This March, WSHSO members were back playing our regular gigs for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. The first as part of The Annual Irish Heritage Concert with the St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, Mick Moloney and friends. The second at The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral on Mott Street in the churchyard with dancers from the Niall O’Leary School of Dance. Always a great time at these events and a nice way to celebrate the season.


Old St. Pats

In the churchyard of Old St. Pat’s


Inside Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral

"Back stage" at St. Patrick's Cathedral

“Back stage” at St. Patrick’s Cathedral


Irish Arts Center, in association with
The American Irish Historical Society, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, City Lore, Glucksman Ireland House—New York University and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum presents

A Tribute to Harrigan & Hart

A Concert Featuring Mick Moloney and an All-Star Line Up featuring

Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks / The Green Fields of America (Athena Tergis, Billy McComiskey, Brendan Dolan, Niall O’Leary) / Dana Lyn / Susan McKeown / Poor Baby Bree / John Roberts / Murray Callahan / Chris Simmons / Maureen Murphy / The Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra

Thursday, October 13th @ 8 pm. Peter Norton Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street)

In the 1870s, decades before George M. Cohan burst onto the Broadway stage, the songs of his hero Edward “Ned” Harrigan, Irish American tunesmith and playwright, were the toast of New York. Harrigan’s ballads of the working class immigrants—filled with lovable and good humored characters like Dan Mulligan and his wife Cordelia, John McSorley, the owner of McSorley’s Irish Ale House, Tammany Alderman Old Boss Barry, and Mary Ann, the schoolteacher—mirrored his own mercurial life, and provided the foundation for an entirely novel genre of musical comedy on the American stage.

On the hundred year anniversary of the death of the beloved Ned Harrigan, Mick Moloney and an all-star cast return to Symphony Space with a multi-media tribute to the Broadway legend, his partner Tony Hart, and musical collaborator David Braham. Through story, song and dance, the performance captures the excitement and humor of the times and salutes its importance in the formation and growth of American musical and theatrical culture.

Admission: Orchestra: $45 general / $35 members
Tier 2: $38 general / $30 members / $25 students or 212-864-5400

Click here to order tickets!

March Media Madness!

April 3, 2011

(c) 2011 Marilyn Stern /

St. Patrick’s Day events plus our CD launch had the WSHSO strummin’ and singin’ all around town! We were heard on the airwaves. Our name appeared in newspapers and on the internet.  Our CD was listed by various distributors.  It was awesome!!  Just look at the magnitude of media coverage we received, all in one month!!

On March 2

The Irish Arts Center posted Sweet Dublin Bay, a track from our new CD, on YouTube.  A couple of weeks earlier the IAC had uploaded Arrah, Come In Out of the Rain Barney McShane as well.

Daniel Neely announced the arrival of our CD with a post on his blog, Daniel T. Neely | Ba uafásach an torann…

Since Maggie Dooley Learned the Hooley Hooley was listed on The Session.  For anyone not familiar with it, The Session is a website heavily used by people who play traditional Irish music.

On March 6

The WSHSO was the guest artist on the Ceol na nGael radio program on Fordham University’s radio station, WFUV, 90.7 FM.  We were on the air for about 25 minutes.  Click HERE to hear our portion of the program.

On March 10

The WSHSO performed in the Irish Heritage Concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue.

photo by Scott Spencer, used with permission

The photo above was taken during the performance.  The WSHSO rank and file is lined up in front of the high altar, behind (left to right) Daniel Neely, Jerry O’Sullivan, Dana Lyn, Billy McComisky, Mick Moloney, Athena Tergis, and Brendan Dolan.

Better pictures of us can be seen in the 3-minute video published on a website called Currents,  a daily online Catholic News magazine.  Mick Moloney is interviewed, and there’s footage of the WSHSO at the end.  Have a look!

An Irish Concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral – 3/17/11 : Currents

CDBaby became the first distributor to offer Since Maggie Dooley learned the Hooley Hooley, both in “hard copy” and digital download.

On March 11

The WSHSO was part of the Tribute to the Famous McNultys at Symphony Space on Manhattan’s upper west side.  Paul Keating’s positive review of the McNulty concert appeared in the Irish Voice and on

Gwen Orel also wrote a lovely post about the McNulty concert (which includes lots of photos) on her New York Irish Arts blog.

The WSHSO was included in the New York Times mention of the Tribute to the Famous McNultys in the Weekend Miser column.

Since Maggie Dooley Learned the Hooley Hooley became available on DigStation, another digital download site.

On March 12

The WSHSO provided music at the reception following the Gaelic mass at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Greenwich Village.  Note the CDs for sale on the banjo case!

Photo belonging to Lisa Farber, used with permission

The link below will take you to another 3-minute video from the Currents website with footage of the WSHSO and an explanation of the importance of a Gaelic mass.

A Mass in Ireland’s Mother Tongue – 3/17/11 : Currents

Deborah Kapchan, one of the WSHSO’s flute players, made a video of our performance as well.  Click HERE for a look at that video which was posted on our Facebook page.

Our appearance at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral was also mentioned on a blog called Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City.

On March 18

The WSHSO launched Since Maggie Dooley Learned the Hooley Hooley in the Blarney Star Concert Series at Glucksman Ireland House.  Ireland House was packed to overflowing.  There was a reception before the concert, with more food and drink available at the break and at the end.  Lots of CDs were sold, and a great time was had by all.

(c) 2011 Marilyn Stern /

In anticipation of the CD launch, Paul Keating wrote a rave review of Since Maggie Dooley Learned the Hooley Hooley.

Gwen Orel also said nice things about the Blarney Star CD launch concert on her New York Irish Arts blog.

