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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the RPO

Rochester, N.Y., Feb. 27, 2006 – Join conductor Jeff Tyzik and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18 at 8 p.m. in the Eastman Theatre as they welcome Irish singer-songwriter Cathie Ryan and fiddler Jeremy Kittel, along with the Boland School of Irish Dancing, for a Celtic Celebration. While this performance marks Ryan and Kittel’s RPO debut, audiences will remember the Boland Irish Dancers’ many collaborations with the orchestra for their lively traditional and modern Irish jigs, reels and hornpipes.

Tickets for these performances are $24-$54, available online 24/7 at, by phone (454-2100) and in person from the RPO Box Office, and at all Wegmans Video Departments. RPO Box Office Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.). The Wegmans Video Department is open seven days a week, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. A convenience fee may apply.

The WPOP Series is sponsored by Wegmans. This concert is made possible in part by JPMorganChase.

Irish-American Cathie Ryan, with her crystalline vocals and insightful songwriting, is an original and distinctive voice in Celtic music. Since her acclaimed seven-year tenure as lead singer of Cherish the Ladies, the Detroit-born Ryan has established herself as one of Celtic music’s most popular and enduring singer-songwriters. Cathie has released four critically acclaimed CDs on Shanachie Records: Cathie Ryan, The Music of What Happens, Somewhere Along the Road and her latest The Farthest Wave. She is also featured on more than forty compilations of Celtic music. In recent years, such distinguished Irish vocalists as Frances Black and Mary Black among others have recorded her original songs. Cathie has appeared on NPR’s Mountain Stage and Thistle and Shamrock, PRI’s The World, BBC2 in England, Radio Scotland, and RTE, RnG and TG4 in Ireland. Irish America magazine voted her one of the Top 100 Irish Americans, Chicago’s Irish American News honored her as Irish Female Vocalist of the Decade, and the LA Times recently called her “one of the leading voices in Celtic music.”

Celtic fiddler and jazz violinist Jeremy Kittel is rapidly earning a reputation as one of the nations’ top young traditional musicians. Mr. Kittel is the 2000 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion and Junior National Champion of 1998 and 1999. In 2003 he competed in the first American String Teacher Association/National Band and Orchestra Association Alternative Styles Competition, winning the Alfred Award for Best Improvisation, Mark O’Connor Award of Merit and International Association for Jazz Education Award for Best Jazz Performance. Mr. Kittel has been awarded the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin, the Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Acoustic/Folk Instrumentalist in 2004 and for Outstanding Folk Artist in 2005 and the American String Teacher Association Alternative Strings Award for Music Traditions. He has performed at hundreds of concerts and festivals over the past five years including the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center, A Prairie Home Companion, the Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony, Ann Arbor Folk Festival, Chicago Celtic Fest, Bethlehem Musikfest and Milwaukee Irish Fest. He has also appeared as guest artist with the Turtle Island String Quartet and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Jeremy Kittel has released three CDs: Celtic Fiddle, Roaming (which took second place for Best Celtic Instrumental Album in an international competition) and Jazz Violin. He graduated from the University of Michigan, earning their highest musical honor, the Stanley Medal, and is currently a graduate student at Manhattan School of Music.

The Boland School of Irish Dancing opened in Rochester in 1986 under the direction of Barbara Boland Lussier. The focus of the school has been the promotion of Irish culture through the teaching of Ireland’s native dances and music. The Boland Irish Dancers first performed onstage with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996 and have since been a part of many of their Irish programs at the Eastman Theatre with Jeff Tyzik and Michael Butterman. They are a popular act at Rochester’s summer festivals and have performed at venues such as the Memorial Art Gallery, George Eastman House and The Center at High Falls. Boland dancers have performed with the acclaimed Irish vocal groups The Chieftains and Solas. In 2003 the dancers presented a workshop and program at the Arts Centre of Old Forge, NY.

Celebrating its 83rd season in 2005-06, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s mission is to perform and present a broad range of quality music; attract, entertain and educate audiences with superior musical performances; maintain and build the Orchestra’s national reputation; and enhance the reputation of the Rochester community as a place in which to live, work, play, visit and learn.

RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; the County of Monroe; the City of Rochester; and American Airlines, the official airline of the RPO.