The hit Irish quintet Celtic Thunder has announced plans for its first national tour of the U.S. this fall. The extensive 51-date trek begins...

The hit Irish quintet Celtic Thunder has announced plans for its first national tour of the U.S. this fall. The extensive 51-date trek begins October 3 at the Broome County Arena in Binghamton, NY, and continues through December 17 at the Rosemont Theatre in Chicago, IL.

Highlights for the Celtic Thunder trek include an October 7-8 run at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY, and two separate shows at Agganis Arena in Boston, MA, on October 6 and October 28. A single Canadian engagement is scheduled for October 23 at the Air Canada Centre Theatre in Toronto, ON.

Produced by Sharon Browne and Phil Coulter, the all-male ensemble formed in 2007 and performed its debut in Dublin, IRE, later that same year. Shortly thereafter Celtic Thunder released its eponymous debut record and companion live DVD, “Celtic Thunder: The Show,” but did not gain mainstream attention in the U.S. until PBS stations across the country began featuring the group. The follow-up “Celtic Thunder: Act Two” is slated for release on September 16.

Ensemble tours featuring traditional Irish song and dance mixed with contemporary overtones have become increasingly popular in the last decade, beginning with the emergence of Riverdance in the mid-1990s. Irish step dancer Michael Flatley’s offshoot Lord of the Dance, and female vocal group Celtic Woman have been the latest addition to the craze, selling out numerous shows around the world.

Celtic Thunder is comprised of Damien McGinty, Keith Harkin, Ryan Kelly, Paul Byrom and George Donaldson. The members bring a variety of vocal ranges to the group — and a variety of ages. Just 16 years old, McGinty is the youngest member, while Donaldson, the most established performer, is the oldest at 40.

The quintet performs traditional Irish songs, as well as contemporary covers, such as “Nights in White Satin” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Celtic Thunder’s recordings and live shows feature a blend of solo and ensemble performances by Celtic Thunder members, backed with a full back-up band.

“We had so much fun making the show, and it is very exciting to think about bringing it to U.S. audiences,” Byrom is quoted on the group’s Web site.

(Photo courtesy of Celtic Thunder.)

Celtic Thunder itinerary:
(Dates subject to change.)

October 3Binghamton, NYBroome County Arena
October 4Mashantucket, CTMGM Grand at Foxwoods
October 6Boston, MAAgganis Arena
October 7 – 8New York, NYRadio City Music Hall
October 11Cincinnati, OHU.S. Bank Arena
October 12Indianapolis, INTheatre at Conseco Fieldhouse
October 14Detroit, MIFox Theatre
October 15Rosemont, ILRosemont Theatre
October 17St. Louis, MOThe Fabulous Fox Theatre
October 18Grand Rapids, MIVan Andel Arena
October 19Columbus, OHSchottenstein Center
October 20Cleveland, OHWolstein Center
October 23Toronto, ONTheatre at Air Canada Centre
October 24Pittsburgh, PAPetersen Events Center
October 25Philadelphia, PAWachovia Spectrum
October 26Manchester, NHVerizon Wireless Arena
October 28Boston, MAAgganis Arena
October 30Albany, NYTimes Union Center
November 1Atlantic City, NJTrump Taj Mahal
November 2Long Island, NYNassau Coliseum
November 5Reading, PASovereign Center
November 6Wilkes-Barre, PAWachovia Arena
November 7Baltimore, MD1st Mariner Arena
November 8Charlotte, NCCricket Arena
November 10Tampa, FLThe Line Theatre at St. Pete Times Forum
November 11Sunrise, FLSinatra Theatre at the Bank Atlantic Center
November 12Orlando, FLUCF Arena
November 14Greenville, SCPepsi Pavilion at the BiLo Center
November 15Atlanta, GABoisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center
November 17N. Little Rock, ARThe Theatre at ALLTEL Arena
November 18Kansas City, MOSprint Center
November 19Tulsa, OKBOK Center
November 21Grand Prairie, TXNokia Theatre
November 22San Antonio, TXAT&T Center
November 24Baton Rouge, LABaton Rouge Civic Center
November 25Houston, TXReliant Park Arena
November 26Phoenix, AZDodge Theatre
November 29Los Angeles, CANokia – LA Live
December 1San Diego, CASan Diego Sports Arena
December 2Fresno, CASaveMart Center
December 3San Jose, CAHP Pavillion at San Jose
December 4Sacramento, CAARCO Arena
December 6Portland, ORTheatre of the Clouds at the Rose Garden
December 7Seattle, WAComcast Arena at Everett Center
December 8Spokane, WAThe Star Theatre at the Spokane Arena
December 12Denver, COWells Fargo Theatre
December 14DesMoines, IAWells Fargo Arena
December 15Minneapolis, MNU.S. Bank Theater at the Target Center
December 16Milwaukee, WIMilwaukee Theatre
December 17Chicago, ILRosemont Theatre

Last Updated on February 13, 2009 by By Allison Reitz