Additionally, Gwen interviewed Daniel Neely in her March 18th podcast.

The WSHSO was pleased to see our CD launch concert at the top of the list of This Weekend’s Best Events – March 18-20 in The Daily News.

WSHSO flute player Linda Mason Hood published a post about the CD launch concert on her blog entitled truffles, turtles & tunes.

Naturally, we put up a post on our own as well.  It’s HERE.

Photographer Marilyn Stern took some wonderful pictures that night.  Here’s a montage that includes everyone in the group.

(c) 2011 Marilyn Stern /

On March 20

Linda Mason Hood updated her blog’s summary of St. Patrick’s Day performances with pictures from each event.

On March 24

Since Maggie Dooley Learned the Hooley Hooley became available on iTunes!!

On March 25

Daniel Neely published a post on his blog about how to purchase Since Maggie Dooley Learned the Hooley Hooley … and in his own unique style explained why buying our CD is such a very, very good idea!!  Click HERE to read Dan’s amusing post.

On March 28

Irish Music, an online magazine, reported that the WSHSO had launched a new CD.

On March 30

The WSHSO Myspace site was updated with a tunes from our new CD.  Click HERE to go to our Myspace site.

On March 31

Since Maggie Dooley Learned the Hooley Hooley made its debut on on eMusic.

Ongoing Updates

Our Facebook page gets regular updates.  Everyone has full access to this page even if you don’t “do” Facebook.  (We tested it, and it’s true!!)  Click HERE to browse, and if you’re on Facebook and you didn’t LIKE yet, what are you waiting for?!

Yes, it has been a whirlwind month, and all of us have loved every minute of it.  We hope you were able to share in the fun in one form or another.  Thanks to all the journalists and bloggers who catapulted the WSHSO into the spotlight.  Thanks to all the photographers who took pictures.  Thanks to the Irish Arts Center for their hospitality at the McNulty concert and to Glucksman Ireland House for champagne after our CD launch. And heartfelt thanks to our families, friends, and supporters for attending our concerts, buying us drinks, buying our CD, and celebrating with us in a multitude of ways.  We have a few more gigs before we disband for the summer so, while the pace may be slowing down a bit, it ain’t over yet!!!

Irish Arts Center, in association with
American Irish Historical Society | Archives of Irish American/Tamiment Library—New York University | Glucksman Ireland House—New York University | The Irish Repertory Theatre presents

A Tribute to the Famous McNultys: The First Family of Irish Music

A Concert Featuring
Mick Moloney
and an All-Star Line Up


Julie Feeney | Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks | The Green Fields of America: Mick
Moloney, Athena Tergis, Billy McComiskey, Brendan Dolan and Jerry O’Sullivan | Courtney
Grogan | Dermot Henry | Dana Lyn and her String Quartet | The Niall O’Leary School of
Irish Dance | Mary O’Dowd | Jerry Timlin | The Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra

Read the rest of this entry »

WSHSOTownHallAs those of you keeping track at home know, Mick Moloney formed the WSHSO in 2000 at which point, it would be fair to say, we weren’t reaching for the standard we do now.  But our first taste of a bigger stage came in 2001 when we took part in a concert at New York’s famous Town Hall.  Need evidence?  Well, click on the image at right to see the cover of the evening’s program!  On the inside, you can find the names of the person who were in the group at the time. (This is good, because without this I wouldn’t have remembered!)


The scan is a little small, so I took the liberty of copying the relevant paragraph out to make it easier to read:

The Washington Square Harp & Shamrock Orchestra–whose members are mostly new to Irish music–was created at NYU last year by Dr. Moloney–who teaches the repertoire in the traditional way–by ear.  Members include: Scott Barlow/Drew McKeon mandolins; Wm Cooley/Scott Spencer/Diane Hodson tin whistles; Gloria Lee/Joanna Schneider pianos; Juliana Trivers/Jennifer McGrath fiddles; Dan Neely/John Runowicz guitars.

You can download the whole program as a PDF by clicking here: Town Hall, April 2001. Beware, it’s kind of a large file (about 7 MB)

Here’s a photo taken backstage at Symphony Space after the memorial for Frank McCourt on October 6, 2009.  This event was a great tribute to a great man, and we were honored to be part of it.   Photographer James Higgins has certainly captured the thrill of moment – a high point in our group’s history.  Just look at these happy faces!

WSHSO Remembers Frank McCourt

Left to right:  Liz Kennedy, Jimmy Crowley, Linda Hood, Mick Moloney, Daniel Neely, Malachy McCourt, David Amram, Tony Horswill, Kate Bowerman.  (Gail Neely and Brendan Dolan played too, but somehow they missed the photo op.)

Frank McCourt Memorial

October 9, 2009


On October 6th, a pared-down WSHSO played with Jimmy Crowley at Symphony Space for the big Frank McCourt Memorial Concert.  You couldn’t spit without hitting a Pulitzer prize winner or some kind of celebrity–literary or otherwise.  It just seemed like everyone who could have been there was.  And it was totally amazing in every way (this includes, I should mention, the dinner  afterward at O’Neal’s on 65th where the session cracked along–it seemed like every member of the McCourt family came and sang something). But don’t just take my word for it!  Symphony Space has posted a video of the entire event on their website!  It will only be there until November 4th, so watch it soon! Normally I would just embed the video, but their site doesn’t seem to allow that, so if you’re interested in seeing it (and really, why wouldn’t you be), click here:

The Frank McCourt Memorial at Symphony Space (the WSHSO appears in the last ten minutes or so)

For a followup post containing a picture taken backstage afterwards, click here.