Group to perform traditional Irish music as part of World Music Series

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, the Celtic sound of the season is scheduled to come to Baldwin Wallace this month.
Traditional Irish music and song group Sonas got their name from the Old Irish word “sonus” which means good fortune, prosperity, and happiness.
Students and the general public are invited to “learn about the songs, country, and customs of Ireland,” said Veronica Drdek, the Administrative Assistant of Academic and Cultural Event Series (ACES) Department.
The ACES Department is under the Diversity Affairs and Center for Inclusion umbrella. It is instrumental in programming the Enduring Question Lecture Series (EQLS) and the World Music Series.
Sonas, a part of the World Music Series, is specifically “traditional Irish music… and they also do storytelling,” said Drdek.
The first member of the group is Patrick Egan who was born in County Tipperary Ireland, now living in Virginia. He still shares his heritage in the form of singing and playing the guitar. He has also participated in tours around the world and regularly teaches at festivals.
Egan has “embraced the art form of Irish and Celtic music from its origination in the country and maintained that over the years. He is preserving those cultures through the music and passing it on to the next generations,” said Associate Diversity Officer and Director of ACES, J. T. Hairston.
The second member of the group, Alex Caton, is a multi-instrumentalist but plays mostly violin or, as the Irish call it, the fiddle.
Egan previously has visited BW three other times as a solo musician and in a duo group. Both Egan and Caton were in this group and performed at BW nearly a decade ago.
Lastly, Jeff Thomas, who is a new addition to the performance this year, will be playing the concertina, an instrument similar to the accordion. Thomas crafts his own line of concertinas by making the instrument himself.
Sonas is not just a musical performance, said Drdek, “[the artists] also give the history of or about the music or the instruments.”
The group introduces the meanings and stories behind the pieces. Some of the songs are in Celtic making the explanation essential to understand for those unfamiliar with the language.
The audience will also hear “the presenters talk about the different styles of Irish music and maybe invite them to sing along,” said Hairston. “What we’re going to get from this group is authentic music,” as the songs presented by Sonas maybe centuries old but have been maintained throughout the years.
On March 27, Sonas will perform together at Baldwin Wallace for the first time. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Gamble Auditorium in the Kulas Musical Arts Building at 96 Front Street.
This event, like all the performances and speakers involved with ACES, unless otherwise indicated, is free and open to the public.
The goal of the World Music Series as a faction of ACES “is to help prepare our students… to be caring, compassionate citizens in an ever-increasing global society,” said Hairston.
For more information about the Sonas event or all other events happening this semester visit