Irish Christmas comes to Vail Valley |

Irish Christmas comes to Vail Valley

Kris Sabel
Director's Chair
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail Valley music: Cherish the Ladies will bring step dancers with them when the group performs at Beaver Creek's Vilar Center on Monday

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Cherish the Ladies, one of the most popular and successful Irish music groups in the world, makes a long awaited return to the Vail Valley’s Vilar Center on Monday in a concert titled, “A Celtic Christmas.”

This is not just another night of Irish music at the Vilar Center at Beaver Creek. This is the real deal, the best of the best, sharing an evening of jigs, reels, polkas, airs, slides and favorite Christmas sing-alongs.

Leading the group is Joanie Madden, who is world champion on both the tin whistle and the concert flute. She also is the first and only American ever to win the senior all-Ireland championship on the tin whistle.

The other members of the group include Mary Coogan (guitar, banjo, mandolin), Heidi Talbot (lead vocal, bodhran), Mirella Murray (accordion), Roisin Dillon (fiddle) and Kathleen Boyle (piano). The band is accompanied by a team of dancers and musicians that promise an evening of non-stop action, music and holiday cheer.

When describing Cherish the Ladies, the critics say it best.

“It is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn’t enjoy what they do,” wrote the Boston Globe. “An astonishing array of virtuosity,” raved the Washington Post. “Expands the annals of Irish music in America … the music is passionate, tender and rambunctious,” said The New York Times.

No evening of Irish music would be complete without the inclusion of Irish step dancing, and this concert will not disappoint in that area either. Joining the Ladies are Cara Butler and Jon Pilatzke, both principal dancers with The Chieftains. Current senior men’s world champion step-dancer Mike Holland and three-ime Canadian champion Dan Stacey also will perform. Stacey and Pilatzke are also award-wining fiddlers who will play as well as dance.

Cherish the Ladies has just released its 11th album, “A Star In The East (Christmas Album).” The album is a follow up to the highly acclaimed “On Christmas Night,” which was chosen as one of the top Christmas Albums of the Year in 2005 by The New York Times, Washington Post and The Village Voice.

If you like Riverdance, The Chieftains or Lord of the Dance, you will love Cherish the Ladies. And if you simply love the spirit of the season, you’ll find it abounding in the Vilar Center on Monday night when they perform.

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