Pass on the Heritage | July 28 –August 1, 2014 | Download a registration form.

Celtic Adventures for Kids is a week-long program designed to give children in Grades 1 through 9 an introduction to the richness of Irish culture, through the auspices of the Irish Cultural Center at Elms College in Chicopee, MA. Space is limited. Sign up early!

Daily Activities Include:
– Irish language
– Irish dance
– Irish music
– Arts & crafts
– Storytelling/literature

What to bring: Sneakers with non-marking soles; soft dance shoes if your child has them; swimsuit and towel; lunch (optional: money to purchase snacks.) The Maguire Center swimming pool will be available for the children to use daily during the week; lifeguard is on duty.

The program is in session from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Participants should be dropped off between 8:45 and 9:00 am at the Maguire Center. Pick up is promptly at 3:00 pm at the Maguire Center.

WHEN: Monday, July 28 to Friday, August 1, 2014
WHERE: The Maguire Center at Elms College, Chicopee, MA
COST: $200 per child; $20 discount for Irish Cultural Center members; $20 discount for each additional child from the same family
NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT: $50 with registration due by June 12, 2014
Please make check payable to Irish Cultural Center at Elms College.
Download a registration form.

Celtic Adventures for Kids

Representatives from many of Massachusetts’ Irish organizations were guests at the March 16 reception for Taoiseach Enda Kenny, at the Irish Cultural Centre of New England in Canton. The event was hosted by the Consul General of Ireland, Breandán Ó Caollaí. Síobhra Aiken, Elms College FLTA, and I had the pleasure of attending the program, meeting other organizations’ members, talking with old friends, and making new ones. The program consisted of the Taoiseach’s remarks, ranging from the new signs of Ireland’s economic recovery to the lasting contributions of the Irish in Massachusetts. He said that Ireland’s victory over France and its capture of the six nations tournament on Saturday were emblematic of a growing belief at home and in the future. Everyone had an opportunity to meet the Taoiseach, and we left Canton that afternoon thinking about the enduring connections between the people of Ireland and Massachusetts.

Written by previous Board president and ICC member, Chip Costello.



On May 3rd, the Irish Cultural Center at Elms College is sponsoring its fourteenth Lá na Gaeilge (Irish Language Day) on the Elms campus. This day of immersion in Ireland’s ancient language has become a key event in the Irish Center’s annual agenda. It is an opportunity for those with an interest in the language – beginners and those with varying levels of competence – to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of this vital component of Irish culture. The program consists of two classes available at four levels: a beginner’s class, a class for those who have an introductory knowledge of Irish, an intermediate-level class and a class for advanced learners.

As well as formal classes, the Lá na Gaeilge consists of workshops and Cómhrás (opportunities for conversation and dialog at the learner’s appropriate level). We are pleased to announce that the Consul General Breándan Ó Caollaí of the Boston Irish Consulate, an enthusiastic and fluent Gaeilgeoír, has agreed to attend and address our Lá na Gaeilge audience. We also plan to have as participants two great Irish speakers from the area who have been generous supporters of the Irish Cultural Center. Last but not least, one of the major participants on our day will be Síobhra Aiken, our Fulbright Scholar, who is teaching introductory and intermediate level Irish at Elms College. Lá na Gaeilge concludes with a seisiún at which participants have opportunity to display their talents. They are encouraged to bring their instruments.  

The Lá na Gaeilge begins with registration at 8:30 am and concludes with the seisiún at about 5:00 pm. The cost for members of the Irish Cultural Center is $40 and for non-members is $50. The cost for college-age and under students is $15. The price includes coffee, tea and light refreshments throughout the day and a generous luncheon. The Irish Cultural Center’s Lá na Gaeilge is a unique opportunity in our area to encourage and promote the Irish language. We hope that as many as possible will support our effort and participate. For further information contact Ellen Dziura at (413) 265-2537 or email us at You can also download a registration form.

