NEW PHILADELPHIA — Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the Tuscarawas Philharmonic will present an Irish concert titled "Ireland: Songs and Stories" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 10 at the Kent State Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center.

"Most of the music we know from the Celtic tradition is folk music," said Conductor Eric Benjamin. "We’ll hear music played on folk instruments on this program, but the symphonic tradition is given equal time."

Some of the symphonic pieces will include Victor Herbert’s Irish Rhapsody and Benjamin’s composition "Jigs and Reels." Leroy Anderson’s Irish Suite will feature Boston-based musician and storyteller Richard Travers, who will tell a few Irish stories and will sing songs in the traditional lrish style. This will be Travers’ third collaboration with the orchestra.

Tenor Robert Frankenberry, an acclaimed soloist and Lecturer in Musical Theatre

at the University of Pittsburgh, will join the orchestra for Charles Martin Loeffler’s moving piece Irish Fantasies, a musical setting of poems by William Butler Yeats. Frankenberry will perform "Danny Boy" as well, in an arrangement by Benjamin that features a fiddle and penny whistle embellishment.

Also on the program is fiddler Elizabeth Estes, a Dover native now living in Nashville. She’ll perform Mark O’Connor’s Strings and Threads, a suite chronicling the journey of the composer’s family from Ireland to America. And members of the MacConmara Academy of Irish Dance in Akron will take the stage for a selection of dance tunes.

There will be a special pre-concert performance by the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Children’s Chorus, which will begin singing in the lobby at 6:45 p.m. Under the direction of Laura Barkett, the ensemble will sing jigs, ballads and favorite Irish tunes to help set the tone for the concert to follow.

Tickets are available at or by calling the Performing Arts Center box office at 330-308-6400. Tickets range from $24 to $36, with student and senior discounts available.

The concert is made possible thanks to generous contributions from the community. Guarantors—Barbour Publishing, Inc.; The Hampton Inn; The Mary Renkert Wendling Foundation; Sponsors—Beverly McCall, Park Village Health Care Center, Progressive Foam Technologies, WTUZ: Co-Sponsor—AAA of Tuscarawas County.

The Tuscarawas Philharmonic is a professional orchestra with adult and children’s choruses, and with summer music camps for young musicians. To support these ongoing programs, visit the Philharmonic website, and become a contributing partner.