All-Ireland Cultural Society to present online concert
While the COVID-19 pandemic will prevent in-person celebrations on St. Patrick's Day, the All-Ireland Cultural Society is hosting a virtual "At Home St. Patrick's Day Irish Concert."
"Folks that go to oregonirishsociety.org website on March 17th will find the whole 60-plus minute concert," said Mary Rose Mulligan of the All-Ireland Cultural Society. "From there, they can click on the links to the various performers."
The free concert event begins at 12:01 a.m. and will feature Irish dancers, bands, bagpipers, songs and more. While not a live concert, most of the footage was recently taped, and snippets run from one to 10 minutes.
Mulligan said the society was planning a big party at the Aquinas Center in 2020 when Gov. Kate Brown's executive order closed down the event five days before St. Patrick's Day.
"We decided not to let the pandemic deter us this year," she told the Pamplin Media Group. "For 78 years, the All-Ireland Society hosted a St. Patrick's Day celebration on March 17th with between 400 and 700 attendees, depending on the day of the week."
Mulligan said the Irish society has contacted more than 60 retirements communities throughout the state to remind them of the planned online St. Patrick's Day entertainment.
A sampling of this year's featured virtual performers include Penny's Puppet Show, Biddy on the Bench Band, Na Rosai Band, Elizabeth Nicholson playing the harp, Irish step dancing by Molly Malone Irish Dance and Yeates Academy, ceili dancing by Ceili of the Valley, Michael Steen-Orr from Night of Song, and many more.
It also will include Sam Keator playing the concertina, an accordion-type musical instrument that include expanding and contracting bellows. Keator and his wife Anne run S&A Irish Entertainment, which often provides Irish dance lessons at Tualatin's Winona Grange Hall.
And, of course, there will be bagpipes.
That includes the so-called Unipiper, who rides around Portland on a unicycle while playing bagpipes that sometimes emit flames. While he has been known to dress as Superman or Darth Vader, viewers will see an online Unipiper donning leprechaun garb, promised Mulligan.
Also, Tim Birr of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Pipes and Drums will be performing solo because of the pandemic. Birr, a pipe major with the band, is a retired TVF&R division chief who has been with the group since its inception two decades ago.
While the event is free, the non-profit All-Ireland Cultural Society of Oregon has a donate button on its website to support a scholarship program. Visit oregonirishsociety.org.
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