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Evening of Irish music planned at Osakis High School

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There'll be an evening of Irish music at the Osakis High School auditorium on Saturday, February 21, to raise funds for St. Agnes Catholic School, according to school principal Tammy Boushek.

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The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.

The program will feature Skilly and Duff and Company, a group of area musicians who have staged about a dozen such shows over the past five years to benefit local non-profits. The group includes such seasoned musicians as Bruce Kelly and Annie O'Flynn of Elbow Lake, Terry Kennedy, Chuck Wencl and Michelle Wencl of Alexandria, Mikko Cowdery of Osakis, and 15-year-old fiddle wizard Sami Steidl of Carlos.

Among the younger performers are Brett Cowdery of Osakis and Lily Satterlee of Sauk Centre.

In addition, there will be songs by Lori Quistorff and Dana Hetland, both of Osakis, as well as dance performances by St. Agnes students under the guidance of Tonya Hetland.

And as a special treat, there will be an appearance by the Gibbons Lads, an Irish trio that has played many venues in the Twin Cities as well as outstate areas over the past several decades.

The Gibbons Lads are grandsons of the famed prizefighter Tommy Gibbons, the only man to go 15 rounds with Jack Dempsey. A very talented and successful heavyweight contender, Tommy Gibbons owned a cabin out by Early Inn Resort near Osakis, and used some of his prize fight winnings to pay the entire cost of the Immaculate Conception church in Osakis. So the Gibbons family has had close ties to the local parish for generations, and Tim and Pat Gibbons of St. Paul, and Jack Gibbons of Nelson, are pleased to be included in this show.

Boushek said the show promises to be a rollicking good time for a really good cause. It's an evening filled with songs and stories, penny whistles, Irish drum, accordion, mandolin, bouzouki, and other fun things. It's sure to set your toes tapping and your hands clapping. It's a perfect way to warm your heart after a long, long winter.

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