ST. PATRICK’S DAY WITH THE CHORUS

THE CHORUS OF WESTERLY PRESENTS SECOND ANNUAL CELEBRATION

The entire community is invited to celebrate the arrival of spring with the Chorus of Westerly on Saturday, March 24, 2012 from 4 pm to 7 pm as part of the second annual Chorus of Westerly St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in the George Kent Performance Hall. 

For the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration (which is taking place the week after the actual holiday), the Chorus of Westerly’s historic George Kent Performance Hall will be transformed into one large Irish tavern complete with festive tables, soaring green and white decorations, and other Irish decorations. The event will feature a menu of traditional Irish dishes and other treats prepared by Chorus of Westerly chefs. Damon Leibert and The Johnny Come Lightlies, a Boston-based Irish Band, will provide traditional music during the entire event.

The Chorus St. Patrick’s Day Celebration is being held both as celebration of spring and as a fundraiser for the Chorus of Westerly to support its 53rd performance season.  General admission tickets for St. Patrick’s Day are $20 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 16.  Children under the age of 8 are admitted free. For $55, the Chorus is offering a “family ticket” that includes admittance of two adults and two children under age 16.  With the purchase of adult tickets, guests will gain admission to the event which includes Irish dinner (served buffet style). Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the Chorus at 401.596.8663 or online at www.chorusofwesterly.org. Tickets will also be available at the door beginning at 3 pm.

“We are very excited to hold our St. Patrick’s Day Celebration again,” states Ryan Saunders, Executive Director of the Chorus of Westerly. “It should be a great Saturday night for the entire family. Between the great meal and the music by Damon Leibert, it will be a wonderful way for the community to support the Chorus.”  Saunders also notes that guests can come for a short time and have a quick meal or stay at the event for the full three hours.  “We encourage people to come for a half an hour or for the entire time.  We will be celebrating the entire time.”

Joining the festivities is Damon Leibert and The Johnny Come Lightlies, who return to southern New England after a year playing in various other projects from Malaysia to Ireland. For their Westerly appearance, The Johnny Come Lightlies will perform instrumental Celtic music and song featuring fiddler Damon Leibert.  The program will highlight the diverse styles, both contemporary and traditional, from the different Celtic regions. In addition to Leibert, the band also features Robert Elliott on guitar and vocals and Chris Murphy on bodhran and percussion.

Lead musician Damon Leibert’s unique and energetic style of fiddle playing lies somewhere between the driving dance beat of Cape Breton, and the lyrical music of Ireland.  He has performed innumerable concerts and festivals across North America and Europe and has worked in various theater, film, and recording projects.  His playing has been heavily influenced by his parent’s involvement with traditional music and dance, living in Nova Scotia and Ireland, and a deep involvement within the Celtic music community.  A graduate of the Norwich Free Academy (1996) and Connecticut College, he has been based in Boston since 1999 where he performs with a variety of diverse musical groups and produces recordings when not on the stage.  He is currently working on a much anticipated studio album planned for completion later this year.

Robert Elliott and Damon Leibert were founding members of the Boston based Irish roots-rock band the Johnny Come Latelies.  Prior to this musical collaboration Robert had performed regularly throughout Ireland and the United States.  Hailing from Limerick, Ireland he currently promotes music in Boston when not on the stage.

Chris Murphy is a musician, poet, and artist hailing from Concord, NH.  He is a well-known bodhran (Irish hand drum) player and instructor who has studied and played ethnic percussion instruments from Ireland, Africa, and the Middle East for over 25 years.  He has played in concerts and festivals with many notable musicians, establishing himself as a respected and sought after percussionist.

The proceeds from the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will go directly to the Chorus of Westerly’s operational fund which supports its regular season programming. The Chorus, a not for profit performing arts organization, presents as part of its regular program each year a classical concert series with full professional orchestra and soloists in November, three Christmas Pops performances in December (also with full professional orchestra), its popular A Celebration of Twelfth Night in January (with over 300 actors, musicians, dancers, and acrobats), a second classical concert series in May, Summer Pops in June (complete with professional orchestra, fireworks, cannons, and more), and a Collegiate Concert Series. Money raised at the St. Patrick’s Day will augment the Chorus of Westerly’s normal fundraising efforts to help produce its entire concert season.

The St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will take place in the George Kent Performance Hall, 119 High Street, Westerly.  The George Kent Performance Hall is handicapped accessible.

For further information about the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration or for tickets to Chorus performances, please call Lee Eastbourne at the Chorus of Westerly Box Office at 401.596.8663 or visit chorusofwesterly.org.