Celtic Woman to bring Irish ‘Homecoming’ to Kuss in Springfield

Celtic Woman will return to Springfield on its ‘Homecoming Tour’ to bring a touch of their Irish home to the Kuss Auditorium. CONTRIBUTED

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Celtic Woman will return to Springfield on its ‘Homecoming Tour’ to bring a touch of their Irish home to the Kuss Auditorium. CONTRIBUTED

Irish celebrations don’t have to begin and end on March 17 with St. Patrick’s Day, at least not when Celtic Woman is around.

The four-woman music ensemble from Ireland is celebrating “Homecoming” on its current tour. Although far away from their homeland, they plan to bring that touch to the Clark State Performing Arts Center’s Kuss Auditorium.

“With our show, the traditional Irish songs are made more accessible to the people,” said Susan McFadden, in her sixth year with Celtic Woman. “We take contemporary songs and give them an Irish twist, something for little girls age three and people 93, crossing every generation.”

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The spirit of Ireland will be here at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 21 at the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

It will be the finale of the Clark State Performing Arts Center’s 2017-2018 season.

Celtic Woman brought holiday cheer here in 2015 with its Christmas show. McFadden returns with bandmates Mairead Carlin and Eabha McMahon along with new member, classically-trained fiddler Tara McNeill.

The Homecoming Tour ties into its recent television special and live CD titled “Homecoming” as it was recorded in Ireland. This concert will include the group’s signature songs like “Danny Boy” and “Amazing Grace,” new tunes not from the special and ones just for the tour, including a version of Elvis Costello’s “Long Journey Home,” sticking to the theme.

The experience is enhanced by a full band, three male backing vocalists and a dancer to go along with a screen depicting scenes from Ireland.

“It brings a little bit of our home musically, visually and emotionally,” McFadden said. “Celtic music tells a story and who doesn’t love a story and to be transported to another place?”

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America has become a second homeland for Celtic Woman and the group looks forward to touring here since they receive such a warm reception.

The difference between here and other international audiences is Americans are so forthcoming in their enthusiasm. Whereas other audiences are reserved, waiting until the end of a show to show emotion, here it goes from the opening number.

“Audiences are whooping and hollering and that’s encouraging when you’re onstage. You know they like what you’re doing,” McFadden said.

Although she doesn’t always recall all the places Celtic Woman’s performed, pulling up in the tour bus often brings up memories of dressing rooms, coffee shops and such. McFadden said she won’t be surprised to feel that coming back to Springfield.

Otherwise, the group enjoys the sites along with shopping at places like Macy’s and other spots in the vast landscape on tour, but enjoy things from home like Irish tea, chips and chocolate.

“We’re really looking forward to being back in Springfield and hope everyone enjoys the show,” McFadden said.

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This is the annual Circle of Friends Gala Concert. John Landess, executive director of the Turner Foundation, will be honored with the Founder’s Award for his support of the arts in a gala event prior to the show.

The Circle of Friends is a group of professionals that advises and supports the Performing Arts Center in various ways.


What: Celtic Woman Homecoming Tour

Where: Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 South Fountain Ave., Springfield

When: Saturday, April 21, 8 p.m.

Admission: $35-100 (plus ticket and facility fees)

More info: 937-328-3874 or go to http://pac.clarkstate.edu/events/calendar/celtic-woman-homecoming-tour

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