Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

December 6, 2012

Concert goers captivated by Ireland's Happy Man

Submitted by Bill Thom
Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — A large crowd, including a bus load of music fans from Albia, enjoyed the talent of Cahal Dunne, who appeared in Simon Estes Auditorium on Monday for the second concert of the 2012-13 season of the Centerville Concert Association.

Cahal Dunne, Ireland's Happy Man, put on a fantastic show in my opinion and many patrons stated following the performance that this was one of the best concerts the association has brought to our area. You didn't have to be Irish to enjoy the program because we were treated to a variety of musical styles ranging from the classics to rock n' roll and of course Irish music. Dunne is an excellent piano player too and we enjoyed some modified Mozart and Tchaikovsky selections. He accompanied himself on the piano when he showed off his true Irish tenor voice, but he also used back up orchestra tracks, so that we had the feeling that he was performing with a full orchestra.

Dunne is a multi-talented performer and he encouraged the audience to participate and sing along. He also shared stories about his family and is a natural comedian because the auditorium was filled with laughter following the punch lines of his jokes. I was impressed with the history lessons he talked about giving us the origins of the music composers. The majority of the concert featured Irish tunes, but he also performed songs from other ethnic populations and styles. He added some humor to the changing music styles by changing coats, for example green for Irish to red for Christmas to tails for classics to plaid for Scotland.

It is hard to pick out my favorites of the evening, but on the Irish side, I loved "When Irish Eyes are Smiling," "Danny Boy," "You Raise Me Up," "Galloway Bay" and an "Irish Suite of 3 Reels." Two others that brought a tear to my eye were "My Son" and "Two Little Boys." Because this is the holiday season, Cahal featured several Christmas numbers. I liked "Christmas in Killarney," "Angel for Sarah," "Mary Don't You Know" and "When a Child was Born."

It was a fantastic evening of live entertainment ending with "Silent Night" sung in English and Irish and then at the reception following, everyone had an opportunity to visit and get an autograph from Dunne. The next concert in Centerville will feature European Cafe music on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013.