Scott Speck, conductor
Cathie Ryan, Irish music vocalist
WMS Children's Choir, Beth Slimko, director
Friday December 15 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $25, $30, $46, $57
Student tickets: $10
Call 231.726.3231 for season ticket info.
Irish vocalist Cathie Ryan and her band return to the West Michigan Symphony with a program she has created for us, reflecting her Celtic roots in a wide array of holiday works. Ring in the holidays with Ryan, the West Michigan Symphony orchestra, and the West Michigan Symphony Children’s Choir as they bring traditional, popular and Irish-themed music of the season to West Michigan.
For over twenty-five years, including five solo albums, countless musical collaborations, and multiple awards, Cathie Ryan has been in the vanguard of Irish music. She is blessed with a voice of luminous clarity and a gift for unearthing gems from Irish and American song traditions, creating her own heart-stirring originals, and for showcasing writers whose work deserves wider recognition. Wrap this musical integrity into a consummate entertainer and it is no wonder the Wall Street Journal calls her music, “a revelation.”
Cathie is a captivating performer whose shows are renowned for their intimacy and power, as well as her witty banter. “There is nothing like a live show. I love the energy, the give and take, of being with an audience. And I love to have fun up there!” she says. Cathie happily shares the stage, and the show, with her award-winning band. Featuring Patsy O’Brien on guitar, Matt Mancuso on fiddle, and Brian Melick on percussion, the band weaves subtle arrangements and harmonies around Cathie’s vocals and match her charming repartee with dazzling sets of traditional tunes.
Cathie Ryan Band has built a loyal following by touring internationally and singing “songs of the heart” at performing arts centers, festivals, folk clubs, and with symphony orchestras. They have been featured on national and public television throughout the world. Their radio highlights include NPR’s Mountain Stage and Thistle and Shamrock, PRI’s The World, BBC in England and Northern Ireland, Radio Scotland, and RTÉ and RnaG in Ireland.
Cathie’s fifth CD, Through Wind and Rain, is bringing her music to a much wider audience. Irish America Magazine twice named her one of the “Top 100 Irish Americans” and liveireland.com has twice honored her as “Irish Female Vocalist of the Decade.” When not singing, Cathie leads tours of Ireland for Rick Steves’ Europe. She also hosts pledge programming for PBS whenever possible.