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04 February 2008

An intimate evening of Celtic music, step dancing, stories and song

HARRISBURG, PA - Storyteller Tomáseen Foley and his troupe of folk-tale entertainers bring an evening of authentic music, step dancing and stories to the Rose Lehrman Arts Center on HACC's Harrisburg Campus at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21.

Foley now brings Irish Times to the Rose Lehrman Arts Center following the astounding success and sold-out performance of his Celtic Christmas at the Majestic Theatre in Gettysburg. Tomáseen takes us back to Ireland of the 1950s, to a place where the motor car, the television and the telephone were little more than unlikely rumors, and to a time when the neighbors would gather at each others’ homes, bringing with them not only their traditional musical instruments, but also their songs, their dances, their laughter, and -- always, ever and always -- their stories.

Long, long before Riverdance, ordinary men and women, at the end of a day working in field, meadow, bog, or glen would gather at each others’ cottages and, rhythmically battering the floor with their hob-nailed boots, would raise sparks off the flagstones as they danced jigs, reels and hornpipes, and would ‘raise the rafters’ with the fiery music of fiddle, whistle, harp and the mesmerizing uilleann pipes. In concert halls across the country, Tomáseen Foley’s Irish Times recreates just such a night.

Foley, second youngest of seven, was born and raised in a big family on a small farm in the West of Ireland. He brings with him some of the finest exponents of the traditional Celtic arts performing anywhere today - and they come from both sides of the Atlantic.

In addition to Foley the group includes:

William Coulter, music director/guitar is an internationally acclaimed master of the steel-string guitar. In 2005, he won a Grammy for a track he contributed to "Pink Guitar," a solo guitar compilation of Henry Mancini tunes. He has been performing and recording traditional Celtic and American folk music for 25 years.

Brian Bigley, Uilleann pipes, whistle, flute, dance. From the age of eight, Brian studied the traditional, rarely heard uilleann pipes with Achill Island (Co. Mayo) piper Michael Kilbane - with whom he also studied flute, whistle and low whistle. He has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and the UK.

Kathleen Keane - fiddle/vocals/whistle/traditional Irish dance. Keane's virtuoso music - fiddle and tin whistle -- is featured in "The Titanic," "Backdraft," "The Road to Perdition" and "The Cinderella Man." Considered a child prodigy on the tin whistle, the Chicago Tribune nominated her as “one of the world’s finest Celtic Fiddlers.” She studied Irish step dancing under Michael Flatley ("Riverdance"/"Lord of the Dance") and went on to become a champion Irish dancer.

The show is sponsored by HACC Foundation. The media partners are WITF-FM 89.5 and Clipper Magazine.

Tickets for the February 21 performance at the Rose Lehrman Arts Canter are $27 adult, $25 senior citizen, $20 student. Contact the RLAC Box Office at 231-ROSE (7673), or online at the Website below. The Rose Lehrman Arts Center is located on the Harrisburg Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, One HACC Drive.

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