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Authentic Irish music, dance comes to Gainesville in March
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The Young Irelanders perform March 6 at Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium as part of The Arts Council Signature Series. Photo courtesy The Arts Council. - photo by For The Times

The Young Irelanders will bring traditional Irish song, music and dance to the heart of Gainesville this March.

Traveling all the way from Ireland, the performers will be visiting  7:30 p.m. March 6 at Brenau University’s Pearce Auditorium as part of The Arts Council Signature Series.

The Young Irelanders

What: Irish music as part of the Arts Council Signature Series

When: 7:30 p.m. March 6; doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium, 202 Blvd., Gainesville

How much: $28 for adults; $25 for seniors 65 and older; and $18 for students. Tax added to all ticket sales.

“Our Signatures Series is a group of performances that attracts a large audience. We bring nationally and internationally renowned groups to the area,” said Nairika Cornett, marketing and arts in schools coordinator at The Arts Council. “We try and offer a variety of entertainment. It really runs the gamut.”

The Young Irelanders will be the second group performing as part of the series this year.

Eric Cunningham, producer of The Young Irelanders, said the performers are hand-picked by the Irish Cultural Academy each year and are like a spokesgroup for the country’s traditional music and dance.

“These are people who often either have won competitions or are studying music at university level and they’ve shown real promise, and then they’re brought together,” he said. “The Irish Cultural Academy has been doing this for a number of years, but only in the last, I would say, maybe four years, did they start putting together the group called ‘The Young Irelanders’ to showcase the best up-and-coming talent that Ireland has to offer.”

Cunningham said the group develops its unique performance to take listeners on a sensory tour along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

“On the west coast of Ireland, this Wild Atlantic coastal route is the longest designated coastal route in the world. From north to south on that there are counties, cities, towns (and) places in the countryside that have put a twist on the music in different areas,” he said. “The group will then perform some well-known pieces that are known from certain destinations on the Wild Atlantic route. In the program of the actual show then, all of those seven counties on the route are represented in terms of the music, song and dance found in those areas.”

While this is the first time The Arts Council will be hosting The Young Irelanders as part of their program, Cornett said the tickets for this type of performance have been selling very well so far.
“We’ve had great response about bringing a group like this,” she said. “It’s a very unique opportunity for us to get these performers. The lure to bring this group is it’s a young, vibrant group. These young artists are just fantastic.”

Cunningham said the group’s performance in Gainesville will bring the best in Irish traditional music, song and dance.

“Whether it’s a well-known emotive song telling the story of the immigrant Irish, a foot-tapping reel or jig, the dexterity of our Irish dancers or a moving instrumental piece inspired by Ireland’s landscape, The Young Irelanders has it all and will not disappoint,” he said. “Through our performances we try to make sad people happy and happy people happy to sad and all those in between will find something heartening in the performance, we believe."

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