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The versatile Irish-American quintet Solas will perform Celtic music in a command return engagement 8 p.m. Friday, September 3 at Lafayette College’s Williams Center for the Arts. Solas performed at Lafayette in January 1997 as part of the “American Celtic Masters” tour, and were featured artists last October at Bethlehem’s Celtic Classic Festival.

The concert is available through a subscription to Sound Alternatives, one of four musical series this year at the Williams Center. The other concerts in the Sound Alternatives subscription series are: the percussion music of Korean SamulNori on October 19; “world’s greatest bassist” Edgar Meyer on February 12; Masters of the Steel String Guitar on March 21; and sitar/tabla master Shafaatullah Khan, this year’s Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence at Lafayette, who brings with him a community of Indian instrumentalists, on April 8. The price of Sound Alternatives is $60, a savings of $15 compared to the cost of ordering the concerts individually.

A limited number of single tickets will go on sale for $18 beginning Friday, August 27. Subscriptions and tickets may be purchased from the box office by calling 610-330-5009.

Pipes and flute virtuoso Seamus Egan leads Solas, a young band rising in popularity for its artful blend of traditional music and contemporary interpretations. Joining Egan are champion instrumentalists Winifred Horan on fiddle, John Williams on accordion, and John Doyle on guitar. Vocalist Diedra Scanlon is the latest addition, replacing Karan Casey. As the New York Times states, “Solas challenges a folk-music community that sometimes seems to forget its progressive roots.”

Solas earned back-to-back best album awards from both the Association for Independent Music and Irish Echo newspaper for Solas (1996) and Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers (1997). In just a few years, the band has progressed from club gigs to theaters and headlining status at festivals. Solas’ breakout album, The Words That Remain, was released last fall to critical acclaim. How that carries over into concerts is noted by The Washington Post in a review of last year’s Washington Irish Folk Festival, which mentioned that the “interplay and virtuosity displayed” by the band “often produced an exhilarating effect.”

All performances in the subscription series begin at 8 p.m. Subscribers to any of the four series are given priority seating; those who renew by August 23, 1999, are guaranteed to retain the seats they had for the same series last year. Single ticket orders for any of these concerts will be filled beginning August 26.

The 1999-2000 Performance Series at Lafayette College is sponsored, in part, by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Mid Atlantic Foundation for the Arts.

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