Profile of a Performer: Celtic Thunder

Original Celtic Thunder Group
Original Celtic Thunder Group

Celtic Thunder is an Irish singing group that is known for their theatrical shows.

The show was created and is produced by Sharon Browne, who was a creator and producer for Celtic Woman in 2004.

The group made their debut in August 2007 at The Helix in Dublin, Ireland.

Phil Coulter, was their musical director, for the first seven years of the group’s history.

The original group consisted of Damian McGinty {the youngest member at the time}, Ryan Kelly, George Donaldson, Keith Harkin and Paul Byrom.

Paul Byrom was the first to leave the group in 2010.  He now has a solo career and after living in New York City for several years, returned to his native Ireland.  He continues to share his ballads around the world.

Damian McGinty left the group when he joined the cast of Glee, after winning The Glee Project.  He returned to Celtic Thunder as a guests artists this year.

Current Celtic Thunder Group
Current Celtic Thunder Group

Ryan Kelly was temporarily unavailable to tour, following a fall in 2012.   He has toured regularly since his recovery.

Fans were saddened to learn of the death of the Scotsman of the group, George Donaldson, in March 2014.

The group has released twelve albums through the years.  Their first three albums placed in the Top 10 for World Albums.

The group is often seen at St. Patrick’s Day Parades and on QVC and other news programs around the Irish holiday.

They have an eclectic mix of music featuring both group and solo performances.  Their vocal selections include Irish, Scottish, Pop and instrumental music.

The men are backed up by an onstage orchestra and an occasional dancer.

Daniel Furlong and Emmet Cahill have also performed with the group but since left to pursue other interest.

Along with Ryan Kelly and Keith Harkin the group currently consist of Colm Keegan and Emmett O’Hanion.  Neil Bryne does double duty as not only a featured soloist, but also accompanying on the guitar.

Many of the men have also released solo albums.

When music director Phil Coulter left, the reins were taken over by David Munro.

One thing fans of the group can be sure of is that they will never be bored.   Celtic Thunder is theatrical musical theatre at it’s best, including a rousing opening number and patriotic closer.

Everyone can be sure to find a song or performer they will enjoy.