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12:38 AM Fri, Nov. 16th

The sounds of Irish Christmas on stage Thursday in Prescott

Courtesy photo<br>Seamus Begley highlights the Prescott Celtic Concert Series.

Courtesy photo<br>Seamus Begley highlights the Prescott Celtic Concert Series.

Prescott will get a sample of the music and traditions of the holidays in Ireland when Irish Christmas in America takes the stage Thursday.

Sponsored by the Prescott Celtic Concert Series, the performance begins at 7 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 630 Park Ave.

The idea of Irish Christmas in America belongs to Oisin Mac Diarmada, a renowned fiddle player from County Sligo. "One of the most heartfelt themes of Irish Christmas is emigration," he says. "Music was a way that people stayed close to home."

Mac Diarmada plays with the award-winning Irish group Teada, the headliner for Thursday's concert.

Teada, which means "strings" in the Irish language, keeps shows lively with Irish ballads and holiday carols, spirited fiddle tunes and Irish dancing, along with narrations that bring to life ancient customs and stories. While the music plays, the audience will get a vicarious experience through photographic images of Ireland that are the show's backdrop.

Another highlight of Irish Christmas in America is Irish singer and accordion player Seamus Begley. The native of West Kerry comes from one of his country's most musically acclaimed families. He is known for his old-style singing and brilliance on the accordion as he belts out jugs, slides and polkas.

Tickets for the show are available in advance for $20 at Celtic Crossings Pub at Gateway Mall or $23 at the door. Students are $5 less; children 12 and under will get into the show for free.

"This is the biggest show the Celtic Concert Series has put on in Prescott," said series director David McNabb. For more information about the show, call McNabb at 771-1218.