Recap of the Moya Brennan and Cormac de Barra Salon Concert August 17, 2016 at the Irish American Heritage Center, the 20th Salon Concert featured headliners Moya Brennan - First Lady of Celtic Music and Cormac de Barra, who presented a stunning program of traditional harp music and Gaelic songs. The listeners sat enthralled for two sets of Moya and Cormac's enchanting, otherworldly sounds. Moya’s soft, high, breathy soprano was often joined by Cormac’s baritone and expert harp accompaniment, evoking the atmosphere of a medieval court or cathedral.
Moya, who hails from Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal and now resides in Dublin, came from a large family of traditional singers and musicians and is a founding member of the legendary Irish folk group Clannad. She has also had a successful solo career, releasing numerous studio recordings over the years while participating in many successful collaborations, including artists such as the Chieftains, Bono, and Paul Brady. She also has significant film and television sound recording projects among her accomplishments.
The most successful of the latter was Clannad’s Emmy-winning title cut for the 1980s British television show “Harry’s Game,” which she sang to an absolutely hushed crowd at one point in our evening.
Like Moya, Cormac de Barra also hails from a large musical family, but from Dublin with Cork roots in his case. Cormac is a highly accomplished harpist with a long list of plaudits, including competition victories, a personal performance for the Emperor of Japan, residencies with major theatrical productions, and eight studio albums, including several with Moya Brennan. Cormac’s performance on the night included a note-perfect rendition of O’Carolan’s Concerto, a well-known, much-loved harp piece from the early 1700s. He also provided accompanying vocals on many numbers, adding a choral touch to the shimmering sound of the harps.
They gave an encore and stayed late afterward to talk with fans and autograph CDs, a gesture everyone much appreciated.
The duo was preceded on stage by a young performing group from the Academy of Irish Music, who displayed their recent musical growth with aplomb.
The next Salon Concert will feature a young, exciting trio from the Isle of Man, Barrule, on Sunday, September 18th, tickets $20 available now at http://irish-american.org/event/barrule-salon-concert/
Doors open at 6PM and the concert begins at 7PM.
Thank you to Moya and Cormac, the Academy young group, and John Halliburton, our sound engineer, for an evening of beautiful music.
Thanks also to our Salon Concerts Team: Noel Rice, Karen Cook, Leah Joyce Steele, Brian Donovan, Theresa Choske, Mary Alice McCarthy, Caroline Sengh, Mary Moore, and our box office team for making it all happen. Theresa, Mary Alice, and Caroline deserve special thanks for setting up a beautiful tea service in the green room for our headliners.
Thank you to Windy City Irish Radio hosts Tim Taylor and Mike Shevlin, Ireland Tonight host Maryann McTeague Keifer, The Hegarty Irish Radio Show, The O’Connor Radio Show, and the Good Morning Ireland Radio Show for their promotional assistance, we appreciate it greatly.
We would also wish to say Thank you to the IAHC Board, especially Geno Cooney and Mike Hamman, and also to the IAHC staff: Laurel, Laura, Rick, Meg Buchanan, Kathy O'Neill, and Ellen Folan for all their help. Big Thanks to Laura Coyle for the outstanding artwork on our poster!