In 1910, Solas band leader Seamus Egan’s great-great uncle Michael Conway left his home in Co. Mayo, Ireland and boarded a ship for America. He was headed to the copper mines and boxing rings of Butte, Mont. aka Shamrock City named for the influx of Irish immigrants. Six years later, at the age of 25 and in a cloud of mystery, Conway was dead at the hands of local police.

Shamrock City, as seen through the eyes of Conway, tells the story of the thousands of young men and women who left behind their homes and families for “the Richest Hill on Earth.” It reveals their spirit, tenacity and humor, but also the hardships they faced: discrimination, corruption within the mining companies, an unknown and unforgiving land, a system that valued the few over the many.

One hundred years later, it’s their story, but the struggles of the working class and immigrants are the same. Shamrock City is for those then and now who believe in a better life, and are willing to risk it all for a chance at something more.

Fifteen years ago, Solas burst onto the Irish music scene and instantly became a beacon – an incandescent ensemble that found contemporary relevance in timeless traditions without clichés. Anchored by founding members Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (violins, vocals), Solas is rounded out by Mick McAuley (accordians, low whistle, concertina, vocals), Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals), and newest member and lead singer, Noriana Kennedy.

Through fresh and unexpected arrangements of age-old tunes, compelling and topical originals and covers, and unparalleled musicianship, Solas continues to define the path for the Celtic music world and drive the genre forward.

The evening’s performance will include the Shamrock City story and music as Act 1, followed by a second set of Solas’ traditional music in a concert setting. The evening is intended for all ages.

Advance tickets are $22; tickets are $27 if purchased on the day of the performance. The box office is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.Tuesday-Friday. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 633-5159. Doors open at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be available.

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