Friday Night Concert:
Four decades ago, renowned musician and folklorist Mick Moloney gathered some of the finest Irish American musicians and dancers to perform at the Bicentennial Festival of American Folklife. Overwhelming interest in that program led Moloney and friends to form The Green Fields of America, the first group on either side of the Atlantic to bring together Irish vocal, instrumental, and dance traditions on the concert stage, sparking a renaissance that continues to this day. The group’s ever-changing lineup draws on the legacy of immigrant musicians who created a rich new repertoire in America out of diverse traditions from across the Emerald Isle. As Moloney says, “The personnel has changed but the concept has remained constant over the past 30 years: to show in one major ensemble some of Irish America's finest musicians and dancers.”
Their lineup at the IrishFest Atlanta includes:
Mick Moloney - tenor banjo, octave mandolin and vocals; Athena Tergis - fiddle, Liz Hanley - fiddle, vocals; Billy McComiskey - button accordion; Robbie O'Connell - guitar, vocals; Niall O'Leary - step dance and Brenda Castles - concertina, vocals
Saturday Night Concert:
Saturday Afternoon Céilí:
Manhattan native, John Reynolds is most often heard playing the fiddle with his wife; Bronx born flute and whistle player Margie Mulvihill – in the “Pride of Moyvane Ceili Band”. For many years, they both had successful musical careers, but recently they have been performing for festivals and are a very popular ceili band in the New York Tri-state area known for their lively and rhythmic percussive style, perfect for dancing.
The Burke Connolly Academy offers both recreational and competitive Irish dance classes for children and adults. Classes are taught by Emma Burke, TCRG, and Erin Connolly, TCRG, both champion Irish dancers. More…
Delft Way is returning to IrishFest Atlanta after their debut last year. Madeleine and Sarah Ling are combining their talents in Irish fiddle, piano accompaniment, and Irish song to bring audiences a joyful performance that is a reflection of the close relationship of these two sisters. Madeleine has qualified to compete in the All-Ireland multiple years in Irish song and is a self-taught piano accompaniment. She is currently studying Irish singing with Mai Hernon and is taking guidance from Samantha Harvey on piano. Sarah Ling is a 6-time Midwest Champion of Irish Fiddle. She won her first regional championship at the age at 11 and competed in her first All-Ireland competition in 2013. Sarah is a student of Brian Conway from New York.
IrishFest Atlanta is pleased to welcome this wonderful group of 5 traditional Irish musicians who are coming together from across the country to take part in this year's festival. They represent some of this country's top young Irish musicians and collectively have earned many All-Ireland and National champion titles. The 5 friends are: Patrick Finley (Fiddle), Brenda Dowling (Flute) Kieran Flanagan (piano), John Paul Reynolds (Fiddle & Banjo), and Adrienne O'Shea (Flute and Irish Song).
Teresa Sheppard, is a harp player studying under Kelly Stewart. Awarded the 2014 & 2015 Scottish Harp Society of America’s National Championship, she has traveled to Scotland and Ireland to study with renowned harp players, including Ailie Robertson, Corrina Hewat and Janet Harbison. Teresa has performed as part of the Celtic duo Sonas Ort and the Atlanta Junior Ceili Band and is currently pursuing a Music Education degree at Kennesaw State University. Olivia Bradley is an Irish dancer, as a member of the Drake School of Irish Dance and vocal soloist and Bodhrán player. She placed 1st Soloist in Sean-Nos singing at the 2015 Midwest Fleadh Cheoil. Her many perfomances include sharing the stage Emmet Cahill (of Celtic Thunder), Seamus Brett, John Maschinot, Cormac DeBarra. She is currently studying at Clayton State University in vocal performance. Teresa and Olivia met in Atlanta Junior Ceili Band, and found harp accompaniment complimented Olivia's voice. "Gliondar" is an Irish Gaelic word that has been translated as "an upward soaring of the spirit with happiness", reflecting the joy that music brings.
Debra Peterson, a native of Olney, Illinois, began formal music training at age 7. A graduate of University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she earned a B.S. in Music Education and played extensively in concert bands. After moving to Georgia in 1993, Debra pursued graduate studies in Music Education at the University of Georgia in Athens, studying flute with Julie Stone and James Zellers. In answer to a developing interest in traditional Celtic music, she taught herself to play the Celtic harp, simple-system flute, whistle, bombarde & bones. Debra has released three solo CDs and is available for local performances.
Atlanta's own Michael Robbins will provide guitar accompaniment. Michael is a founding member of the popular Celtic band BorderCollies, based in Suwanee, GA