Traditional Irish sounds set to close out HBPA season


As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts will present the final concert in the 2019-20 season with Irish quintet Goitse at 7:30 p.m., Monday, March 9, at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus.

The name Goitse – pronounced “Go-wit-cha” – is an informal Gaelic Irish greeting that means “come here.” The group bids audiences to “come here” and enjoy the variety of instruments as well as award-winning vocals from Áine McGeeney, who was awarded Best Female Vocalist in 2016 by the Irish American News, in their own compositions and traditional Irish tunes. They have been praised by Irish Music Magazine with “music that’s brimming with energy and creative zeal.”

With artists coming together from Limerick, Ireland’s Irish World Academy, the group has become a leader of the new generation of traditional Irish ensembles. They have won several awards in their genre, including the Chicago Irish American News’ “Traditional Group of the Year” and “Group of the Year,” as well as the prestigious “Freiburger International Leiter 2016” award in Germany.

Along with the crystalline vocals from McGeeney, the group’s instrumentalists are also award-winning musicians. Colm Phelan holds titles as World and All-Ireland Bodhrán champion, and recent All-Ireland piano winner Tadhg Ó Meachair has won various awards in piano, piano accordion and accompaniment. Guitarist Conal O’Kane is recognized as one of the finest guitarists of his generation, and Alan Reid shines as a multi-instrumentalist on banjo, bouzouki, mandolin and oud.

Single tickets for Goitse are available starting at $23, with discounts available for senior citizens. Hesston College and Bethel College can attend for free. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 620-327-8105 or in person at the Hesston College Bookstore or Bethel College Thresher Shop during regular business hours.

Starting at 6:30 p.m. prior to showtime, HBPA season ticket holders are invited to the annual pie reception in the Hesston Mennonite Church Community Center. Single ticket holders may attend the pie reception for $5, payable at the door.

Started in 1982 as Hesston Performing Arts, the series expanded in 1998 when Hesston College joined forces with Bethel College for The Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts series. The series presents five performances by world-renowned or regionally acclaimed artists each year. HBPA is funded in part by the cities of Hesston and North Newton, Excel Industries and Hustler Turf Equipment (Hesston), the North Newton Community Foundation, the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Area businesses and patrons provide additional funding for the HBPA series.