Thanks to the Chicopee Cultural Council for their support.

Irish Language Day

Help us celebrate the ICC’s 15th anniversary by marching in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade! We are excited to be participating with our float again this year, with a design that celebrates the ties that bind us to our Irish heritage: arts, language, travel and culture. We invite you to join us and walk proudly behind the Irish Cultural Center banner. Have an Irish breakfast at Elms College on parade morning, and then join us in Holyoke.

We hope you can join us!
Please let us know if you would like to march with the ICC – RSVP to or 413-265-2537 by March 17. More detailed information on meeting time, etc. will follow as we organize for this great event.

Parade Details
The parade is a 2.9 mile walk through Holyoke. We will meet at the K-Mart parking lot on Route 5, Northampton Street, in Holyoke, the morning of March 23. The parade will start at the parking lot just before noon, and ends at Holyoke City Hall. Marchers should arrange for their transportation at the end of the parade. We will be wearing our Irish sweaters or green jackets, with dark trousers.

This year’s parade promises to be another outstanding one. The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade is the second largest in the country, with 200,000 onlookers regularly lining the parade route, and a total audience of 400,000. Learn more about the parade at

St. Patrick's Parade

Leave the driving and parking to us!
DANÚ CONCERT Bus Trip to UMass/Amherst Bowker Auditorium
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

$50/ICC members, $55/non-members, $35 Youth 17 & under
(Includes Bus + driver/tip + reserved orchestra seat ticket) 
Join the ICC now and pay member price!

CALL TODAY! For reservations, call Kathy Gallivan at 413-536-9709.
It’s NOT too late! We are still taking reservations! Limited to ONLY 30 Passengers.

Bus will depart from Elms College at 5:45 p.m. from the Sheila Ryan Flynn Parking Lot on the corner of Springfield Street and Fairview Avenue, Chicopee, MA (near the traffic lights). Doors open at 7:00, performance starts at 7:30 p.m.

DanuDon’t miss this rare appearance! Hailing from historic County Waterford, Danú is one of the leading traditional Irish ensembles of today. Their standing room only concerts throughout Ireland are true events featuring high-energy performances and a glorious mix of ancient Irish music and new repertoire.

For over a decade, Danú has played around the globe and recorded seven critically acclaimed albums. Winners of numerous awards from the BBC and Irish Music Magazine, Danú has toured throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North America.  Twice named the best traditional group by the BBC. Hailed as a “spirit-raising concoction” by The Irish Times, this five-member ensemble is among the most charismatic and sophisticated traditional Irish group performing today. Their traditional and modern sound is built around a vibrant mix of virtuoso players of the flute, tin whistle, button accordion, percussion, fiddle, and bouzouki coupled with the unforgettable rich vocals of Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh. Danú takes its audiences on a musical journey to their native Ireland, offering a moving and memorable concert experience.


In celebration of the upcoming 15th Anniversary of the Irish Cultural Center at Elms College, the Center is sponsoring its ninth “Journey of the Soul” tour to Ireland exploring Ireland’s spectacular Western and Southwestern Coastlines in early fall (September 7-17, 2014).

Tour itinerary: Download a PDF of the itinerary and additional information.

If you’ve ever wanted to experience the best of the Emerald Isle or follow your ancestral trail, this is the time – visit Westport, Achill Island, Galway, Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula, Killarney, Ennis and more. This is the “real” Ireland you dreamed about visiting that lets you embrace Ireland’s culture, warm hospitality and breathtaking beauty as you explore Ireland’s majestic western coastline and beautiful countryside.

Learn more about this West Coast of Ireland Tour.

The Irish Cultural Center has many events being planned for 2014. See the list below, and check our website and facebook page for updates in the coming weeks.

Irish Language Classes
Beginner and intermediate classes start in January 2014.

