Vail Valley music: Song and dance key to Irish holidays


By: Sarah Dixon

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado — Different cultures celebrate the holidays in different ways. For some, it’s about the food. For others, it’s about gathering with family and loved ones around a warm fire.

In the Celtic tradition, it’s about all of these things. But as important, Cherish the Ladies’ Joanie Madden says, is song and dance.

“Music and the Irish tradition are so closely tied,” she said from the tour bus between performances last week. “It’s the language we speak. All of us in the band come from musical families, it’s something that’s been passed down through the ages.”

Madden and the entire Cherish the Ladies troupe, along with a cast of award-winning dancers and musicians, take the Vilar Center stage Monday night with their “Celtic Christmas” show.

“When it came time for Christmas in our households, it was all about gathering with friends and family for a jam session,” Madden says. “That’s what we bring to the audience with our show. We’re having a great time up there — lots of laughing on stage. It’s really a social event for everyone in the theater.

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