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The magic of Christmas in Ireland comes to Wilmington on Wed. Dec. 11, 8:00PM with "Irish Christmas in America." Starring some of Ireland's leading artists, the show's lively music, thrilling step dance, and stories of the season will light up Copeland Hall at The Grand Opera House, 818 N. Market Street. Tickets are $26-$31, and available through the Box Office at 302.652.5577 or online at

Now in its 15th season, "Irish Christmas in America" has been hailed for its heartfelt spirit.

Niamh Farrell returns this year as guest vocalist. Called "one to watch" by WGBH, she is an acclaimed young singer from Sligo who first gained attention touring with UK star David Gray. She brings in wintry songs from such unexpected sources as Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones, and Eva Cassidy.

Oisín Mac Diarmada, the show's producer, is an All-Ireland fiddle champion from County Sligo steeped in the tradition, known for both his elegant and fierce playing. Legendary musician Séamus Begley of West Kerry, named Ireland's "Traditional Singer of the Year," retains a trove of songs in the Irish language as well as his famous wit. Gràinne Hambly is an internationally-recognized exponent of the Irish harp, and Detroit-born Seán Gavin is an award-winning musician on the flute, whistle and uilleann pipes.

Champion step dancer Samantha Harvey lights up the stage with her thrilling footwork. A California native, she has performed around the world with shows including Atlantic Steps, Cosa, "Ireland" The Show, and Tomáseen Foley's Irish Times. In August, Ms. Harvey and husband Mr. Mac Diarmada received an early Christmas gift with their first child, Finnán.

A new album, Last Night In Chicago, accompanies this anniversary tour, recorded live over two nights at Chicago's famed Old Town School of Folk Music. The CD will be available for sale in concert, or online at

Since it's first tour in 2005, "Irish Christmas in America" has featured some of Ireland's top traditional vocalists including Karan Casey (Solas), Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (Danú), and Cathie Ryan (Cherish the Ladies), alongside guest musicians such as Donogh Hennessey of the group Lúnasa.

Mr. Mac Diarmada says that the show touches a special chord here in the States. "One of the most heartfelt themes of Irish Christmas is emigration," he says. "Music was a way that people stayed close to home."
With it's timeless stories, agile performances, and buoyant spirit of fun, "Irish Christmas in America" has become an annual tradition for fans across the country.

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