From Music Director Daniel Meyer
St. Patrick’s Day has a special place in my heart. My grandmother Eileen was fiercely proud of her Irish heritage. O’Curry on one side, Whaley on the other, she bled green, and I always enjoyed visiting her this time of year. She had just about everything bedecked in shamrocks or something green, and she always baked a special cookie or treat for us to eat. I know, the Irish really don’t run around wearing green all the day, nor do they particularly go quite as wild for St. Patrick’s Day as we Americans, but it’s fun for me to remember my grandmother and what a zest for life she had. There was always a song on her lips and a poem of wisdom to impart, and she was one of the best storytellers I think I will ever have had the pleasure to meet. Come to think of it, storytelling is really at the heart of all great folk music, and there are few that can compete with the Irish (or other Celtic-based cultures.)
I have been waiting patiently for an Erie Philharmonic weekend to line-up with St. Patrick’s Day – I have wanted to program a Celtic celebration for a long time now, and the stars have aligned this season to welcome Cathie Ryan to make her Philharmonic debut. Though a Detroit native, Cathie’s Irish roots run deep, and her complete absorption of the amazing folk tradition of the Celtic lands lends a special authority in this music. I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with such a talented musician, and I look forward to meeting her and working with her for the first time with weekend at the Warner Theatre. We’ll begin the evening with some fun Celtic-inspired music by John Williams, Percy Grainger, and Malcom Arnold, and then invite Cathie onstage with her friends on the second half. Until then, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!