Ireland Tour Information Session
January 12, 2014

Irish Film Series
January 29, February 5, 12, 19, 2014

Irish Céilí
March 2014 TBD

Danú in Concert: UMass bus trip
March 12, 2014

Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade
March 23, 2014

Irish Film Festival
April 2014 TBD

Lá na Gaeilge: Day-long Irish language workshop
May 2014 TBD

Celtic Adventures for Kids
July 2014 TBD

West Coast of Ireland Tour
September 7 – 17, 2014

On Thursday, December 12 (12.12.13) thousands of area residents are going to show their support for their favorite nonprofit during VALLEY GIVES. It’s 24 hours of unprecedented nonprofit giving, and it’s your chance make a real difference, right here in our community. By showing your love through Valley Gives, you help sustain the Irish Cultural Center, which gives so much to our community by keeping the Irish arts alive.

Valley GivesEvery donation and donor we get will also help us claim a share of more than $200,000 in additional cash awards. The Irish Cultural Center cultivates a connection with Ireland, through the arts, culture, history, language, and heritage. The ICC offers opportunities to engage in educational, travel, and social events that promote Irish culture.

We need your help with these three things:
1. Mark 12.12.13 on your calendar and donate using this online giving link.
2. Follow us on Facebook and help build the buzz.
3. Spread the word! Forward this email to your family and friends along with a personal note as to why you believe in our work, and ask them to give on 12.12.13.

Help spread the excitement! Tell your friends and family why you think they should help us with their donation. Please be our partner, and help us continue to provide the highest quality Irish arts and educations programs! We can’t wait to celebrate the difference your generosity will make on 12.12.13.

Update December 8, 2013: Day of the show, tickets are only available at the door.
Adult Tickets: $30.00 (Day of the Show)
Youth 18 and under: $10.00
Seating is General Admission
Doors open at 1:00 p.m.
All Sales are Final. Refunds are given ONLY in the event of cancellation by performers.

The hugely popular Irish Christmas in America show will come to the Veritas Auditorium in Berchmans Hall at Elms College, on Sunday, December 8 at 2:00 p.m.

Irish Christmas in America

Now in its 9th season, the festive show features top Irish music, song and dance in an engaging performance rich in history, humour and boundless energy. Produced by Oisín Mac Diarmada of award-winning lrish group Téada, the 2013 tour brings back the amazing Sony-recording vocal group Lumiere (Pauline Scanlon, Eilis Kennedy, Donogh Hennessy), who proved such a big hit on the 2011 tour. Séamus Begley, 2013 TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year, once again rejoins the tour with his charming wit and stunning vocal prowess. Learn more about the performers:


Thanks to our major sponsors:

Sheraton Springfield
Log Cabin - Delaney House
UMass Fine Arts Center

The Irish Cultural Center at Elms College invites you to take a distinctively Irish journey this season with the enchanting holiday show, “Irish Christmas in America.” Featuring some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians with the vocal duo Lumiere leading the all-star line up, the joyful performance highlights Irish holiday traditions through music, story, song, and dance. Irish Music Magazine calls it “captivating!”

The show is on Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Veritas Auditorium in Berchmans Hall at Elms College, 291 Springfield Street, Chicopee, MA. Doors open at 1:00 p.m.

General Admission tickets are $25 (advance), $30 (day of performance), and $10 (youth 18 and under).

Now in its ninth season, the 2013 tour brings back acclaimed vocal duo Lumiere, featuring the angelic voices of Pauline Scanlon and Éilís Kennedy, accompanied by renowned guitarist Donogh Hennessy. The Irish Times calls Lumiere’s harmonies “spellbinding,” and the BBC says “absolutely superb.” Lumiere will be performing at Elms three days after their Carnegie Hall engagement.

Séamus Begley, named Ireland’s 2013 Traditional Singer of the Year (TG4), joins in with his stunning vocal prowess and charming wit. Award-winning Irish step dancer Samantha Harvey dazzles with her fancy footwork. The all-star band also includes Gráinne Hambly on harp, Sean Gavin on flute and uilleann pipes, and Oisín Mac Diarmada, the show’s producer and the brilliant young fiddler with the Irish group Téada.

