St. Patrick's Day is next Thursday, March 17. And, lucky for us, a group of well-known Irish musicians will be in Western Montana next week, with a public performance on the day following St. Patrick's Day in Victor.

Mick Moloney and the Green Fields of America are being brought into the Bitterroot Valley by the Bitterroot Performing Arts Council. Mick, who has been one of major supporters of Irish music and dance in the U.S. will bring the stage alive Friday evening, March 18, at the Mary Stuart Rogers Performing Arts Center in Victor.

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Since it was built a few years ago, the theater addition to the Victor School has won praise by audiences and performers alike for its acoustics and comfort. The size, though, is smaller than the usual venue for the Bitterroot Performing Arts, the Hamilton High School Performing Arts Center. Therefore, with fewer seats, you might want to get your tickets as soon as possible. The 8 p.m. show March 18 will include traditional Irish music, song and, yes, even some dance.

A brief history of Mick and the Green Fields of America

Mick was featured on a recent national PBS special about the history and the increasing worldwide interest in Irish step dance. Moloney worked with the Smithsonian Institution to bring Irish musicians and dancers to a Washington D.C. Folklife Festival in the 1970s. Green Fields of America was created and toured America several times since then. The artistic lineup changes in each tour with artists who have specialized in tin whistle, flute, concertina, button accordion, uileann pipes and fiddle. The presentation is in partnership with Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation and Farmers State Bank.

This is a welcome concert for the valley that has Marcus Daly's summer home and an annual Celtic Festival that brings in athletes, dancers and musicians for a weekend in August. Tickets for the March 18 performance are available at the Bitterroot Performing Arts website or by calling their box office at 406 363-7946.

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