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St. Louis Irish Arts Performs Traditional Music and Dance


Coming off the heels of March – Irish Heritage month, Mineral Area Council on the Arts will bring St. Louis Irish Arts to Park Hills on Saturday, April 4th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Central High School Auditorium. The event will feature Irish dancers and live traditional music with narration that will lead us through the story of Ireland.

Dr. PJ Gannon with his wife Helen, came to St. Louis, Missouri in 1967 from Dunmore, Co. Galway, Ireland.  The couple grew up playing music and dancing, as they were taught the Irish way, from generation to generation or “ó ghlúin go ghlúin” meaning literally knee to knee.  With few first-generation emigrants living in the St. Louis area, they quickly realized the need to keep the traditional Irish arts alive and began teaching their own children and others music and dance of Ireland.  In 1973, St. Louis Irish Arts, Inc. joined Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the “Society of the Musicians of Ireland.”

Although there were other dance classes and interest in traditional Irish music, in 1987, Helen Gannon, the owner and president of St. Louis Irish Arts, became the first TCRG certified dance instructor in the area.  TCRG is the abbreviation for the Gaelic Teagascóir Choimisiúin le Rinci Gaelacha, which is interpreted “certified Irish dance teacher.”  Mrs. Gannon has been named one of the Top 100 Irish Americans by Irish America Magazine.  She has received the Lifetime Achievement award by Grand Center St. Louis and the Inspiration Award by Congress, and she is a member of the North American Feis Commission Hall of Fame.

The school boasts of award-winning step dancers and traditional musicians lauded in both the United States and Ireland. They will bring to Park Hills several dancers and live traditional music played on instruments such as the harp, fiddle, concertina, and tin whistle.  With her lyrical lilting Irish accent, Mrs. Gannon will guide us through the evening as the narrator.

Tickets are $8 adults / $5 students and available now at the Mineral Area College Bookstore or at here at

For more information call 573-518-2125 or email