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Celtic violinist to join orchestra in Irish celebration

Published: 12:05 AM, Thu March, 7 2019

Staff report


Mairead Nesbitt will be the special guest at the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra’s season-ending concert Saturday at Powers Auditorium.

The violinist, who is a founding member of Celtic Woman, will help the orchestra celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the pops program, which will include performers from the Burke School of Irish Dance.

The concert starts at 8 p.m. For tickets, call the box office at 330-744-0264 or go to

The versatile Nesbitt most recently appeared at Powers in October as part of “Rocktopia.” She played a rock-style violin in the show, which was co-created bty YSO music director and conductor Randall Craig Fleischer.

The Grammy- and Emmy-nominated artist and composer is a founding member of Celtic Woman.

A former all-Ireland fiddler champion and past member of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, Nesbitt’s musical portfolio spans Celtic, classical and contemporary popular music.

She is featured on the original soundtracks of “Riverdance,” “Lord of the Dance” and “Feet of Flames,” and toured as lead fiddler with the latter two shows. Nesbitt composed the original score for the show “Irish Dance Invasion,” is featured on the Celtic Tenors’ “Live in Concert” DVD, and is the featured violinist on the soundtrack of Disney films “Tinker Bell” and “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure.”

The Burke Irish School of Dance was founded by Theresa Burke in Cleveland in 1958. Burke’s father, Thomas Scott, was a musician and teacher, and the first person in Cleveland to teach traditional Irish dancing to a competitive standard.

Burke opened a branch school in Youngstown in 1965.