Celtic Thunder Comes to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

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Pictured: Celtic Thunder brings Celtic celebration to Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Photo courtesy of Emmet Cahill.

Just over a decade ago, Emmet Cahill made a decision that would alter the course of his life. At just 20 years old, having completed his first year of college in Ireland, Cahill decided to audition for the Irish singing group Celtic Thunder. “They’d done a couple of tours since the group’s inception in 2007 and were looking for a new guy to replace one of the singers. I’d heard about these auditions and just like countless other singers across Ireland and Scotland, I decided to go out for it” says Cahill. “The audition process was akin to something like American Idol, with multiple rounds and sets of judges. I remember the first round just going horribly wrong–I clearly hadn’t picked the right songs to sing, so they just kept asking me to sing different arrangements. Weirdly enough, I got a callback for a second round of auditions and at that point, I kind of knew what they were looking for and the rest is history.”

Flash forward 12 years later and Cahill, now 32 years old, remains with the group as one of its core vocalists. Founded in 2007 by music producer Sharon Browne as a concert program for public television that would celebrate the celtic heritage of the artists in the group, Celtic Thunder has evolved into an international spectacle: they have won Billboard’s Top World Music Artist five times, have toured the United States and Canada over a dozen times and have toured across Australia four times.

Now, in their first full-length tour since 2018, Celtic Thunder is coming to Sarasota’s Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall with their latest theatrical production Odyssey. “This new show Odyssey feels like it’s bringing Celtic Thunder back to its roots with what the original program was about. Odyssey is full of Irish tunes, many of which American audiences will know because there’s such a connection between Ireland and the United States,” says Cahill. “There are 40 million people in the States with Irish ancestry–it’s great to bring a part of Ireland with us whenever we play these songs and stories that resonate so deeply with millions of Americans.”

 November 1, 2023 7:30 pm, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, 941-953-3368.

Pictured: Celtic Thunder brings Celtic celebration to Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Photo courtesy of Emmet Cahill.

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