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Máiréad Nesbitt Of Celtic Woman: Last Ten Years Have Been A ‘Wonderful Journey’

Celtic Woman, Left to Right: Éabha McMahon, Susan McFadden, Máiréad Carlin, Máiréad Nesbitt

Celtic Woman, Left to Right: Éabha McMahon, Susan McFadden, Máséad Carlin, Máiréad Nesbitt Kip Carroll

The interview includes a substantial amount of Máiréad Nesbitt's music at the end. 

Máiréad Nesbitt is the only original member of the Irish group Celtic Woman, which started as a one-off PBS special over ten years ago. "It's been a great journey and PBS has been an amazing partner with us as well," she said. 

Máiréad Nesbitt of Celtic Woman

Máiréad Nesbitt 

Photo Credit: David Conger  

Illinois Public Media’s Amanda Honigfort talked with Nesbit and she said when the group comes to Champaign this weekend, they’ll be joined by a new member. "Her name is Éabha McMahon and she is absolutely a beautiful singer and a beautiful person," said Nesbitt. 

McMahon and Nesbitt will be joined onstage at the Virginia this Sunday by Susan McFadden and Máséad Carlin. “It’s going to be our most dynamic show to date. We have a lot of audience input and their like our fifth Celtic Woman. It’s very lively,” said Nesbitt. “Something for everyone I think.”

“I get to do a lot on stage with my own solos because I have a whole stage to myself! It’s a luxury and I just play off the energy I get from the audience.” 

Nesbitt is the group's fiddle player and plays a violin that is over 300 years old. A former All-Ireland fiddle champion, playing the violin runs in her family. "It's just like breathing to be brought up in the music," said Nesbitt. “It’s the ultimate communicator, I think.  

It's been a great journey and PBS has been an amazing partner with us.Máiréad Nesbitt

Celtic Woman has played in venues all over the world including the Pentagon and White House - a few times for a few different presidents. She says her favorite venue, though, is Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. "It's been a fantastic experience and I definitely don't think I'd of been able to do that in any other profession," said Nesbitt. 

She says her visit to the Pentagon allowed for one of the most memorable experiences of her career. While there she was able to talk with a soldier who had recently returned from combat. “He was an amputee, very young – only in his twenties – it was very enlightening talking to him. Very, very inspiring talking to him and all the young men and women who were there. A huge meaningful moment for me,” said Nesbitt.  

You can get an idea of what a performance is like for Máiréad Nesbitt from this GoPro video she and Celtic Woman released earlier this summer: