March is the month to celebrate your Irish ancestry (or “wanna be” ancestry) with all the music, dancing, and laughter of St. Patrick’s Day. On Sunday, March 19 at 4 PM the Center for the Arts will be presenting Irish music performed by the Sunapee Singers and Irish Step Dancing by the McGonagle Irish Step Dancers, who will bring a smile to your face and a tap to your feet.
The Sunapee Singers was formed about 20 years ago under the leadership of Herb Spencer. The group numbered 4 to 6 and was brought together by Herb for the “fun of singing” his music arrangements.
Recently, under the leadership of jazz singer Nancy Tripp, the membership has grown, and she has brought a jazzy unique style and a wonderful infusion of energy and humor to the group.
The Sunapee Singers are a close and supportive chorus of dedicated singers who thoroughly enjoy their time singing together and feel blessed to be able to share great music with the community. A few of their selections for our St. Patrick celebration includes “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” “Danny Boy,” and of course “The Irish Blessing.”
The McGonagle Irish Step Dancers from Nashua are returning to New London after a terrific performance last year. Founded in 1993, their dancers compete successfully at the regional, national, and world level and have performed across the New England region for numerous audiences, including the governors of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
A major contributing factor to the evolution of step dancing in the American South was the result of the migration of the Ulster-Scots from Ireland in the late 1700s and early 1800s. As the footwork of the Ulster-Scots intermingled with the dance styles from the early Native American and African American communities, the technique went through an adaptation process which ultimately led to a blending of stylized percussive footwork and has evolved from casual dancing patterns to sophisticated performance routines. You will be amazed and awed at the dancing of these young people.
The performance will be held at Whipple Town Hall, New London, on the corner of Main Street and Seamans Road. Ticket prices are $18 for the general public. CFA Members: $15. Students: $8. Children five and under are free. Tickets can be purchased online at CenterForTheArtsNH.org and at Morgan Hill Bookstore and Tatewell Gallery in New London until March 18. Cash or checks only at the door.