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Irish Music and Dancing at Lasdon Park

July 14, 2005

A salute to the music and dance of the Emerald Isle will be on tap during a lively performance by Ben Power and Cúigear as the “Midsummer Music with the Westchester Philharmonic” continues on Saturday, July 16, at Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veterans Memorial in Somers.

World-renowned flutist Ben Power will bring his group Cúigear to present an evening of Irish music starring world champion dancer Niall O’Leary, along with guitarist Eamon O’Leary, fiddler Dana Lyn, and vocalist Susan McKeown.

Dancer Niall O’Leary is a former All-Ireland and World Champion from Dublin, Ireland. He is a much sought-after choreographer and workshop instructor and has choreographed shows for Comhaltas in Dublin and in the United States. In 1996, he put together and choreographed the first ever multi-national team to compete in the World Irish Dance Championships that included dancers from Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Botswana, the U.S. and Ireland.

O’Leary is the director of the largest Irish Dance school in New York City, and is also a practicing architect.

Vocalist Susan McKeown also hails from Dublin and is both vocalist and producer. Her often dark lyrics draw influences from sources as far-flung as ancient Irish legend, the poetry or Emily Dickinson and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, along with urban life in Manhattan. Since beginning her career as a singer-songwriter with her debut album “Bones” in 1996, she has been a guest soloist at New York’s prestigious 92nd Street Y for their tribute to Woody Guthrie in 2003, and has been lead vocalist in the OBIE award-winning Mabou Mines production “Peter and Wendy.”

The gates open at 5 p.m. for picnicking; the music begins at 6 p.m. Tickets for “Midsummer Music with the Westchester Philharmonic” are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 18 per event. Group tickets are available by calling the Westchester Philharmonic at (914) 682-3707 ext. 10. Somers residents receive a 20% discount on all tickets.

Seating at the park is informal and concert-goers should bring blankets or chairs for seating on the lawn. Refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the concert. No pets are allowed at the park.

Please note that parking is approximately one-third mile from the concert area. Shuttle bus transportation and parking for the disabled are available. Rest rooms are accessible to the disabled.

The “Midsummer Music with the Westchester Philharmonic” continues with “Andy Stein’s Blue Four” with jazz violinist Andy Stein on July 23. The series culminates on July 30 with “Happy Birthday Mozart!” as the orchestra gets an early start on the celebration of the grand master’s 250th birthday with a lively program of Mozart’s most beloved chamber works.

The series is presented by the Westchester Philharmonic and Westchester County Parks. The series is sponsored by Astoria Federal Savings Bank, Ginsburg Development Corporation, Northern Westchester Hospital, and the Town of Somers.

Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veterans Memorial, a Westchester County Park, is a 234-acre developing arboretum. It is located on Route 35 in Somers, and can be reached via I-684, exit 6. Head west off the exit; the park is four miles ahead on the left. Or, take the Taconic State Parkway to Route 202 exit, and head east on Route 202. Follow to Route 35 and turn left; the park is three miles ahead on the right.

For more information on Midsummer Music with the Westchester Philharmonic, call (914) 682-3707 ext. 10, or the County Parks Department at (914) 864-PARK; or log onto www.westchestergov.com.



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