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Chieftains to play in Athens
Traditional Irish folk band marks 50th anniversary with concert tour
The Chiefains will make a stop in Athens on their 50th anniversary tour.

ATHENS — The UGA Performing Arts Center, in partnership with the Classic Center, will present the Chieftains on their 50th anniversary tour at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, in the Classic Center Theatre.

Winners of six Grammys and an Oscar, the Chieftains are the most honored traditional Irish band in the world.

The Chieftains were formed in 1962 by Paddy Moloney from the ranks of the top folk musicians in Ireland.

The band was the first Western group to perform on the Great Wall of China as well as being the first group to give a concert in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., the latter at the invitation of former House Speaker Thomas "Tip" O' Neill.

The Chieftains have been officially named Ireland's Musical Ambassadors. The band performed during the Pope's visit to Ireland in 1979 in a televised concert that was viewed by a worldwide audience of 135,000,000.

In 2010, the Chieftains made history again when Moloney's whistle and Matt Molloy's flute traveled to outer space with a NASA astronaut. In 2011, the group performed for Queen Elizabeth II during her historic visit to Ireland.

Tickets for the Chieftains are $45 to $85 and can be purchased online through the UGA Performing Arts Center at or the Classic Center at or by calling 706-357-4444. The Classic Center Theatre is located at 300 N. Thomas Street in downtown Athens.