• December 25, 2014

‘Beautiful music,’ Irish tunesmiths perform at UMHB

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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 4:30 am

Central Texas music lovers have a noteworthy pair of concerts this weekend, courtesy of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and the ticket price is right, too: they’re both free.

This evening, One Voice, the university’s premier vocal ensemble, will perform a program called “Constant,” described as “an evening of beautiful music.”

“‘Constant’ speaks to God’s constancy and his constant call on our lives,” choral director Matthew Crosby said. “We also wanted to focus on the notion that we have to constantly choose to do good works despite the world’s distractions.”

The choir of 17 singers with piano accompaniment will perform secular and sacred works, including the 1936 Louis Prima popular tune “Sing, Sing, Sing” in an arrangement by New York Voices and “My Soul’s Been Anchored” by Moses Hogan. “We’re also performing a song from ‘Les Miserables’ and works by Vaughn Williams and Thomas Tallis,” Crosby said.

Saturday night’s show spotlights one of Ireland’s leading traditional musical groups, the Brock McGuire Band. Co-leaders Paul Brock on the button accordion and fiddler Manus McGuire, two of Ireland’s most celebrated musicians, both recorded extensively as solo artists and were recognized with numerous awards.

The band’s repertoire runs wide and deep, with an emphasis on Irish tunes but also encompassing original arrangements of French-Canadian, Shetland and other Celtic traditions. Bluegrass fans should note the band’s new CD, “Green Grass Blue Grass,” a collaboration with 14-time Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs.

Dublin-based Garry O’Meara plays banjo, mandolin and sings with the group, and Denis Carey, from Newport, County Tipperary, handles the keyboard duties.

The band has toured from Chicago to Bogota, Columbia, and was proclaimed “Traditional Irish Band of the Decade” by the Irish American News.

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