PORTLAND – World-renowned male vocal group Celtic Thunder, first heard by American audiences last March on a public television special and subsequent CD, DVD and tour, will perform April 6 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The group will launch its 30-date tour of the United States and Canada, produced by AEG Live, on March 21 in Syracuse, N.Y. Concert tickets, $37.50 and $55, go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 13. They may be purchased at the civic center, by calling the center at 775-3458 and at www.ticketmaster.com.

Making up the group are five Celtic male vocalists from Ireland and Scotland, ranging in age from 16 to 40: Paul Byrom, George Donaldson, Keith Harkin, Ryan Kelly and Damian McGinty.

From rousing ensemble numbers to solos showcasing each members’ vocal style and personality, Celtic Thunder performs ballads, popular hits and heartwarming songs of love and loss from across the Celtic music spectrum – Irish, Scottish, traditional and contemporary.

Celtic Thunder creator/producer Sharon Browne teamed up with legendary Irish composer and musical director Phil Coulter to craft an eclectic set list of music, including traditional songs, pop classics by the Eagles and the Moody Blues, and Coulter originals such as the Irish Rugby Football Union anthem.

The quintet also features a full band, including piano, string quartet and bagpipes, as well as expert choreography, dramatic lighting and other visual effects that enhance the musical production.

Celtic Thunder’s self-titled CD from its U.S. television special debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard World Music chart in March and went on to dominate until it was knocked off its perch by the second Celtic Thunder release, “Act II,” in September. This debut CD has spent a total of 44 weeks in the Top 5 ranks on the Billboard World Music Chart, and was named World Music Album of the Year for 2008. The group’s fall 2008 debut U.S. tour earned the No. 20 spot on Pollstar’s top tours of that year.

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