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LEAHY RETURNS TO GMU'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS WITH "A CELTIC CHRISTMAS"

November 19, 2008
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

WELCOMES BACK

LEAHY

"A CELTIC CHRISTMAS"

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008 at 8 p.m.

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 19, 2008When Leahy last appeared on our stage, they brought down the house with their compelling fiddle-driven music, meticulous step dancing and captivating vocals. This year, this spellbinding Canadian octet of brothers and sisters returns with a program that is sure to get audiences into the Christmas spirit. Leahy performs "A Celtic Christmas," a mix of Celtic medleys and traditional Christmas carols, at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. With a style planted squarely in their Irish and Scottish roots, these talented siblings explore a broad range of musical genres and cultures with a formidable instrumental prowess. “Leahy makes Christmas a true family affair!” (Calgary Herald) A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

The Leahys (Donnell, Siobheann, Frank, Denise, Doug, Erin, Angus and Maria) were raised on a farm near Lakefield, Ontario. Each of the Leahy children (11 total) learned to play the Celtic fiddle from their father, while their mother taught them to sing, dance and play the piano. The siblings also learned a variety of instruments including guitar, banjo, mandolin, drums and bass, and during performances they often switch instruments, each demonstrating remarkable skills. The ensemble first gained attention as the subject of a documentary, "The Leahys: Music Most of All," which won an Academy Award for “Best Student Foreign Film” in 1985. In 1998, Leahy gained international attention when fellow Canadian Shania Twain invited the ensemble to open her debut world tour. Since then, Leahy has toured actively, introducing audiences across the globe to their high-energy, thrilling and spellbinding performances. Time Out New York raved that the group makes “Riverdance look like Lawrence Welk re-runs.” “Fresh, vibrant and engaging.” (Buffalo News)  In addition, Leahy has released four acclaimed CDs, "Leahy," "Lakefield," "In All Things" and "Live," which have sold more than half a million copies worldwide.

Embarking on their first-ever solo Christmas tour gives the members of Leahy the chance to share a bit of the magic of the Christmas season that began as children and still continues today. These Christmas traditions included not only honoring the sacredness of the season, but also partaking of good food, the company of family and friends, and copious amounts of music. "A Celtic Christmas" will offer audiences a peek in the window of the Leahy home to experience a bit of this holiday cheer themselves.

 

The Center for the Arts is pleased to recognize the generous support of PNC and the PNC Foundation as sponsor of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason Season.

Tickets for LEAHY are $46, $38, $23. Family Friendly! Children 12 and under half price! Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.