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An Irish Accent Celtic Woman Blends Traditional, Modern

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:36 pm    Post subject: An Irish Accent Celtic Woman Blends Traditional, Modern Reply with quote

Celtic Woman members are, left to right, Lisa Kelly, Lynn Hilary, Alex Sharpe, Máiréad Nesbitt and Chloë Agnew.

Growing up in a musical household in Dublin, Ireland, Lynn Hilary was destined to become a singer. But first, she had to overcome her shyness.

"My mother was always singing," said Hilary, who will perform with Celtic Woman at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Centre. "I always knew I could sing, but I wasn't ready to sing out loud in front of everybody until I began singing at church."

She credits an organist at church for pushing her to succeed.

"I wound up going to college for classical training at the Conservatory of Music in Dublin (where she learned the techniques of singing)," Hilary said.

"But I cheated. When I was on my own, I sang all Irish songs. I also loved my dad's music, such as Steely Dan and Duran Duran."

Going from the stage and being all dressed up to going back to her casual self is "just like putting on a different hat. At first when I'm not performing I get a little bit bored, but after an extremely short time, being with girlfriends and family is really enjoyable."

While some Americans have an impression of the Irish as being a depressed people, illustrated in books and movies such as Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes," Hilary said for a while everybody was pretty high.

"But Irish people, being complainers anyway, have had a hard time now with the current economic situation," she said.

Celtic Woman, which has released four albums, is a musical ensemble comprised of Irish female vocalists Hilary, Chloë Agnew, Lisa Kelly and Alex Sharpe and fiddler Máiréad Nesbitt.

Traditional to modern

Their repertoire ranges from traditional Celtic tunes to modern songs.

Their Isle of Hope Tour features a blend of original music from composers David Downes and Brendan Graham and will include renditions of songs such as "Fields of Gold," "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You," the traditional "Danny Boy," plus the Simon and Garfunkel hit "Scarborough Fair."

Artists such as Enya and Clannad have paved the way for the success of Celtic Woman, along with stage shows such as "Riverdance" and "Lord of the Dance."

In fact, Celtic Woman has been regarded by some as a sort of "Riverdance for the voice."

While the popular mindset is that women complain and argue a lot, Hilary said working with her co-stars is so much fun.

"We love working together," she said. "And any concerns that we might have, we always talk it over."

Among her favorite places to perform are San Antonio, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah.

"I love nature and woods and I really like performing in places which have a lot of natural beauty," Hilary said.

Aside from singing, one of her biggest passions is animals. Hilary is a strict vegetarian and says, "When I go into a restaurant for eggs my first question is: 'Are the eggs from caged chickens?' If they are, I will not eat there."

With their gorgeous voices blending together and their renditions of several beloved songs, Celtic Woman's unique show is one that could be appreciated by all types of music lovers.

By Julie Rosenbaum-Engelhardt
Posted October 8, 2009 at midnight
Evansville Courier & Press
Evansville, IN
Always Remember All Things Are Possible With God !!
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