‘Tis a fine time you’ll be havin’ if you take your Irish soul down to Lauralton Hall on Saturday, March 2nd to “celebrate the green.” The ever-popular Irish Night is an evening of congeniality and Irish entertainment that celebrates the school’s long affinity for Irish culture and hospitality. Founded by the Sister of Mercy over 100 years ago, Lauralton Hall is committed to “empowering women for life,” and fostering a community atmosphere enriched by the Mercy tradition.
“The Sisters of Mercy were founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin,” says Lauralton Hall President Antoinette (Toni) Iadarola. “Irish Night pays homage to Lauralton Hall’s Irish roots while also raising money for scholarships. In addition to an amazing line-up of Irish bands and dancing, we are very excited that Peggy and Ed O'Connor, recently named grand marshals of the 2013 Greater Bridgeport Saint Patrick's Day Parade, will be our honored guests.”
Doors will open at 6:45 and guests will be greeted by the rousing sound of TRAD, a foot-stomping trio with Lauralton Hall faculty member and Celtic music master, Damien Connolly from Fairfield. The evening will officially commence with the award-winning Fairfield Gaelic Pipe Band. Once Removed, a musical group of family members that drives their audience to sing along, will add their musical talents to the mix and step dancers from Sheeaun Academy of Irish Dance, Bridgeport, will provide a taste of the old Irish céilis with their jigs and reels.
“This will be our third year performing at Lauralton Hall’s Irish Night,” said Moira Speer-Warren, Director of the Sheeaun Academy of Irish Dance, “and we love it! The crowd is always so responsive and it’s a great way to kick off the ‘season’. The event feels authentically Irish as everyone jumps in to join the dancing, singing and playing music.”
The evening will culminate with the multi-layered, upbeat music from the Highland Rovers Band. Drawing from the diverse New York Metro music scene, the Highland Rovers Band fuses popular rock percussive rhythms, bagpipes, fiddle and vocal harmonies to create an intricate and fresh sound which showcases their universal, appeal to both mainstream modern rock lovers and culturally diverse audiences searching for a distinct Celtic flavor. “One of the great things about Irish Night,” says Event Coordinator Kathleen Donahue, “is that there is something for everyone. We draw guests from all over Fairfield and New Haven Counties. It also brings the parent community of current students and alumnae together and most importantly, we raise much needed funds for scholarships.” Kathleen emphasizes that you don’t have to be Irish to attend, but be prepared to stand up and dance.
Back again is the Best Table contest which offers guests the opportunity to become as creative and competitive as they like, decorating their tables in the spirit of the season. Trophies are awarded—including a perpetual trophy for first place winners with their names engraved on it—so your collaborative creativity can live on in the Lauralton archives!
A “Luck of the Irish” raffle, with proceeds benefiting the Alumnae Scholarship fund, will help support current Lauralton students in need of financial aid. Prizes this year will include a Bed & Breakfast package in Ireland and a “Wheelbarrow of Cheer”. Coffee, tea, and dessert will be provided. Bring your own beverages, ice and snacks.
Advance reservations are necessary for this sell-out event at $25 per person. Register online at www.lauraltonhall.org. For more information, contact Kathleen Donahue, Director of Alumnae Relations, at 203-877-2786, ext. 114, or firstname.lastname@example.org.