Cherish the Ladies bring a bit of Ireland to Wingate

Cherish the Ladies
Contact: Kim Williams
Communications Writer 704-233-8320

Wingate, N.C. – Named Best Musical Group of the Year by the BBC, the traditional Irish band Cherish the Ladies bring their unique blend of music, stories and step dancing to Wingate University’s McGee Theatre in the Batte Center on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

When describing Cherish the Ladies, the critics say it best – “It is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn’t enjoy what they do,” The Boston Globe, “An astonishing array of virtuosity,” The Washington Post, “Expands the annals of Irish music in America…the music is passionate, tender and rambunctious,” The New York Times.

For eighteen years, Cherish the Ladies have proven themselves worthy of these accolades as one of the most engaging and sought-after Irish-American group in Celtic music today. They have been named Best Musical Group of the Year by the BBC,
Entertainment Group of the Year by the Irish Voice Newspaper, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall's International Group of the Year Award at the Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland and voted the Top North American Celtic act by NPR Radio’s “Thistle and Shamrock”.

Organized by folklorist/musician Mick Moloney and sponsored by the Ethnic Folk Arts Center and the National Endowment for the Arts, Cherish the Ladies began as a concert series featuring the brightest lights in traditional Irish music. Taking their name from the name of a traditional Irish jig, the group initially won recognition as the first and only all-women traditional Irish band.

Under the leadership of Joanie Madden, they soon established themselves as musicians and performers and have won many thousands of listeners and fans of their music. With a unique blend of virtuosi instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing, this powerhouse group combines all the facets of Irish traditional culture and puts it forth in an immensely humorous and entertaining package.

Joanie Madden is the award winning whistle and flute player who has been the leader of Cherish the Ladies since its inception. Born in New York of Irish parents, she is the second oldest of seven children raised in a musical household; her mother Helen, a dancer of traditional sets hails from Miltown Malbay, County Clare and her father Joe, an All-Ireland Champion on the accordion, comes from Portumna in East Galway. Joanie became the first American to win the coveted Senior All-Ireland Championship on the whistle.

The Ladies have recorded fourteen highly acclaimed albums which were all released to rave reviews including their Christmas Album which was chosen as one of the top Albums of the Year by The New York Times, Washington Post, The Village Voice and many other nationally syndicated newspapers and their latest album "Country Crossroads" recorded in Nashville and featuring guest stars Vince Gill, Nanci Griffith and Maura O'Connell.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at or by calling the Batte Center Box Office at 704-233-8300 or Carolina Tix at 704-372-1000. To learn more about Cherish the Ladies, visit or .

The Batte Center
Opened in 1999, the George A. Batte, Jr. Fine Arts Center presents events in the McGee Theatre, Plyer-Griffin Recital Hall and Austin Auditorium. Located just a short five minute drive from Monroe, The Batte is just 2 blocks off of Highway 74 and only 30 miles east of Charlotte. Free parking is plentiful and all three performance spaces offer full wheelchair accessibility.

Wingate University
Wingate University, ranked as the 6th "best value" in the South by U.S. News & World Report, serves nearly 2,700 students on three campuses in Wingate, Matthews and Hendersonville, N.C. Founded in 1896, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors, 37 minors and career concentrations, numerous pre-professional programs, graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration, and doctorates in pharmacy and education. With a 14 to 1 student/teacher ratio, Wingate students gain the tools and support needed to excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary career and life.

In addition to a robust intramural athletics program, Wingate student athletes compete in 22 NCAA Division II sports. The University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past six years. For more information, go to