TITLE: The Gannon Family
SPEAKER: Gannon Family
EVENT DATE: 2006/11/15
RUNNING TIME: 70 minutes
The Gannon Family performs Irish music and dance from Missouri, another in the Homegrown Concert Series sponsored by the American Folklife Center.
Speaker Biography: Helen and Patrick Gannon emigrated from Ireland in 1967. Since then, they have brought traditional Irish music, song and dance to thousands of children and families nationwide. They are also accomplished teachers, sharing their tradition each week with more than 100 current students in the St. Louis Irish Arts school of music, song and dance. Their students have won more than 35 all-Ireland championship medals, and 66 Congressional award medals, 14 of which are gold medals. This concert presented three generations of an accomplished musical family. Patrick was the all-Ireland champion on harmonica in 1980 and 1981, and Helen became the first commissioned Irish dance teacher in Missouri in 1987. Helen and Patrick's daughter, Eileen, became all-Ireland champion on Irish harp in 2000, and their son Niall won the senior ensemble (groupai cheoil) competition in 2004. Eileen's husband Kurt plays piano and guitar, and Niall's wife Gretchen is the family's singer. Niall and Gretchen's daughters, Riley and Fiona, are accomplished on fiddle, concertina and whistle. Family friend Tommy Martin, a piper, rounds out the group.