Mac Diarmada created the show to bring some of Ireland’s lovely yet lesser-known holiday traditions to American audiences. Music, singing, and dancing were intrinsic to the season in Ireland, and also for the many Irish that found themselves in America.

“One of the most heartfelt themes of Irish Christmas is emigration,” says Mac Diarmada. “Music was a way that people stayed close to home.” 

Since the first holiday tour in 2005, Irish Christmas in America has featured such stellar guest vocalists as Karan Casey (Solas), Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (Danu), and Cathie Ryan (Cherish the Ladies). Performance appearances have included the National Geographic Society in Washington DC, the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, and the Cerritos Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles.

A sparkling seasonal tradition, “Irish Christmas in America” is a memorable glimpse into the spirit of Christmas across the Atlantic, and a fun-filled show for audiences of all ages. Visit the show website:

The Show Includes Eight Outstanding Performers

Séamus Begley comes from the Irish-speaking region of West Kerry and is a member of one of Ireland’s most musically-acclaimed families. Famous for his heartfelt singing, Séamus is equally brilliant on the accordion, which he plays with astonishing energy and spontaneity. In 2013, Séamus was honoured with the hugely prestigious TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year Award.

Lumiere is two distinct voices cut from the same geographic cloth. One is Éilís Kennedy, whose natural and genuine interpretations of songs, both old and new, sung in her native Irish and in English, were previously heard in her multiple collaborations and solo offerings as a recording artist. The other half of the musical whole is Pauline Scanlon, an award-winning singer from the same Kerry town of Dingle. Pauline has two critically received albums to her credit as well as extensive touring experience all over the globe. Together, they offer a distinctly feminine sound and feel, where voice is the primary instrument and Ireland as motherland is re-imagined.

Lumiere also has the honor of performing in Carnegie Hall this December as part of American composer Tim Janis’ American Christmas Carol evening, along with Sir James Galway, Jackie Evancho and Cindy Cruse Ratcliff.

Gráinne Hambly from County Mayo is an internationally recognised exponent of the Irish harp, with a Masters Degree in Musicology for which her main research topic was music collections and the harp in 18th-century Ireland. Gráinne has toured extensively throughout Europe and the United States, giving concerts, workshops and master classes, and has performed with Irish Christmas in America since 2005.

Samantha Harvey is an award-winning step dancer, pianist and accordionist. Beginning Irish dance at age seven, she reached Open champion level and competed regionally, nationally and internationally. She brings energy to the stage with her rhythm, impeccable timing and driving percussive steps. Samantha performs, teaches and choreographs various step dance styles.

Donogh Hennessy is a Dublin born guitarist, producer and composer now settled in the beautiful town of Dingle. He has performed and recorded over the years with many leading Irish bands and artists, including an eight-year stint with the Irish super-group Lunasa and a five-year stint with Sharon Shannon. Donogh has also recorded music for films and plays and has written two music books.  

Sean Gavin’s playing on the flute, whistle and uilleann pipes reflects his lifelong immersion in traditional Irish music. Sean learned from his father Mick as well has having studied the uilleann pipes with teacher Al Purcell. Currently residing in Chicago, he’s been strongly influenced by flute legend Kevin Henry. He tours regularly with the acclaimed groups Bua and NicGaviskey as well as performing often with his family.

Oisín Mac Diarmada is the producer of Irish Christmas in America. A graduate in Music Education from Trinity College Dublin/RIAM, Oisín has been described by The Irish Echo’s Earle Hitchner as “one of the most gifted and creative traditional fiddlers playing today.” Founder of noted group Téada, Oisín is also a regular solo performer, having appeared as guest soloist with the Southern Georgia Symphony Orchestra in the U.S. along with an extensive recording history.