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REVIEW: Cherish the Ladies with BPO

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Sunday March 27, 2011

from Buffalo News

Cherish the Ladies, BPO deliver close-to-perfect Irish program

By Garaud MacTaggart

It was a fun-filled Saturday evening with a full house packed with enthusiastic fans in as Cherish the Ladies joined up with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in Kleinhans Music Hall for a program of traditional and not-quite-so-traditional Irish folk music. According to Joanie Madden, the leader of Cherish the Ladies, St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t over yet, a proposition that the group and the orchestra took to with considerable gusto.

As is usually the case for these kinds of Pops performances by the BPO, the orchestra was first up on the program before sharing the bill with the “headliners” after the intermission. The BPO played three of the six movements from Leroy Anderson’s “Irish Suite,” splitting them apart to fit in some other arrangements of traditional material, including a lively medley of jigs played by BPO members Amy Licata on violin and Brett Shurtliffe, who doubled on double bass and bodhran. Madden also came on stage to solo on her pennywhistle as the orchestra backed her up on a lovely version of “Meagh Seola.”

During the second half of the evening, Madden acted as the announcer/hostess, cracking wise and playing her flute and pennywhistle with a polished authority that sang with the tunes. Michelle Burke was the group’s featured vocalist and, in the first piece on the group’s portion of the program, gave a beautiful a cappella beginning to the “Fir and Far Medley” before the string section slid in behind her.

Read the full article here