Fox’s Pizza, Guinness, the Cork and Kerry Irish Pub, Flood Brothers Disposal and Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 present the Hibernian Radio Hour as we take a break from our First Responders Tour at The Cork and Kerry Pub this week for a special Irish music show. Our first guest is Bella Barnwell who has been playing the button accordion with the Murphy Roche School of Irish Music for 5 years. Bella is from La Grange and began playing the fiddle but soon became interested in the button accordion and switched instruments. She is going into 8th grade and chats to Houli about participating in music sessions over Zoom during the pandemic. She is a very accomplished musician who won 1st place in the U12 Midwest Fleadh Cheoil in 2019 and competed in both the 2018 & 2019 Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. Bella’s father, Rory, hails from Tullamore in County Offaly and some of her family will be visiting her grandparents there this summer. We then take a musical break with an array of live Irish tunes from Bela on the button accordion.
Our second guest, Emma Strong, has been a member of the Murphy Roche School of Irish Music since she was 6 years old and is a highly decorated musician having won 1st place in the U12 Midwest Fleadh Cheoil with the fiddle both in 2018 and 2019 as well as placing 3rd in categories for the fiddle, harp and accompaniment in 2016. She is a member of the U12 Ceili Band that placed first in 2018 and has many more awards under her belt. Emma has even played onstage with Gaelic Storm during the encore so it’s safe to say this girl is going places! She discusses her other love for classical music with Houli and chats about what it’s like to be a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Emma has a twin brother, Max and they’re both going into Freshman Year at Riverside Brookfield High School. We then take another musical break with an array of lively dance tunes by Emma on the fiddle and Bella on the button accordion. We are delighted to have these talented ladies as guests to share their musical talents with the listeners! Houli then brings us up to date on the latest Irish-American news including his upcoming trip to Ireland in October with Gaelic Storm’s Katie Grennan and the Emerald Society’s Ribfest at the FOP Lodge on Monday, July 19th. Houli then brings us up to date on the recent obituaries and we take another musical break with “Don’t Let the Truth Get In the Way Of A Good Story” by Gaelic Storm. We then take one final trip to “Houli-Town’ to end a very special musical show this week!