Celtic Tenors in town in time for St. Pat’s Day

The Celtic Tenors will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans. SPECIAL

The Celtic Tenors will bring the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day to Evans on March 14.

The trio of classically-trained Irish singers is stopping in the area on its international tour, which includes performances in Canada and the United States before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the singers’ home of Ireland.

“We sing classic to pop to Irish music,” said James Nelson, who along with Matthew Gilsenan and Daryl Simpson, make up the group. “But we will be doing a lot of Irish songs since it’s so close to St. Patrick’s Day.”

That means an a cappella version of Danny Boy and Nessun Dorma will be part of the repertoire.

Nelson, who sang in more than 50 operatic roles before becoming part of the trio 17 years ago, said while the group performs a wide range of songs, including an album where they sing the tunes of John Denver, Dolly Parton and Simon and Garfunkel, all of the songs have one thing in common. Their melodies lend well for rich harmonies without music.

“A cappella is a big part of our show,” Nelson said.

The Celtic Tenors have recorded several albums including a Christmas one, and although all of the group members are all classically trained in opera, they don’t have a classical album.

“People always ask about a classical album,” he said.

Despite a rigorous touring schedule, Nelson said there’s a reason he and the other members do what they do.

“I love what I do. I’ll stop doing it the day it’s not fun anymore,” he said.

Besides music, another one of Nelson’s passions is his humanitarian work in Kenya.

“I go to Africa to build orphanages there,” he said.

He’s taking his 11th trip to Kenya in June. Not only does he work with building projects, but he teaches the children music as well. He’s always looking for like-minded people who will go on such trips, and if anyone is interested in going to work with AIDS-stricken orphans, he’d love to talk about the project after the concert, he said.

The Celtic Tenors will appear at 7:30 p.m. at the Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $47.50. For more information, visit augustaamusements.com or call (706) 726-0366.

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