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A County Kerry Christmas

Singers and dancers bring an ‘Irish Christmas in America’ to Catherine Cummings Theater

‘Old-style’ West Kerry singer and accordion player Seamus Begley performs during a recent show. The Earlville Opera House’s presentation of “Irish Christmas in America” will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, in the Catherine Cummings Theater, at 16 Lincklaen St. in Cazenovia.

‘Old-style’ West Kerry singer and accordion player Seamus Begley performs during a recent show. The Earlville Opera House’s presentation of “Irish Christmas in America” will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, in the Catherine Cummings Theater, at 16 Lincklaen St. in Cazenovia. Photo by SEAMUS BEGLEY

— Highly improvisational, sean-nós dancing is traditionally a solo dance form with roots in Western Ireland’s Connemara region, north of County Kerry.

A member of the band Bua, the Irish Music Awards’ 2009 Top Traditional Group, Sean Gavin hails from County Clare where he learned to play the flute, whistle and uilleann pipes.

Oisín Mac Diarmada has been described by The Irish Echo’s Earle Hitchner as “one of the most gifted and creative traditional fiddlers playing today.”

Founder of the noted group Téada, Oisín was born in County Clare but raised further north in County Sligo.

Oisín understands how important traditional tunes were for Irish immigrants who settled in America. “Music was a way that people stayed close to home,” he said.

And that’s even more true, come Christmastime.

Russ Tarby is a contributing writer at Eagle Newspapers. He can be reached at russtarby@netscape.net.

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