Renowned Irish Performers to Present Scholarship Benefit Concert
Providence, R.I. — Two internationally acclaimed Irish performers, folk singer Moya Brennan and harper Cormac De Barra, will give a special scholarship benefit concert at Providence College on Thursday, March 8.
Voices & Harps — the name of the CD Brennan and De Barra have produced — is open to the public and will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Ryan Concert Hall of the Smith Center for the Arts.
The concert is a collaborative presentation of the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Film, the Department of Music, and the A.L.S. Family Charitable Foundation, Inc.
Proceeds will support student scholarships in theatre, dance, and film, and in music.
Rev. Kenneth R. Gumbert, O.P., professor of film studies in theatre arts, said the two departments have worked together to sponsor previous presentations and felt strongly about an event supporting students.
“This is somewhat unique and something that we felt was a really good thing for students and for other reasons,” he said. “We’ve got a beautiful concert hall to host this in, and it’s a chance to showcase two exceptional performers.”
The upcoming concert will be one of four New England appearances by Brennan and De Barra, he noted.
Brennan has performed professionally since 1970. An Emmy Award-winning soloist, she is a member of the Irish musical group Clannad. She has sung on many of the world’s greatest stages and is scheduled to perform for President Obama and members of Congress on St. Patrick’s Day.
Known as the “First Lady of Celtic Music,” Brennan has collaborated with notable artists including The Chieftains, Robert Plant, Bruce Hornsby, and Bono. She recently released her first live CD, Heart Strings, which was recorded with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
De Barra, a versatile harp virtuoso, is internationally renowned as well. In addition to Clannad, he has worked with a wide variety of individual artists including Hazel O’Connor and Julie Feeney. A third-generation harper, De Barra tours and records regularly with his brothers in the family group Barcó.
Brennan and De Barra will be accompanied in this concert by Sinead Madden on fiddle, keyboard, tin whistle, and vocals.
Class of 1969 to support concert
Several members of the PC Class of 1969 are expected to attend the concert in recognition of one of the presenters, the A.L.S. Family Charitable Foundation, Inc., and as a way of honoring the Bobby Murray ALS Fund, according to Father Gumbert. Bobby Murray, the son of Robert T. Murray ’69, is afflicted with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Robert T. Murray ’69 and Norman J. McLaughlin ’69 work closely on behalf of the A.L.S. Family Charitable Foundation and participate in annual golf tournaments with 16 other PC classmates to benefit the foundation. The foundation, in turn, has assisted Bobby Murray in many ways, including providing transportation to sporting events and building a ramp for him for access to a relative’s home.
Tickets for the concert are $28.50 for general admission and $18.50 for senior citizens, students, and PC faculty and staff. Tickets may be purchased online at www.providence.edu/theatre or at the Smith Center Box Office in the main lobby of the building. Hours are Monday through Friday, 1:30 to 5:00 p.m., and one hour prior to the performance.
Tickets also may be purchased over the telephone from the box office with a credit card by calling 401-865-2218.