Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Éire go Brách ... Music of Ireland, live on the MC stage

Midland College Department of Music presents
“An Irish Lullaby"
The Historic, the Romantic & Magical Music of Ireland

FREE Event

Tuesday, February 11, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Allison Fine Arts Building, Wagner & Brown Auditorium
Midland College

The Midland College Department of Music presents “An Irish Lullaby: The Historic, the Romantic & Magical Music of Ireland” featuring the indescribably splendid Irish trio Affiniti with Irish violinist Aveen McEntee, leader of the Dublin Symphony Orchestra. A special treat to the evening’s festivities will be Howard Crosby singing some Irish American treasures from his Uncle Bing’s (Bing Crosby) repertoire accompanied by Terence (Terry) Browne on piano.

The performance is the culmination of a four-city tour. Other venues include Steinert Hall in Boston on February 6; Harry McKillop’s historic home in McKinney, Texas, on February 8 (special performance for McKillop’s family and friends); and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas on February 9.

The Midland performance will be held on Tuesday, February 11, at 7:00 p.m. in the Allison Fine Arts Building, Wagner & Brown Auditorium on the Midland College campus, 3600 N. Garfield. The event is free; however, tickets are required and can be obtained, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. in the Allison Fine Arts Building, Fine Arts & Communications Division Office. For more information, please contact Rebecca Bell at (432) 685-4556, or

Midland College thanks Midlander Dolores McCall, who was instrumental in bringing the performance to Midland. Mrs. McCall is the Foundation Patron of the Irish American Art and Music Foundation, which was established by Howard Crosby and Terence Browne. The Foundation began in 2011 with a series of charity concerts and recitals performed by Crosby and Browne in Ireland, including a performance at the Irish National Concert Hall to mark the 200th anniversary of the founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The performances featured many works from the Irish-American Songbook of Bing Crosby.

A shared love for the game of golf bonded Howard Crosby and his late Uncle Bing, but a love for music discovered in later life has seen the nephew attempt to emulate the legendary crooner. Bing and Howard’s father’s grandparents emigrated from Schull in Cork, Ireland, in 1870, and there was always a strong tradition of music in the family. Howard, however, didn’t take up singing until later life, and is a successful businessman in his own right.

“As I like to tell people, if your uncle is Bing Crosby, you need to find another line of work, which I did,” stated Howard. “I started singing in a church choir when I was in my mid-20s, and the next thing you know they had made a soloist out of me and pretty soon after that I was singing and performing more and more. I will say that it is true that anywhere I sing some of his songs, it is in the same key as Uncle Bing, so let’s just leave it at that,” he said.

Included among the Irish American Art and Music Foundation’s current projects is the establishment of a retrospective exhibition based on the life and works of Irish-American artists John and Hazel Lavery as part of Limerick’s term as Ireland’s National City of Culture 2014. The Foundation has also established a retrospective on the Irish influences on Bing Crosby’s career with an exhibition drawn from the Bing Crosby collection at Gonzaga University, his alma mater, in Spokane, Washington.

About the Performers

Affinití The ensemble comprises Emer Barry (soprano), Aisling Ennis (harp) and Mary McCague (violin). All three are classically trained and masters of their disciplines, but it’s their genuine affinity with each other and the rich mix of their sublime talents combined with the desire to create and perform together that makes them really special.

Aveen McEntee The leader of the Dublin Symphony Orchestra started playing violin using the Susuki method at age 4. She played with the Dublin Youth Orchestra for many years and toured extensively with them in Germany, France and Italy.

After high school, McEntee studied under the guidance of Ruxandra Pectu for five years and graduated with an honors degree in music from the Cork (all-Steinway) School of Music. She completed her performance Licentiate at Trinity College London.

McEntee played chamber music with the Alpha Quartet, performing regularly on Irish National Television with visiting artists including Westlife, Michael Buble and Andrea Bocelli. She is currently a full-time nurse at St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin.

Howard Crosby The nephew of legenday singer and actor Bing Crosby has a voice all his own, demonstrating the mastery of jazz, pop and broadway ballads. While Howard’s heritage ties him to Hollywood royalty, he shares more with his late uncle than a love of golf, and his talent is no mere mimicry, having performed in London, Dublin and the U.S., singing jazz and contemporary American classics as well as Bing favorites.

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