Campus: UApresents provides Irish culture With the Celtic Woman

By Randi Eichenbaum
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 6, 2005

Although we have quite some time until the St. Patrick's Day holiday arrives, it might not be too early to embrace your Irish roots. Celtic Woman, a collaboration of Irish singers and performers, is coming to Centennial Hall.

The show comprises four singers, a fiddler, a full choir and band.

The women perform traditional and classical Irish songs along with a few that have been written specifically for the show.

"The show fans all types of Irish music," said Deidre Shannon, Celtic Woman vocalist.

The group has been together for about one year with all of the members coming from a variety backgrounds.

"We all have different degrees of experience but it's cool," Shannon said while laughing because of her use of the American expression.

The women have a range in age with Chloe Agnew, 16, being the youngest.

"She has a very youthful sound," Shannon said.

Touring the United States since July, Shannon said that most of their shows have been sold out before they even arrived.

"The show is essentially exploding in the U.S. right now," said Mario Di-Vetta, assistant marketing and public relations associate for UApresents.

Despite the obvious culture shock from traveling through a different country, Shannon has been swept away by the way American audiences have embraced the group's musical performance.

"People even in the streets seem to recognize us," Shannon said.

The group's popularity is owed partially from a show taped overseas that is now being aired here.

"PBS has been a huge publicity machine for us," Shannon said.

The tour has gone coast to coast, from New York to Los Angeles, but Shannon enjoys the West.

"For me, I really like the Rockies areas," Shannon said.

Shannon added that traveling in a close-knit group has been a tremendous support for being so far from home, but they can 't replace the tastes from home.

"I miss hot toast with Irish butter," Shannon said. "You don't really get that here."

Shannon does not, however, let lack of home comforts lessen her excitement on the group's newfound success.

"Bottom line is you do what you love doing," Shannon said.

Di-Vetta has quite his hands full the weekend of the performance with "Lord of the Dance" the night before and The Original Blues Brothers Band the following night but that does not seem to hold him back at all to see the women perform.

"I have my ticket and I'm rearin' to go," Di-Vetta said.

Celtic Woman will perform at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., tomorrow at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $25 to $62.