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Concert series kicks off Feb. 24 with Irish singer

Vocalist Cathie Ryan will bring her unique style of Irish music to Thomson Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Thomson Depot.

Ms. Ryan, who is considered one of the leading voices in Celtic music, is the first of several featured artists who will be performing in Thomson through the efforts of the Thomson-McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations.

A series of concerts, most occurring from April to September, will feature varied musical styles from some artists not normally presented in rural towns, said Don Powers, executive director of Forward McDuffie and tourism board member. The Activities Council of Thomson will support the effort, and organizers hope to secure other forms of underwriting as well, he said.

"We want to do this for our community," said Mr. Powers, who noted that all the concerts will be conveniently located in various sites close to the heart of Thomson.

"These are fun events that are easy to get to. We want to use some of our great facilities," he said.

"Our intent is to have the concerts about every six weeks throughout the warm weather season," Mr. Powers said.

The concerts will span the musical spectrum, with a range of talented artists expected to perform. All the concerts are scheduled for weekdays.

"We're thinking that people will turn out for these types of events, as long as the quality of the music, as well as the setting, is first class," said Mr. Powers, citing the success of last year's Paul Geremia concert which drew a large crowd of interested viewers.

In addition to Cathie Ryan, other planned concerts will feature guitarist Preston Reed and vocalist/guitarist Mary Flower who have been tapped to perform in April.

The Cathie Ryan concert is presented by The Chamber in cooperation with the Activities Council of Thomson and Broadstrokes Art Gallery of Augusta.

Ms. Ryan developed her unique style after musical influences from several sources. She grew up in a musical family where her father was a tenor with the Gaelic League group. She was influenced by her grandparents, who lived in Ireland, and by her best friend's family who came from the Appalachia region and embraced the Mountain Music offered there. Growing up in Detroit, she was exposed to the sounds of Motown which also helped mold her style, she said on her web site.

Admission to the Feb. 24 concert is $8 for individuals and $15 for couples. For ticket information, call 597-1000 or 267-5416 in Augusta.



Web posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005











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