Celtic Woman Brings The Emerald Isles To The Emerald Valley

Celtic Woman | Photo Dave Peaks
Celtic Woman | Photo Dave Peaks

I had the pleasure of seeing Celtic Woman perform at the Hult Center this past Wednesday evening. Stopping off in Eugene, the only city in Oregon listed on their Emerald Tour 2014.  What a privilege to see such talent on stage.

Celtic Woman | Photo Dave Peaks
Celtic Woman | Photo Dave Peaks

Celtic Woman is an all female musical ensemble straight out of the Emerald Isles.  Formed by David Downs, former producer of Riverdance.  The woman sang and performed across the stage in their beautiful emerald gowns.

Lynn Hilary trained as a classical soprano at DIT College of Music in Dublin, graduating with honours in June 2004. She has been a member of the renowned choir ‘An’na’ for 5 years, performing with them as a soloist on ‘Songs of Praise’, ‘BBC Proms in the Park’, and numerous other television appearances. With ‘An’na’ she has traveled to all corners of the world and features as a soloist on many of their albums.

Susan Mcfadden has been studying since she was just eleven; her first performance was Annie at the Olympia Theater in Dublin.  Realizing her talent, she found she wanted to pursue her lifes passion and furthered realized her dream of performing at the West End in London, capturing the role of “Sandy” in the West End production of Grease.

Mairead Carlin, the newest member of Celtic Woman was just phenomenal on stage.  She comes from a musical family as well.  She has performed for the Irish President and has also performed the Irish Anthem and has toured through the UK and Ireland with singer songwriter Don McLean


Mairead Nesbitt of Celtic Woman | Photo Dave Peaks
Mairead Nesbitt of Celtic Woman | Photo Dave Peaks

Gracing the stage for the Emerald Tour were Mairead Nesbitt.  A phenominal fiddle player.  Hailing from a musical family, Mairead has been playing fiddle since she was 6 years old.  She easily played the fiddle as she swept across the stage dancing Irish dances along the way.

There were bag pipes and drums and kilts and kicking, there were were flutes and fiddles.  We even got a little taste of Riverdance and let me tell you, my interest was piqued by the performance of the men.  During one point of the show, a lone bagpiper played his way down the aisles and onto the stage.

"Jim" Eugene's biggest fan of Celtic Woman
“Jim” Eugene’s biggest fan of Celtic Woman

I met Jim just before the show, an ardent fan who could hardly contain his excitement to be at the nearly sold out show.  I am most positive Celtic Woman will be back.  The songs were just amazing, as were the performances by all.   Singing familiars such as Amazing Grace, Sail Away and Danny Boy.  

Finishing off the night with not only one standing ovation, but three.  Before they headed off stage, they left us with this Irish prayer and bidding us good night.

“May the road rise up to meet you.  May the wind be always at your back.  May the sun shine warm upon your face.  And the rain fall soft upon your fields.  And until we meet again.  May God hold you in the palm of his hand”.

We have included a link for further information and venues at the Hult Center.

Here’s a link to Dave Peaks Photo Essay from the show

Sandy Harris is a writer for Eugene Daily News. Sandy grew up on an island in the Alexander Archipelago in the southeastern region of Alaska. Her life's passions include writing and photography. Follow her on (http://sandralynnsphotography.blogspot.com/).

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