Our fall fundraiser was a great
success. As Im sure our general manager has told you elsewhere in this issue, we
surpassed our goal of $20,000, receiving pledges totaling more than $26,000! Your loyalty
and generosity never ceases to amaze us! I want to say a special thanks to the 93 callers
to Celtic Airs who pledged more than $3,200. I will repay you.
The Celtic concert series continues to be a great success. You, the
audience, are gaining a reputation as one of the finest, most attentive and supportive
audiences in the US. This renown has spread among the Celtic musicians who tour the US.
Those who have been here, want to return. Those who havent want their agents to book
On Friday, January 22, 1999, youll have the unique opportunity to
see Lunasa, "One of the most important traditional bands to emerge from Ireland in a
long time," says Irish Music Magazine. After their performance at the Port Fairy
Festival in Australia, the Sydney Herald labeled them "the most exciting live band
from Ireland that weve seen." The band first came together in Matt
Molloys pub in Westport, Co. Mayo in late 1997 and the establishments
illustrious proprietor was moved to say "they remind me of a band I used to play
in." (The Bothy Band)
Lunasa are not the newcomers they might appear to be. These five
excellent, creative, imaginative musicians have for years been the backbone of many great
Irish groups. Now, they push their own considerable talents to the fore as an ensemble of
"killer" individual stylists functioning as an electrifying team.
The band is comprised of three melody instrumentalists, Sean Smith
(fiddle, whistle), Michael McGoldrick (flute, whistle, uillean pipes) and John McSherry
(uillean pipes, low whistle) backed by a powerhouse rhythm section of Trevor Hutchinson
(double bass) and Donogh Hennessey (guitar). All are in great demand when not playing with
Lunasa and their past associations are most impressive.
Sean Smith has a successful solo career and has played with Altan, the
Chieftains the Sharon Shannon Band, and at times, the unique flute trio Flook!
John McSherry has in recent years been the number one session piper in
Ireland. In addition to his Belfast based band Tamalin, hes currently a member of
Donal Lunnys latest group, Coolfin.
Trevor Hutchinson came to prominence during five years with the
Waterboys. When the band broke up, he joined the groups newest member, accordionist
Sharon Shannon, to found her band which has become immensely popular and successful.
Donogh Hennessey is also a current and longtime member of the Sharon
Shannon Band. Prior to this association, he played with Altan, Donal Lunny, Luka Bloom and
other luminaries of the Irish traditional music scene.
This is a rare opportunity to be among the first in America to see a
band thats all the rage in Ireland, Europe and Australia as Lunasa launch their
first US tour January 22, 1999, here in the Wilde Auditorium. Dont miss them!
Coming up later in 1999, as part of our Celtic concert series, you can
see the amazing Sligo based quintet Dervish on March 12, 1999. On May 2, 1999, one of
Scotlands most respected and most loved traditional groups, The Battlefield Band,
will visit the Wilde Auditorium for the first time. And as a last minute addition you can
see Cherish the Ladies on February 26, 1999.
Tickets for all these shows are currently on sale through the
University box office, 1-800-274-8587 or 860-768-4228. Dont delay though, with
talent like this, early sell-outs are an almost certainty.
Thanks for your continued support of Celtic Airs, the Celtic concert
series and WWUH. I look forward to meeting and talking to many of you in the months to
come. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
Copyright©WWUH: January/February Program Guide, 1999