Columbia will be the stage for the all-world, all-Ireland and all-world junior step-dancing champions Friday at the Evening of Irish Music and Poetry.
The Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo) is sponsoring the 21st annual event at 8 p.m. at the Jim Rouse Theatre for the Performing Arts at Wilde Lake High School.
Paul Cusick, the all-world champion, was the first American male to win the all-Ireland championship, the oldest Irish dance competition on record.
Last month, Patrick "Paddy" Quinn captured the all-Ireland title, and Michael Belvitch garnered the all-world championship title in the junior division.
All three young men will join the cast of the international dance show "Riverdance" upon graduation from high school.
Also on hand will be acclaimed Irish writer and journalist Colm Toibin, who will read selections from his work. Toibin will be introduced by Sean O'Huiginn, Ireland's ambassador to the United States.
A number of musicians will perform, including Dominick Murray -- lead singer and guitarist for the traditional Irish band Celtic Thunder for 10 years -- and songwriter and button-accordion player Terry Winch.
Winch also is a writer and poet of note, having won an American Book Award in 1986 and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1992.
Linda Hickman -- also a Celtic Thunder founder, vocalist, flute and tin whistle player -- will join singer Cathie Ryan, who was voted Irish traditional female vocalist of the year last year by the Irish American News.
Fiddler Dave Abe and singer Nita Korn, both of whom have performed with Celtic Thunder for HoCoPoLitSo in the past, will round out the evening's musical talent.
Tickets are $20 at the door; $21 with a credit card by calling 410- 730-1802 and pressing 2. Information: HoCoPoLitSo, 410-730-7524 or 301-596-6183.
Pub Date: 2/14/99