Celebrate St. Patty’s Eve with Altan at PSU

March 15th, 2011 by Adam

Plymouth, N.H.–Renowned Irish quintet Altan will bring St. Patrick’s Day excitement to Plymouth March 16 for a 7 p.m. concert in the Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center for the Arts. The Boston Globe calls the musicians “the hottest group in the Celtic realm.”

Altan plays the music of Donegal and Northern Ireland, tinged with the drive of time-honored Scottish music, and is perhaps the most talked about and lauded traditional group ever to emerge from Ireland.

Propelled by the acclaimed vocals of Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh and backed by double fiddle, flute, guitar, accordion and the lute-like bouzouki, Altan seamlessly blends dazzling instrumental prowess with gorgeously delicate vocals. Through the years, audiences have been struck by the genuine camaraderie and mutual respect among the members of Altan.

The seeds of the band lie in the music and fun of gatherings and sessions in kitchens and pubs in Donegal where virtuoso music was heard in an atmosphere of respect and intimacy.It is here that the band’s heart still lies, whether they are performing on television in Australia or jamming with Ricky Skaggs on the west coast of the U.S. “More than any Irish group, this Donegal quintet is seen as keeper of the traditional flame,” according to The Boston Globe.

A national treasure in both Ireland and Scotland, the group has been honored with an official Irish postage stamp, one of the highest honors bestowed upon any living artist in Ireland. Mhaonaigh was also named Donegal’s Person of the Year.

Altan has proven to be important ambassadors of the music and culture of Ireland. Band members accompanied the Irish President on state visits to Greece, Korea and Japan, and they were invited to play at the White House by President Bill Clinton twice.

Three Altan albums have won the prestigious Celtic/British Isle Album of the Year Award from the National Association of Independent Record Distributors and Manufacturers. Altan has always been a virtuoso band. Chicago Weekly says, “Altan seamlessly blends dazzling instrumental prowess and the gorgeously delicate vocals of Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh.”

Tickets for Altan’s appearance at Plymouth State University are $35-25 for adults; $33-$23 for seniors and $25-15 for youth at the Silver Center Box office,(6030 535-ARTS (2787) or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.

Speare Memorial Hospital and New Hampshire Public Radio are sponsors of Altan’s Plymouth concert.

For general information about events at PSU logon to ThisWeek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.