Celebrate the Irish in everyone with the Grand Rapids Symphony's Celtic Concert, March 11-13

Media Contact:
Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk
Grand Rapids Symphony
616.454.9451 x 139

GRAND RAPIDS, MI., February 25, 2016 – Everyone’s a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day and the Grand Rapids Pops will get you in the mood for the annual event at “The Celtic Concert” featuring Anthony Kearns from The Irish Tenors plus pipers and Irish step dancers. Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt leads the Fox Motors Pops Series concerts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 11-12 and at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 13 in DeVos Performance Hall. 

All things Scots as well as Irish are part of the show, ranging from highlights from the Broadway musical, Brigadoon, to music from Lord of the Dance. Familiar, old Irish American songs such as When Irish Eyes are Smiling as well as traditional Irish melodies such as Danny Boy are part of the concert with bagpiper Dave O’Neil and the Ardan Academy of Irish Dance as special guests. 

Australian composer Percy Grainger’s well-known settings of Irish folk songs, including Shepherd’s Hey and Country Gardens, are part of the program that includes the novelty number, McMozart’s Eine Kleine Bricht Moonlicht Nicht, a piece that answers the musical question, “What would the music of Mozart sound like had he been Scottish?” 

Concert goers will be greeted outdoors by a bagpiper prior to the show and entertained indoors during intermission. Enjoy Irish-themed beverages and concessions and have your photo taken with Celtic-themed props in a picture area inside. 

The Irish Tenors in 1999 took America by storm, leading to five PBS specials and 10 compact discs. Kearns, the youngest of the Irish Tenors, has sung for three U.S. presidents as well as at the funeral of President Reagan. Anthony Kearns has appeared in opera in roles including Edgardo in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Naples in the United States and as Don Jose in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Glasthule Opera Company production of Bizet’s “Carmen.”

In 2012, Kearns performed with the U.S. Air Force Band as a featured guest in the PBS Special, America’s Veterans: A Musical Tribute. The following year, he reunited with the Air Force Band to open the televised 2013 National Memorial Day Parade. 


Tickets start at $18 and are available at the GRS box office, weekdays 9 am - 5 pm at 300 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 100, (located across from the Calder Plaza), or by calling 616.454.9451 x 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum.) 

Tickets are available at the DeVos Place box office, weekdays 10 am - 6 pm or on the day of the concert beginning two hours prior to the performance. Tickets also may be purchased through Ticketmaster at 800.982.2787, online at GRSymphony.org or in person at Ticketmaster outlets at select D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Stores and Walmart. Tickets purchased at these locations will include a Ticketmaster service fee. 

Full-time students of any age are able to purchase tickets for only $5 on the night of the concert by enrolling in the GRS Student Passport program. This is a MySymphony360 eligible concert.   

About the Grand Rapids Symphony

 Organized in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Advisor Larry Rachleff, Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt and Associate Conductor John Varineau, nine concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are given each year, touching the lives of some 200,000, nearly half of whom are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities all reached through extensive education and community service programs. Affiliated organizations include the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus; Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra; and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. GRS sponsors the biennial Grand Rapids Bach Festival and provides the orchestra for performance by Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet. To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony, please visit the Grand Rapids Symphony’s website, GRSymphony.org.  

This activity is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.