m.

‘The show is bringing to south Georgia a man many see as the finest living exponent of fiddling in the intricate Sligo style, Oisn Mac Diarmada,” said Howard Keeley, assistant professor of literature and philosophy and director of the Center for Irish Studies.

A graduate in music from the University of Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Mac Diarmada began playing the fiddle at a young age in County Clare. As a child he moved north along Ireland’s Atlantic coast to County Sligo, where he developed an interest in that county’s famed playing style. In addition to performing at venues worldwide with his band Tada, Mac Diarmada is actively involved in music teaching, lecturing and production. He was recently awarded a research fellowship by Ireland’s Dundalk Institute of Technology to study intersections between music and politics.

The first half of Celtic Joy will consist of more traditional holiday music including Leroy Anderson’s ‘A Christmas Festival” and Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker Suite.” The second half will focus on Ireland with Mac Diarmada playing solos, including  the native Irish Christmas song ‘The Wexford Carol.” Mac Diarmada and the Southern Georgia Symphony will perform ‘Island Wedding,” a piece written for an orchestra and solo fiddle by Irish composer Charles Lennon. The symphony will also present the purely orchestral piece ‘Irish Rhapsody Number One,” written by Charles Villiers Stanford.

Throughout the second half, Keeley and members of the student drama troupe Second Avenue will offer three short spoken word pieces. ‘Those in attendance will get a real flavor of holiday pieces, both orchestral and musical pieces on the one hand and spoken word pieces on the other,” Keeley said. ‘Everyone will get a real taste of the Irish Christmas.”

Celtic Joy is sponsored by the Center for Irish Studies at Georgia Southern University and by Culture Ireland. Culture Ireland is an Irish government agency for promoting Irish arts and culture internationally.

Ticket prices are $20 for general admission and $10 for students and children under 12. To purchase tickets, contact the PAC box office at 912-486-7999 or 866-PAC-ARTS.

The PAC is located on the Georgia Southern campus at the corner of Chandler Road and Plant Drive. The box office is open every Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The box office is also open one hour prior to the start of each performance.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers more than 120 degree programs serving nearly 17,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu .

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