By L.E. McCullough

How it’s New York:  Girsa was nurtured in the large Irish-American community of Pearl River, New York.
How it’s Irish: Girsa’s energetic and skillful performances of traditional Irish music, song and dance mark them as a top new-Girsa_Cover_photogeneration band.

CHRISTMAS is celebrated in Ireland with hallowed folk customs and lively samplings of music and dance — the Irish-American musical ensemble Girsa brings it all together for a delightful holiday show.

On Saturday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. Girsa presents “An Irish Musical Christmas” at Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts, 360 Hamilton Street, Rahway, New Jersey.

Tickets are $20 adults, $10 students/seniors and are available online at www.ucpac.org, by phone at (732) 499-8226 or in person at the box office, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway, New Jersey.

Girsa’s current lineup consists of Deirdre Brennan, Bernadette Flanagan, Maeve Flanagan, Pamela Geraghty, Blaithin Loughran and Emily McShane performing a dazzling array of instruments — fiddle, tinwhistle, mandolin, accordion, piano, bodhran, guitar — refreshed with a riveting blend of vocals.

And, suddenly — someone steps out and dances a jig and a reel or two.

Girsa_Christmas_on_stageFrom their debut a few years back at a Gaelic Athlethic Association dinner in Yonkers, Girsa has become a top-touring act on the national Irish and Celtic folk festival circuit.

HAMILTON STAGE is an intimate, 200-seat theatre in Rahway, New Jersey, located six blocks from the NJ Transit train station serving Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines — a quick 30-minute ride from New York City’s Penn Station and the heart of Manhattan.

Last spring, Hamilton Stage hosted the successful stage play about James and Nora Joyce, Himself and Nora.

* See more about Hamilton Stage at www.hamiltonstagenj.com

* More Girsa info, audio, video at www.girsamusic.com

HamStage-theatre

“An Irish Musical Christmas with GIRSA” is presented at Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton St., Rahway NJ 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. Tickets $20 adults, $10 students/seniors. Call (732) 499-8226 or buy online here.

* For special “Friend of the Band” discount offer of $12 tickets, use order codeGIRSA. Discount ticket offer good while supplies last.

About the Author

L.E. McCullough

L.E. McCULLOUGH (www.lemccullough.com) is a musician, composer and playwright who has been performing and teaching traditional Irish music on tinwhistle and flute since 1972, authoring The Complete Irish Tinwhistle Tutor, Favorite Irish Session Tunes, The AMIC Music Industry Guide, St. Patrick Was a Cajun and the instructional video Learn to Play Irish Tinwhistle. He has composed filmscores for three PBS specials produced by WQED-TV (Alone Together, A Place Just Right, John Kane) and three Celtic Ballets co-composed with T.H. Gillespie and Cathy Morris (Connlaoi’s Tale: The Woman Who Danced On Waves, The Healing Cup: Guinevere Seeks the Grail, Skin Walkers: The Incredible Voyage of Mal the Lotus Eater). He has recorded on 49 albums, with Irish, French, Cajun, Latin, blues, jazz, country, bluegrass and rock ensembles for Angel/EMI, Sony Classical, RCA, Warner Brothers, Kicking Mule, Rounder, Bluezette and others — including scores for the Ken Burns PBS television series The West, Lewis and Clark, The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, The Dust Bowl, The Roosevelts and the Warner Bros. film Michael Collins. His recent playwriting commissions include works on World War II journalist Ernie Pyle, 1920s jazz artist Charlie Davis, corporate patriarch Eli Lilly, Catholic activist Dorothy Day, singer-heiress Libby Holman and, for the National Constitution Center, a play on the U.S. Constitution.