Friday, August 31, 2012

Celtic Thunder: Voyage Tour at the Benedum Center

 Today's date: August 29, 2012
 Contact: Diana Roth / (412) 471-8717 /

Celtic Thunder: Voyage Tour

to perform at the Benedum Center on Sunday, September 30, 2012

 The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents the award-winning group, Celtic Thunder, at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, PA on Sunday, September 30, 2012, at 8:00 p.m.  For information: visit, call (412) 456-6666, or in person: Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.  This event is part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series.

 Celtic Thunder is an award-winning performance group featuring Celtic male vocalists:  Keith Harkin (age 20, Derry, Northern Ireland), Ryan Kelly (age 28, Moy in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland), George Donaldson (age 39, Glasgow, Scotland), Emmet Cahill (age 21, Mullingar in County Westmeath, Ireland), Neil Byrne (age 32, Dublin, Ireland), and Daniel Furlong (age 13, Taghmon in County Wexford, Ireland). The group’s performance is a celebration of Celtic heritage and men—their loves, attitudes, individuality, power and strength, throughout life’s journey.

 From rousing ensemble numbers to solos showcasing each members’ vocal style and personality, Celtic Thunder performs powerful ballads, popular hits, and heartwarming songs of love and loss from across the Celtic music spectrum—Irish, Scottish, traditional and contemporary. Celtic Thunder was formed when creator/producer Sharon Browne teamed up with legendary Irish composer Phil Coulter (Elvis Presley’s My Boy, Sandie Shaw’s Puppet on a String, and the now-classic Irish ballad The Town I Loved So Well), to audition men from all over Ireland and Scotland for the group. Their first album included an eclectic mix of music with traditional songs, pop classics and Coulter originals, accompanied by The Celtic Concert Orchestra, a full band, bagpipes and monks. Since then, Celtic Thunder has produced six more albums including VOYAGE and was recently hailed as Billboard’s Top World Music Artist along with numerous other accolades.

The new show, VOYAGE, follows the incredible success of Heritage and takes the audience on a journey through varying styles of Celtic and Irish music including both old, traditional standards like Lagan Love and Maid of Culmore and contemporary, modern songs such as Past The Point of Rescue, Ride On and All Day Long.  Lively ensembles such as Galway Girl, a tribute to the Clancy Brothers in the Clancy Brother Medley, soulful ballads in Scorn Not His Simplicity and Kindred Spirits, and beloved Irish Party songs, Seven Drunken Nights and My Irish Molly-O run the gamut of Irish music.  The ensemble members are also featured in powerful solo performances such as Emmet Cahill’s My Irish Molly-O, Ryan Kelly’s take on the Garth Brook hit Friends In Low Places, and George Donaldson’s version of the much-loved ballad Cat’s In The Cradle. VOYAGE is also the first Celtic Thunder show where all vocalists will pick up a different instrument including the guitar and the tin whistle.  Audiences everywhere are sure to delight in their performance.

 Born into a musical family, Neil Byrne began learning the guitar and piano at age seven and by age 11, he was playing in his own band.  Over the years, Neil’s performing and recording career allowed him to perform throughout Ireland and with one of Ireland’s most renowned jazz bass players, Frank Hess.  While performing at a musical function in Ireland for Celtic Thunder producer Phil Coulter, Neil was subsequently invited to record backing vocals for the group’s debut DVD, and went to become the lead guitar player for the live show.  Since then he has toured America and Canada extensively with Celtic Thunder and most recently has joined the group as 6th leading vocalist.

George Donaldson is a self-taught and accomplished musician. George plays guitar, flute, mandolin, bodhran, and banjo. George’s love of Celtic music stems from his childhood in Glasgow, where his main influence was his late father Bernard, who had a love and appreciation of all kinds of live music played from the heart. He has recorded folk sessions for BBC Scotland and made appearances at Glasgow’s own Celtic Connections and the Glasgow West End Festival.  He also released his first solo CD in 2011 entitled The White Rose, and was also nominated for an Irish Music award in 2011.

Keith Harkin has been wowing audiences with his beautiful voice and musical virtuosity from the age of four.  Keith is an accomplished songwriter and guitarist and has played at the Tavistock Festival, UK as well as performed as the opening act for John Martyn, The Undertons and David Kitt.  He has recently been signed to the newly helmed David Foster Verve Music Group, and is readying his forthcoming solo debut CD while he continues his integral role in Celtic Thunder.

Ryan Kelly has always been passionate about music and theater, and , but also holds a degree in Accounting from Queen’s University, Belfast and a Graduate Diploma in Advanced Accounting. Ryan has been singing since the age of seven in various choirs and enjoys singing Irish Traditional and Folk Music. Ryan has performed with Westlife, Girls Aloud and Simply Red during the Children in Need Live Charity Concert.  Other career highlights include winner of the SCOR competition (2007) and second place in the nationwide BBC television music competition (2003).  He also released his solo debut album In Time in October 2011 to great critical acclaim and was nominated for an Irish Music Award in the same year.

 The newest member of Celtic Thunder, Emmet Cahill, has been playing piano since he was five years old and singing since he was seven.  He has performed in many stage productions in Dublin, including onstage in the Gaiety Theatre, as a soloist at the National Concert Hall, and in many other impressive venues.  In 2010 Emmet was awarded The John McCormack Bursary for the most Promising Young Tenor and was a multiple prizewinner at the National Feis Ceoil singing competition in Ireland.

 The youngest member of the group, Daniel Furlong, has already been performing for the public for six years.  He was cast as Edgar in the Wexford Light Opera Society production of Ragtime in 2008 and played the lead role of Oliver in the musical Oliver for several productions in 2008 and 2009.  In 2009, he also won an All Ireland Song Contest as a solo singer, and he won "The All Ireland Talent Show" in 2011, a nationally televised talent competition.  It was his success on “The All Ireland Talent Show” that brought him to Sharon Browne’s attention.  His energy and enthusiasm is infectious and he was quickly asked to join Celtic Thunder.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit organization whose mission is the cultural and economic development of Pittsburgh’s 14-block Cultural District through public and private support.  The Trust presents and encourages diverse performing and visual arts programs within the District, and is an impetus for additional development in downtown Pittsburgh.  In addition to the Trust Presents series, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents the PNC Broadway Across America-Pittsburgh series, Pittsburgh Dance Council, Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater and Children’s Festival, CD Live, JazzLive, First Night Pittsburgh, Gallery Crawl, and Three Rivers Arts Festival, among other Cultural District and arts events.  The Trust owns Theater Square and the Cabaret at Theater Square; James E Rohr Building & Arts Education Center; the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts; Byham, O’Reilly, and Harris Theaters; visual arts galleries: Wood Street Galleries, at 601 Wood Street; SPACE, at 812 Liberty Avenue and 937 Liberty: a multipurpose performance and exhibit space, among other downtown arts facilities.

Posted on behalf of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates.  Joyce Kane is the owner of Cybertary Pittsburgh, a Virtual Administrative support company, providing virtual office support, personal and executive assistance, creative design services and light bookkeeping.  Cybertary works with businesses and busy individuals to help them work 'on' their business rather than 'in' their business.

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