For fans of traditional Irish music, it is big news that Cherish the Ladies, the all-female Celtic music supergroup, has chosen Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College as the only S.C. stop on their U.S. tour. This Grammy-nominated Irish music and dance ensemble has been blending folk instrumentals, vocals and stage dancing with entertaining stories of their Irish-American upbringings since 1985, sparking extensive critical acclaim. They will perform with special guests – including a former lead dancer from “Riverdance” – at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College on Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at http://www.HarbisonTheatre.org.
Cherish the Ladies has arisen as an extraordinary talent in a music genre historically dominated by men – and has won over audiences across the world, from performing at the Olympics to performing at the White House. The group has recorded 15 bestselling albums, including “Celtic Album”, their collaboration with the Boston Pops Symphony, which was nominated for a GRAMMY in 1999. Their very own PBS special, “Cherish the Ladies: An Irish Homecoming,” aired across the nation in 2013, and later won an Emmy.
Known for their genuine Irish music and anecdotes, New York Times calls Cherish the Ladies’ music “passionate, tender and rambunctious.” Washington Post praises the group’s “astonishing array of virtuosity” and performances that are “brimming with spirit, precision, wit and soul;” while Boston Globe notes, “They are now among the busiest, best, and most popular Irish music groups in the world.”
For their Harbison Theatre performance, Cherish the Ladies will be accompanied by fiddle legend Liz Carroll, award-winning, Canadian singing group, The Ennis Sisters; and three dancers: Jason Oremus, former Principal Lead Dancer for international dance phenomenon “Riverdance;” Garrett Coleman, two-time world champion Irish dancer; and Julie Fitzgerald, Canadian fiddle and step dancing champion.
“This is the way you’d find Irish music and dancing if you walked into a pub in Dublin,” explains Katie Fox, Executive Director of Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College. “It’s people playing music because they truly love to play, and they know the stories behind the songs: they learned those stories from parents and grandparents, and they know the dances because they learned them from their aunts and uncles.”
“There is no cheese factor to this concert,” adds Fox. “This is Celtic music that has not been commercialized.”
Under the leadership of master whistle and flute player Joanie Madden – who won a $50,000 USA Fellowship from United States Artists, which classifies her as one of the 54 most creative and influential artists in America – Cherish the Ladies has shared the stage with such noted entertainers as James Taylor, Joan Baez, Emmy Lou Harris, The Clancy Brothers, The Chieftains and more.
The ladies have racked up accolades including Best Musical Group of the Year from the British Broadcasting Company, Top North American Celtic Act from NPR Radio’s “Thistle and Shamrock,” Entertainment Group of the Year from the Irish Voice Newspaper and International Group of the Year Award at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland.
When scouting acts in New York, Fox was stunned by the powerful sound produced by Cherish the Ladies, and she immediately recognized the potential for hosting the group in Harbison Theatre’s cozy, 400-seat theatre with top-notch audio technology. “When I saw them play in this random hotel ballroom, I thought, ‘If they sound good in this space, they’re going to sound amazing at Harbison Theatre.’”
Individual show tickets are available now at www.HarbisonTheatre.org. Buyers may also order tickets via phone at 803.407.5011, or in person at the Harbison Theatre Box Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The box office also will open two hours before each show in the Signature Series.