Penn State DuBois to host Irish Culture Community Night in St. Marys

A free, family-oriented event in St. Marys will provide a glimpse into life in Ireland, featuring traditional music, food and activities. Made possible through a grant from the Stackpole Hall Foundation, Irish Culture Community Night is sponsored by Penn State DuBois in an effort to increase awareness of cultural diversity in the region.

Irish Culture Community Night is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the St. Marys High School Auditorium.

The evening will feature the traditional Irish folk music and dance ensemble Irish Blessing. The group includes James and Cushla Srour, and their multitalented sons Jonathan and Josh. With a love of family and Irish culture, Irish Blessing embraces the living tradition, keeping classic Irish folk music and dance alive at home and on stage.

Jonathon has completed four tours with Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance, and has been sought out by Riverdance. He also mesmerizes audiences with his skill on the flute.

Josh is a rising fiddle phenomenon whose phrases draw the audience into the infectious toe-tapping, hand-clapping world of jigs and reels. Both boys have the rare and dual distinction of competing in the world championships of both Irish music and dance.

Hailing from New Zealand with Irish roots, Cushla provides strong rhythmic accompaniment on the piano and beautiful melodic phrases on the whistle and flute. Jim rounds out the band with the percussive palpitations of the bodhran, the traditional Irish drum. Together, Irish Blessing has electrified audiences from New Zealand to New York.

Irish Culture Community Night will also feature interactive activities for children, Irish food and the opportunity for individuals to learn how to perform Irish step-dance.

Admission is free, and no tickets are necessary. For more information, contact Marly Doty at mag374@psu.edu or 814-375-4764.

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Last Updated May 20, 2013