In the 1990's four accomplished professional musicians combined their varied experiences and talents to form Themselves, presenting programs of Irish music with historical commentary. We discovered that we worked well collaboratively, sharing our love of music, teaching, history and a sense of humor. In 2000, we wrote a script that wove a tale of Irish immigration into our concert performances, and, with the addition of a step dancer, gained success performing “An Immigrant's Story” in schools throughout CT. Inspired by the successof this show, we decided to create a second program. It took us about a year to solidify our ideas, do the extensive historical research, write the script, arrange the music and singing parts, gather the props and costumes, rehearse, edit and polish it all, and in 2004, “The Oregon Trail: A Tale of Westward Expansion” was launched. Again, we were successful and having a great time. Thanks to a grant from Young Audiences, we were inspired to create a third show, which debuted in the fall of 2007- “The Road to Revolution: One Family's Struggle in Colonial Connecticut.” We continue to enjoy performing concerts of Irish music as a duo, trio or quartet, with or without Irish step dancing, and we are still having fun!
LYNN BOWMAN, actress and vocalist, has performed many roles in regional and Off-Broadway theaters, including the Huntington Theatre in Boston, the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York, and the Dorset Theatre Festival in Vermont. She has also appeared in numerous TV commercials. Her work in children’s theater began when she toured with Theatreworks USA early in her career, and has continued over the years with other theater companies, as well as in her private work as a teacher and theater director in public schools in Connecticut.
WENDY KERNER, harpist, is a graduate of Juilliard and was presented in her New York Debut in Carnegie Recital Hall as a winner of the Artists International Competition. She has performed throughout the United States and in France. Ms. Kerner has played educational programs for the National Symphony and for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and on tour in Oklahoma, Chicago and New York City. Ms. Kerner is the principal harpist of the Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Ridgefield Symphonies in Connecticut and maintains an active private teaching studio.
KATE O'BRIEN, violinist and vocalist, spent 10 years playing electric violin and guitar, leading her own dance bands doing rock, jazz, swing and country, and studying jazz with the legendary Linc Chamberland. She plays regularly with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and served as Personnel Manager for many years. She plays and sings with the swing group MOXIE, and through her company, OBRIEN STRINGS, she leads her own classical ensembles and strolls and entertains as a soloist or with her violin-guitar duo. She continues to arrange a broad spectrum of music for all her ensembles, and teaches violin and viola at her home studio.
EDWARD WRIGHT, guitarist and vocalist, has appeared as a featured soloist with the Greenwich Philharmonia and the Westchester Chamber Orchestra, appears frequently as a solo recitalist and is a member of the rock trio Mojo. His music has been used in films and in productions for HBO and PBS. He was a second-place winner and finalist in successive competitions at the American Finger Style Guitar Festivals. He has five CDs available and has published a collection of arrangements of the music of George Winston. Mr. Wright teaches at his studios in Greenwich and Rowayton.
ERIN COLLINS, Irish step dancer, joining us in our Irish programs, has over 17 years of competition and performance experience. She is currently ranked 4th in the New England Region, 27th in the All-Ireland Championships and 42nd in the World Championships, and has qualified for the World Championships an impressive eight times. She has performed with many well-known Irish artists including Ronan Tynan, Eileen Ivers, Black 47, The Elders, John Whelan, and various members of the Riverdance troupe. Erin has been teaching Irish dancing to students ages 4-65 for over 10 years.