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  March 11, 2002

Irish Dance Performance
to Benefit Local Daycare
By Mary Clang

A performance of Irish traditional music and dance will take place in von der Mehden Recital Hall Sunday, March 24, at 3 p.m. Performers include the Irish band Full Gael, champion step dancer Nora McHugh, and students from the Kerry School of Irish Dance.

Full Gael plays a variety of dance music and songs celebrating Irish culture. Its members play instruments including the wooden flute, fiddles, concertina, guitar, penny whistle, bodhran, which is closely related to the tambourine, and uilleann pipes, the Irish version of bagpipes.

Band leader, Will O'Hare, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University, says "everyone's toes will be tapping to the rousing songs before the end of the day."

Nora McHugh is an undergraduate at the University. She teaches at the Griffith Academy of Irish Dance in Connecticut and recently toured with the dance troupe Lord of the Dance. McHugh will perform a number of solo dances that require a high level of grace and athleticism.

The performance will also include local Irish dance students who take lessons at the Kerry School in Willimantic.

"All the performers are from Connecticut, which will show that Irish culture has a strong presence in our state," says O'Hare.

All proceeds from the concert will go to the Community Children's Center, a nonprofit parent cooperative daycare center on Spring Hill Road in Mansfield. The center is raising money to purchase a new facility before its current lease runs out at the end of August. A similar concert last year raised $2,000 for the center. Admission is $10 and children under five are free.

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