Singer John McDermott and the Vancouver Island Symphony present Irish and Scottish Favourites at the Port Theatre on Saturday, March 17. (Submitted photo)

John McDermott joins the Vancouver Island Symphony for St. Patrick’s Day concerts

Nanaimo performances will feature personal stories and traditional Irish ditties

John McDermott has been recording his tender, soaring renditions of Scottish and Irish ballads for a quarter century and on March 17 the Canadian tenor will join the Vancouver Island Symphony for the first time for for a pair of St. Patrick’s Day performances.

McDermott will take to Nanaimo’s Port Theatre stage with the Nanaimo-based ensemble at 3 and 7:30 p.m. He said he’ll be leaning more on the traditional Irish repertoire, “from Galway Bay to Danny Boy to Toora-Loora-Looral.” He calls it “an easy trip down memory lane.”

Memory lane has been on McDermott’s mind as of late. It’s been 25 years since the singer released his debut album, Danny Boy, launching his musical career. Looking back he said it’s a nice milestone to reach and even wishes he’d started sooner.

“It’s still fun doing what we do, it’s still encouraging,” he said. “It’s a very difficult business, I know that much nowadays, but we’ve been blessed that we’ve got a great following, a great fan base and we’re able to do an annual tour.”

On March 25 McDermott will be releasing a two-DVD retrospective, covering his beginnings as a recording artists in the early-90s and including an unaired concert from around 2000.

“It was a PBS show and the record company and PBS didn’t really communicate so it was never really released,” he said.

“So I’ve managed to finally get it that I can release it, and release it along with some very early footage when I first started out.”

But McDermott is not content to dwell on the past. A new CD of Irish music is on the way that will be feature stories and personal history behind the music, as told by Irish elders.

“I look for songs that are not overdone, songs that are traditional and have a history to them,” he said.

“And I like to have a story behind the piece. Most of the pieces that I do were written for a reason.”

McDermott will be sharing those stories when he performs in Nanaimo. He said a lot of people feel deep connections to those timeless Irish ditties.

“A lot of the songs are reflective back on people’s youth and their heritage and family and there’s maybe a memory attached to someone or something or someplace.”

WHAT’S ON … The Vancouver Island Symphony presents Irish and Scottish Favourites with John McDermott at the Port Theatre on Saturday, March 17 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $38 to $59, $18 for students, $5 eyeGO passes. Tickets available at the box office.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Vancouver Island University shows off new fish health lab

Provincially funded Centre for Innovation in Fish Health unique in B.C.

Editorial: Looking back at windstorm helps us prepare for next time

BC Hydro says it was the most destructive storm in its history

Seniors deferring property taxes up 55 per cent in four years: report

Program allows people over the age of 55 to defer payment of municipal property taxes

Port Alberni man trekking the Sahara Desert in support of women and children

Chris Fenton of The Fenton Team will spend five days hiking in the Sahara Desert

Four out of 10 Canadians shopped from their mobile devices in 2018

In 2014, mobile devices accounted for 12 per cent of online purchases

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Wind, tides could combine for 7-metre Long Beach waves Saturday

Extreme wave hazard warning at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read