Sunday, April 6, 2014

St. Patrick's Day in Manhattan

March is the busiest month of the year for me. Actually, it's the busiest time of the year for every Irish musician. For example, among the dozen or so gigs I played, the most exciting was the St. Patrick’s Day weekend I spent in Manhattan. 

On Saturday my mom and I spent our morning in the car driving to New York to play a gig with my teacher, Brian Conway. It was a library concert he plays every year. The first part of the program included a group from a local dance school. They danced a few sets of reels, jigs and hornpipes, then exited the stage. After the dancers finished with their part of the program, Brian entered the stage and played the rest of the show. Towards the end of Brian’s performance, he welcomed me and a few of his other students, Kate, Finbar, Joanna and also his daughter, Fiona, to the stage to play two sets with him. 

After the concert at the library, we met up with my friend Sofia, her mom Kate, and her two siblings, Alex and Anna, for dinner at a diner close to Brian’s house. Because I had a headache and stomach ache, we went back to Brian’s house so I could lay down. 

On Sunday I woke up feeling much better than I did the night before. I had a lesson with Brian at ten o’ clock. After my lesson, we packed up all our things and drove to Sofia’s house. We spent all day with Sofia and her family. Sofia, Anna and I made brown and green chocolates in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. We also made bracelets for each other, and stayed at Sofia’s house for the night. 

Monday was St. Patrick’s Day! 

We left Sofia’s house at eleven o’ clock for New York City, and an event where I was to be performing called, Sober St. Patrick’s Day. I played this event last year and loved it! I was thrilled when they asked me to come again this year! I really love the meaning of this event: 

While people arrived, I played accompanied by Donie Carroll on the guitar. Our performance went very well and I had tons of fun! But, soon it was time for the ceili, when the dance floor would be filled dancing to our free-flowing sets of reels, hornpipes and jigs. The ceili band included Brian Conway, John Whelan, Brendan Dolan and a few other talented veteran Irish musicians who I enjoyed playing with! 

Me with Donie Carroll

I love meeting new people at the events where I play. At Sober St. Patrick's Day I met Erin Brady, the reigning Miss USA 2013, Cathy Maguire, a celebrity and singer who acted as our MC and Malachy McCourt, a legendary author and actor. 

Me with Cathy Maguire

Me with Malachy McCourt

Me with Erin Brady

Over all, I’d say my St. Patrick’s Day was an amazing and memorable event!


  1. Love your post and pictures!

  2. Great job, Haley - loved all the details. It was like you took me along with you. Maybe someday I'll get to go to this event - in Philly next year, mayhap?


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