If you're looking for a chance to celebrate St. Patrick's Day on a musical note, plan to attend the Switchback concert March 16 at Munster's Theatre at the Center.
Switchback, a duo featuring Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack, has been bringing Celtic musical inspirations and Americana roots to audiences over the past two decades.
"Theatre at the Center is one of our favorite theaters to perform in," said Martin McCormack. He said they enjoy the sound at TAC as well as the intimacy of the theater. "There's no bad seat in the house and they have a highly professional staff. It's a great venue all the way around."
While Switchback will concentrate on their Celtic sounds during this show, McCormack said they look forward to coming back to TAC with their American roots show sometime. Their concert Sunday will be the fourth time the duo has performed in Munster.
In addition to Switchback's performances of Irish/Celtic music, McCormack said they'll also present Irish dancers from McCormack Fay Academy of Irish Dance, which has locations throughout the Chicago area.
"They're a fantastic group that has performed with us before," McCormack said. Also on the performance roster during the show will be drummer Takeshi Horiuchi, who is an expert on Celtic drumming.
McCormack said the concert will feature "certain crowd favorites" such as "Danny Boy" and "The Drunken Sailor."
McCormack and FitzGerald were originally part of County Kerry concertina master Terrence 'Cuz' Teahan's group before teaming up to form Switchback.
The duo is regularly involved in outreach projects.
"Part of our mission is to bring music to places that normally don't have music," McCormack said, adding they often do music workshops for school children. "Accessibility to live music is getting more restricted as the arts are taken out of schools," he said.
McCormack believes St. Patrick's Day in the Midwest is special for a variety of reasons.
"It really signifies the arrival of spring," he said. The holiday, he said, also "transcends the Irish" because St. Patrick's Day has become something all heritages celebrate. "It's a joyful day to celebrate."
Along with purchasing a ticket to Switchback's concert Sunday, fans can also enjoy an Irish supper for an additional cost. On the menu will be cream of broccoli soup, corned beef and cabbage, red potatoes, rye bread, Irish soda bread and Irish whiskey cake. A cash bar will also be available.
FYI: Switchback will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 16 at Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster. Tickets are $35. Cost for dinner, which is served from 5:30 to 7 p.m. is an additional $20 per person. Call (219) 836-3255 or visit tickets.com