The Irish Breakfast Band

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Schedule and Performances


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The Irish Breakfast Band is a diverse group of DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland residents who meet Saturday mornings for a potluck breakfast. After breakfast is a rehearsal of its repertoire of Celtic tunes. These Saturday meetings are usually held at a different house each week, with attendance often exceeding a dozen musicians, though rarely the exact same set two weeks in a row.

Irish Breakfast Band at First Night Alexandria, December 31, 2011

Kids on Stage Most performances feature 8-12 musicians, often several fiddles and flutes, a guitar or two, a drummer, a hammered dulcimer, banjo and at least one vocalist. A child-friendly band, the group often brings extra percussion instruments to give young audience members a chance to participate. As you can see from the picture, it sometimes gets a little crowded on stage!

The band performs extensively in the Washington Metropolitan area at festivals and other events including the Washington Folk Festival, Art on the Avenue (in Alexandria) and local concert series.

Band Leader Sean Doherty can usually be spotted by his distinctive floppy blue hat and blonde fiddle. Sean Brown, Rebecca Geraghty, Melissa Gouffrey, Peter Hayes, Sandy Hoar, Gordon Johnston, Kate Keating, Joyce Mercer, and Tom Van Wagner round out the Fiddle Section. When not dancing, Molly Hayes and Maggie and Jannie Johnston join us on fiddles. Irish Breakfast Band

Lisa Anderson, Becky Bates, Abbie Desrosiers, and Laura Monagle play flute and whistles. When she is not playing the concertina, Marcia Finnerty joins in on whistle as well. Katie Duffy plays the mandolin, and Karen Helbrecht brings tenor banjo, bouzouki and cello into the mix.

Composer and dulcimer player Sue McIver wrote the very well received title track, Sean's Treasure for our first CD.

Chris Metzler and Maddy O-Neill-Dean play guitar, Rick Netherton joins in with his base, and Martha Beall's piano, solo or accompaniment, can be counted on to get toes tapping and hands clapping.

On a wide variety of percussion instruments are Chuck Moran and Abbie Desrosiers (when Abbie is not on whistle or flute).

Both Chuck and Maddy have been known to lead us in a rousing song or two from time to time.

Catherine, Maggie, Emma, and Jannie

Dancers often perform traditional steps accompanied by the band. Dancers from the Boyle School of Irish Dance (where Emma & Catherine Beall, Molly Hayes, and Maggie & Jannie Johnston take lessons) and sometimes other local schools are often featured with performers of all ages dancing in both hard and soft shoes. These dancers perform in traditional dress as well, with elaborate dresses embellished by knot-work, Irish stylized animals and birds and lots of bright colors to dazzle the eye for the girls. The boys are more reserved in slacks and shirts but no less striking and no less skilled.

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For more information on the band or to discuss a performance, please drop us a note at sean"AT" (replace the "AT" with "@," we put it this way to confound SPAM e-mail address collectors) with the words "Breakfast Band" in the subject line. Please include telephone, e-mail or snail-mail contact information!

Pile O' Instruments

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Original page design by Coyote Consulting. Assistance with establishing this website (as well as the art direction and design for our 2005 CD, On High Cross Farm) by Jamie Bresner of nearestexit studio. Current web page maintenance by Gordon Johnston. Web page had been scanned for errors and multiple browser compatibility using Doctor HTML. Now that this service is no longer available, I have begun using the W3C Markup Validation Service. Last update September 23, 2014 (for the most part, minor update on April 27 and May 14, 2016). Page text, photographs and graphics are property of the Irish Breakfast Band. 2000, 2001 - Coyote Consulting and 2002-2016 - the Irish Breakfast Band.


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