By JOSHUA THOMAS
CANAJOHARIE — On Friday evening, attendees of the first-ever “A Celebration of Ireland” concert at Upstate Chapel (the former Sts. Peter and Paul Church), were treated to an eclectic evening of spirited performances by 11 talented local acts and individuals.
The tone of the performances ran the gamut from upbeat — with a performance by Judy Sinner being downright hilarious — to somber and contemplative.
While Upstate Chapel held its first concert only 15 months ago, attendees of the many shows that have taken place since already know that a show at the venue is a safe bet in terms of quality.
During Friday’s event, it felt like there was something in the air, and every single performance was flawless and engaging. From the organ prelude by Upstate Chapel owner Eric Stroud to the final performance by the Stonehouse Piper Misha Murdoch — playing the prelude “Londonderry Air” as he walked down the aisle, the sound of the bagpipes moving throughout the vast space — the evening’s music evoked nearly every emotion, from mournful sorrow to jubilation, all grounded by nostalgic melodies. The audience was rapt and utterly silent one moment, and the next they’d be clapping along in perfect unison, smiles on their faces.