Irish singer: strong voice, friendly message

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Rachel Faulkner writes, It is a starry, moonlit night.

It is a starry, moonlit night. The whispered rustling of hundreds of people are cloaked in silent excitement. There is a dark, glossy stage, reflecting the light of God’s nighttime gifts, high above the earth. Suddenly, without the slightest inclination, the audience can feel something in their hearts. The show is starting. From offstage, there is the beautiful, haunting sound of a violin, the signal to the performers to make their entrances. For Orlagh Fallon, this is not only a dream. This is her life, the blessed life of a Celtic Woman. Orlagh’s voice is mystical and haunting, and the quality of her music, both with the voice and with her incredible talent with the harp, is not something we see every day. You might know Orlagh best for her many years as a part of the popular musical group “Celtic Woman”. But that was only a slim fraction of her years, which, put together, have made her one of the most talented and revered musicians on earth. I had the extreme privilege of speaking with Ms. Fallon from my home in Greeley, as she was in Nashville, TE, working on her forthcoming solo album. She was gracious and very friendly, casting away the stereotype that all famous performers are snobby and rude. We began by speaking about her childhood. “I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t sing,” she reminisces, “I must have started to sing before I could actually talk.” Growing up in a town called Knockananna, in County Wicklow, Ireland, she always dreamed of being a singer, performing at incredible locations such as Carnegie Hall. She played piano as a child, and later, the harp, which she is famous for now. For six years of her adult life, Orlagh worked as a teacher, just like her mother. After a while, she quit that, and began doing little tours and concerts, though nothing on a large scale. She had the honor of playing for the Pope and the Irish President, which is phenomenal for a solo tour. Then, Orlagh’s life changed. She was invited by composer David Downes to join the group “Celtic Woman” which had begun its incredible journey of bringing international attention to Celtic music. “I nearly jumped through the phone!” she laughs, “I was so excited!” This one phone call extended the realms of Orlagh’s musical career past anything she had ever dreamed of. Celtic Woman grew into an extremely popular music group, touring all over the world. The other singers welcomed Orlagh with open arms. “We were together through thick and thin,” she says. “If anyone had stood outside the dressing room I think they would have thought we were mad, we were howling with laughter.” There are many pictures of the ladies sprawled together, laughing, arms around each others’ waists. Orlagh even admitted that she was scared when she decided to leave the group, because they were almost like family. It was during this time that Orlagh fulfilled her childhood dream of performing at Carnegie Hall. She also mentioned that she loved our very own Red Rocks Theater. So you might be wondering, if a person gets adoring fans, performs at Carnegie Hall, and publishes many CDs, does that make them a celebrity? Orlagh staunchly denies being referred to as a celebrity. “I’m just the ordinary Joe Soap next door!” Orlagh did leave Celtic Woman and is now touring solo once more, publishing another solo album next fall. It was an immense honor to speak with her. “Everyone has a talent and gift, and it’s a God-given talent and gift.” We finished our interview with a reference to the popular children’s song. “Don’t hide [your gift] under a bushel,” Orlagh finishes, “Let it shine!”

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