Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

SDSU Students Perform with Grammy Award-winning Artists

MFA Musical Theatre students performed alongside The Chieftains and the San Diego Symphony

SDSU Students Perform with Grammy Award-winning Artists

by Eden Hildebrand

March 4, 2020

San Diego State University MFA Musical Theatre students performed alongside the six-time Grammy Award winning Irish group The Chieftains on February 25 in collaboration with the San Diego Symphony. The Chieftains international tour, The Irish Goodbye, features the group’s current members Paddy Moloney (founding member), Kevin Conneff, and Matt Molloy. Joining the trio for an evening of song and dance was Triona Marshall (harp and piano), Ályth McCormack (vocals), Tara Breen (violin), Zac Leger (guitar), Jon Pilatzke (fiddle and Ottawa Valley stepdance), Nathan Pilatzke (Ottawa Valley stepdance) and Cara Butler (Irish stepdance).

The MFA students, joined by six undergraduate performers, rounded out the evening by performing two traditional folk songs alongside The Chieftains. MFA student Richard Morrison created vocal arrangements for the songs, writing captivating harmonies for “Shenandoah” and “Anthem” (also known as “Long Journey Home”). The SDSU MFA students have previously partnered with the San Diego Symphony, performing with the likes of Danny Burstein and Rob Fisher in an outdoor concert by the bay featuring the songs of Harnick & Bock and look forward to continuing the relationship in the future with a performance with Rob Fisher.

The Chieftains were founded by Paddy Maloney in 1964 in Dublin, Ireland, and have been recognized by the Irish government as “Ireland’s Musical Ambassadors”. Their combination of traditional Irish music with modern music has culminated in collaborations with Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Diana Krall, Sting, The Rolling Stones and many more. They were the first western musicians to perform on the Great Wall of China, and the first ensemble to perform at the Capitol Building in Washington DC. In 2010, their instruments accompanied Cady Coleman (NASA Astronaut) to the international space station.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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