Virginia Symphony Orchestra to present Celtic music concert

Published 9:00 am Thursday, March 14, 2024

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The Franklin Southampton Concert Association, with funding from the Camp Foundation, announced it will present the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in concert on Friday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Southampton High School Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

The VSO, the region’s most celebrated musical, educational, and entrepreneurial arts organization, will continue its narrative in innovation and excellence with a program of Celtic music. Conducted by Eric Jacobsen, the orchestra will present a St. Patrick’s Celtic Celebration – featuring traditional Irish music, as well as the world premiere of a new composition for the Celtic harp by Maeve Gilchrist, Music for Ghost Trees, a Celtic Harp Concerto.

Maeve Gilchrist has been described by one critic as “a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity.” She is equally at home as a soloist with an internationally renowned orchestra as she is playing with a traditional Irish folk group. Maeve has released 5 albums to date and has appeared at major music events such as Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, and the historic opening of the Scottish Parliament. She is the co-artistic director of the new Celtic Roots and Branches Festival launching in Rockport, MA, this summer and the assistant music director for WGBH’s Christmas Celtic Spoon.

Karan Casey will be the featured guest soloist. She has long been recognized as one of the most innovative, provocative, and imitated voices in Irish traditional and folk music. Singing songs charged with a sense of social responsibility in a career spanning over 25 years, Karan has released 7 solo albums as well as an album for children, a duet album with John Doyle and numerous contributions to other artists’ projects. She has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. She recently released her new album Hieroglyphs That Tell the Tale on the Vertical Records Label.

This exciting program of Irish and Celtic music will be led by Virginia Symphony Orchestra artistic director and conductor, Eric Jacobsen. He joined the VSO as music director in 2021, being named the twelfth music director in the orchestra’s 100+ year history. Eric combines fresh interpretations of the traditional canon with cutting-edge collaborations across musical genres. Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” Eric, as both a conductor and a cellist, has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative programming.

In addition to this free concert by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Community Concert season has two remaining events – Key of G Live!, Sunday, April 21 at 3 p.m., and Bennie and the Jets on Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. For more information on these concerts, email