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Girsa Returns to Pearl River for Christmas Concert

Girsa, a traditional Irish music band made up of young women from Pearl River, will play their Hometown Christmas Concert Saturday at Pearl River High School.

Girsa, a band made up of seven young women from Pearl River who play traditional Irish Music, officially formed in 2004, but the history goes back well beyond that.

With five members in college, two three hours from home, and two more moving on with their lives after getting their degrees, finding time to play or practice can be a challenge.

That is one reason why they are looking forward to Saturday.

Girsa's Hometown Christmas Concert is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at Pearl River High School. 

"We look forward to playing in Pearl River," said Deirdre Brennan, whose primary job is as a nurse at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ. "The community has always been a big support system for us. They always show up for things. It's been a while since we did a concert at the high school. The last one was a big success and we hope this one is the same.

"Also, it's nice to do something for Sandy relief."

Tickets cost $20 ahead of time, $25 at the door and $15 for students, with a portion of the proceeds going to Hurricane Sandy relief. 

Girsa will be doing something a little different for this show, particularly the type of music. 

"We've never done a holiday concert," Brennan said. "We usually play strictly traditional Irish music. This year we're playing Christmas carols. We will have a Christmas tree on the stage, It's something new for us."

Most of the girls met when they were very small. Brennan and Maeve Flanagan grew up around the corner from one another. Brennan said she wasn't even sure which of them it was, but they needed to get a group together for something and it stuck. 

Seven of the eight members from when they officially formed the band in 2004 are still together -- Brennan, Flanagan, Margaret Dudasik, Blaithin Loughran, Bernadette Flanagan, Pamela Geraghty and Emily McShane. Maeve Flanagan, a student at Pace Law School, is the only other one not still doing her undergraduate studies. Loughran and Geraghty go to SUNY-Cortland, so distance can be a bit of a challenge. Brennan said she used to worry that conflicting schedules and distance could break up the band.

"We have this time in our lives when we are doing something we love to do. We didn't know it would go in the direction it did," Brennan said. "We never saw ourselves playing festivals and travelling all over. We don't have the ability to play every weekend, but we've kept it going. I went through four years of college and I'm out over a year. We've made it work so far. We love to play together. Until we can't any more, we're going to keep doing all we can to make it happen."

One major trip on the horizon is to play at Disney World on St. Patrick's Day in 2013. 

"We're really looking forward to that," Brennan said.

For more information about Girsa, including some clips with their music, go to their website at girsamusic.com

pat mc closkey December 16, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Saw them perform Sat evening..pearl river HS...outstanding ...talented group of young ladies...they sounded outstanding!!!!!

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