Dec 10


Do you love Irish harp, fiddle and guitar? Do you want to see some fabulous Irish music to put you in the spirit of the Holiday Season? If so this concert is for you! As part of the Music Hall Concert Series, The Goodwill Theatre will present Irish Christmas in America on Thursday, December 13 at 7 p.m. at the Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church, 308 Main Street, Johnson City. The Goodwill Theatre’s 2012-2013 Music Hall Concert Series is sponsored by White Knight Productions.

This family-friendly performance features evocatively-sung Irish and Scottish ballads, lively instrumental tunes and thrilling Irish dancing, while evocative photographic images provide a backdrop to some of the rich historical traditions. Take a memorable glimpse into the enchanting spirit of Christmas, as the finest traditional artists from Ireland, Scotland and the US bring you on a fun-filled start to the holiday season of 2012. A sparkling tradition among holiday events, Irish Christmas in America is a special show to see this season.

The holiday show was first conceived in 2005 as a way to bring traditional and often unknown Irish customs to the States. Produced by Oisín Mac Diarmada of award-winning lrish group Téada, the hugely popular Irish Christmas in America show features top Irish musicians, singers and dancers in an engaging performance rich in history, humor and boundless energy. The 2012 tour features a new dimension with the addition of special guest singer Aaron Jones of Scottish super-group Old Blind Dogs. Séamus Begley from West Kerry once again rejoins the tour with his charming wit and stunning vocal prowess, along with Gráinne Hambly (Irish harp), Seán Gavin (flute, pipes), Brian Cunningham (sean-nós dance) and Seán Mc Elwain (guitar).

A graduate in Music Education from Trinity College Dublin/RIAM, Oisín Mac Diarmada has been described by The Irish Echo’s Earle Hitchner as “one of the most gifted and creative traditional fiddlers playing today.” Founder of noted group Téada, Oisín is also a regular solo performer, having appeared as guest soloist with the Southern Georgia Symphony Orchestra in the US along with an extensive recording history.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Aaron Jones has lived and worked in Scotland for nearly twenty-five twenty years. As a member of the award winning Scots band Old Blind Dogs he spends much of his year touring in the USA and throughout the UK and Europe. In 2005 he was voted ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ at the Scots Trad Music Awards.”

Séamus Begley comes from the Irish-speaking region of West Kerry and is a member of one of Ireland’s most musically-acclaimed families. Famous for his heartfelt singing, Séamus is equally brilliant on the accordion, which he plays with astonishing energy and spontaneity; belting out jigs, slides and polkas with rapid sprays of ornamentation.

Gráinne Hambly from County Mayo in the West of Ireland is an internationally recognized exponent of the Irish harp. In 1998 she completed a Masters Degree in Musicology at Queen’s University Belfast, for which her main research topic was music collections and the harp in 18th-century Ireland. Since then, Gráinne has toured extensively throughout Europe and the United States, giving concerts, workshops and master classes, and has performed with ’Irish Christmas in America’ since 2005.

Brian Cunningham is one of the most exciting sean-nós or ‘old-style’ dancers to have emerged from Ireland in quite some time. Brian has appeared on Ireland’s most popular television show, ‘The Late Late Show’ and currently tours extensively with hit new dance show Atlantic Steps.

Seán Mc Elwain is a member of the award-winning traditional group Téada, with whom he has recorded four albums. Currently engaged in a Ph.D program exploring the music of the cross-border region of Sliabh Beagh, he is also actively involved in the organization and running of an annual weekend of music Scoil Cheoil na Botha in his native county Monaghan.

“We are very fortunate to be able to offer artists of this caliber to Southern Tier patrons. We expect it to be quite popular due to the large amount of families of Irish decent in the area. So we have moved the show to Sarah Jane Johnson Church, located just a block from our venue in order to accommodate a larger crowd.” says CEO Naima Kradjian. “The church sanctuary has wonderful acoustics and can accommodate both the instruments and the impressive visual presentation that is part of the concert. We look forward to collaborating with Sarah Jane Johnson Church in the future. This concert will be a great start.” adds Kradjian.

Tickets for Irish Christmas in America are $25 for adults and $22 for seniors and students and $8 for children. You can purchase tickets online at: or by calling the Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

Sarah Jane Johnson United Methodist Church is located on 308 Main Street in Johnson City. Doors open approximately one hour before show time. General Seating is based on a first-come; first-served policy. Snacks and beverages will be served before the show. A concession area café is conveniently located next to the sanctuary performance area.