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Friday, October 24, 2014
This Sunday: Celebrate Irish Culture
(Page 2 of 3)
Shane Molinari/Herald
Irish pride is on display at the annual AOH Feis and Festival. It takes place once again at Hofstra University on Sept. 15. Pipers and drummers come from all over to take part in this cherished tradition, the only outdoor feis in the region.
It’s a day that clearly centers on Irish tradition. The dance competition showcases over 300 of the finest Irish dancers in the New York metropolitan area, and pipers from all around come to perform. The sheer energy of the step dancers is intoxicating and many visitors come just to see them being judged, as the dancers seek to move on to the championships. More than 25 from last year’s feis moved on to national competition and 10 took part in international
competition.
There are competitions in Irish singing and piping and drumming as well. And don’t miss the judging of the Irish-Soda-Bread-baking contest! Children’s games, Irish football matches, storytelling, and displays of Irish art round out the day. Organizers expect around 2,000 people to attend this year’s event.
Besides these traditional forms of entertainment, a special musical act is included every year. This year’s featured guest, the Sporting Paddies, will perform in the afternoon. The pre-eminent Irish-American band in the New York City/Long Island area, the Sporting Paddies play a wide variety of classic Irish rebel and drinking songs, ballads, originals, and lively trad tunes, all peppered with the occasional American song done in the singular Sporting Paddies’ way.
Tom Cassidy on uilleann pipes, flute, whistles, and vocals; Mike Cassidy on button accordion, concertina, bodhrán; Craig Harbauer on fiddle, mandolin, tenor banjo; with Martin Kearns and James West, guitar and vocals, blend together to create a dynamic, vibrant and memorable musical experience.
Tom and Mike Cassidy have been playing Irish traditional music together most of their lives. Having both studied individually with some of the top musicians in the New York City Irish trad scene, the skillful and close manner of their dual playing bring a unique and authentic Irish trad element to the band that is not often heard these days. The brothers can be found playing out at any number of seisiúns in the New York City area.

Nassau AOH Feis’ 2013 Honoree
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