Irish bands, dancers to perform Tuesday in fundraiser for band trip

by Bruce Strand, Arts editor

Traditional Irish bands and dancers will entertain Tuesday as Elk River and Zimmerman bands host a fundraiser for a trip to Ireland.

“St. Paddy’s Jam Night” at Zabee starts 7 p.m. ($8 adults, $5 students).

A fiddler from "Hounds of Fenn."
A fiddler from “Hounds of Fenn.”

The bands are “Hounds of Finn,”  the “Ring of Kerry,” and “Legacy.” Dancers in full costume from Shamrock and St. Paul School of Irish Dance will also perform.

Directors Tim Smith of ZHS and John Rosner of ERHS have been prepping musicians with their tour music and studying Emerald Isle material.

Fifty kids will make the 12-day tour with the directors and nine parents. They depart July 5 and will have a sendoff concert  prior to leaving.

At the  concert, Smith said, Irish and Irish-Ameriican musicians will be playing “uptempo pub songs, jigs, reels, folk songs, lullaby’s, and sing-a-longs” using “bodhran’s, pennywhistles, mandolin’s, bouzouki’s, flutes, dulcimers, guitars, and more.”

Smith, a former Irish band member himself, said these are among best Irish bands in the state. Add the Irish step-dancers and “you’ll be clapping and singing along to a very high-energy concert,” said Smith.