Have a Celtic Christmas at SOPAC

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to take part in holiday festivities and to sing along to the timeless Christmas carols. This holiday season lend an ear to Christmas songs with cultural infusions for a change.

Cherish the Ladies, an Irish-American, all-female quintet, will be performing their “Celtic Christmas” show at 7:30 on Thurs, Dec. 5 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

For this performance, the quintet will be joined by award-winning guest vocalist, Cathie Ryan, and World Champion Irish dancers, including alumni of Riverdance and tours with The Chieftains.

Cherish the Ladies formed in 1985 in New York City with a series of concerts organized by Dr. Mick Moloney and the Ethnic Folk Arts Center which celebrated the rise of women in the music industry, according to cherishtheladies.com. They won recognition as the first all-women music and dance ensemble and went on to acquire a fan base of thousands, according to the site.

Joanie Madden, an award winning whistle and flute player, has been the leader of Cherish the Ladies since the quintet’s formation.

“This time of year is a wonderful time to go on the road in spreading Christmas cheer,” Madden said.

Madden said they are part of the Christmas cheer business.

“[We have] an eleven piece band, singers, dancers and musicians altogether in a little package: ‘Celtic Christmas,'” Madden said.

During their performance, the quintet will sing well-known Christmas carols as well as traditional Irish carols.

Madden said this time of year is a very special time to travel and perform as it is the time of year that whole families come out together. They put on a very family-oriented program.

“We love to get the whole place on their feet and in the Christmas mood,” Madden said. “The object of the game is to get a standing ovation.”

Madden said their performances are very exciting with the great lineup of dancers, who bring the room to life.

“Irish music can be sad, mournful, and beautiful, but when the dancers go into the fast jigs and reels it becomes very exciting and driving,” Madden said. “When the dancers come on stage with their intricate footwork people go crazy.”

Madden said they have recorded two Christmas albums, the first being named one of the top Christmas albums of the year by The New York Times in 2004. They also performed a 2013 PBS special, which won an Emmy award.

For a boost in holiday spirit attend Cherish the Ladies’ performance for “Celtic Christmas” holiday cheer.

Michelle Foti can be reached at michelle.foti@student.shu.edu.

Author: Michelle Foti

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