|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2011)|
|Genres||Folk, adult contemporary, world music, soft rock, Broadway, classical crossover|
|Years active||Original: 1977–present; second group: 2007–present|
|Website||The Original Celtic Thunder, Official website,|
|Past members||Paul Byrom
Celtic Thunder is an Irish singing group composed of soloists who perform both solo and ensemble numbers. The band is known for its specials on PBS.
Celtic Thunder is known for its eclectic style with songs ranging from a soloist to an ensemble focus. The group is backed by the Celtic Thunder Band on their concert tours, and their live shows are known for the use of dramatic effects via lighting and choreography as well as a stage set resembling an ancient stone pathway suggestive of those referenced in Celtic lore.
Since the original band's formation in 2007, Celtic Thunder has released nine albums: Celtic Thunder, Act Two, Take Me Home, It's Entertainment, Christmas, Heritage, Storm, Voyage, and Voyage II, as well as eight live performances on DVD entitled Celtic Thunder: The Show, Take Me Home, It's Entertainment!, Christmas, Heritage, Storm, Voyage and Voyage II
In December 2009, Billboard magazine named Celtic Thunder Top World Album Artist. Their first three albums also placed in the Top 10 for World Albums.
In March 2009, Celtic Thunder opened the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in New York City, and later that day performed for President Obama, Michelle Obama and the then Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, at the White House.
On November 28, 2010, Celtic Thunder member Paul Byrom announced his resignation from the group to begin a solo career. He left the group when the 2010 concert tour was over. Byrom released his album "This is the Moment" in November 2011 which went to number one on the World music charts and embarked on a solo tour of the United States and Toronto, Canada which spanned the continent from Portland, Oregon to BB King's in New York City. He has also appeared as a singer of the National Anthem at Boston Celtics' games. In March of 2013 he recorded his first PBS special to be aired later in the year.
In 2011, Damian McGinty (the group's youngest member) entered and won the Oxygen reality show The Glee Project. On August 21, 2011, Damian McGinty announced on The Glee Project's Live Viewing Party, that he would be stepping down from Celtic Thunder due to his new role on Glee.
On October 15, 2012, Celtic Thunder performed at The Pentagon.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2011)|
The current members of Celtic Thunder are (in alphabetical order of family name):
- Neil Byrne, (born November 16, 1977) is from County Wicklow, Ireland. After playing guitar and singing backup on the previous albums he sang in ensemble pieces and had a solo performance of Noreen on Heritage.
- Emmet Cahill (born October 18, 1990) is from Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland. He received a university degree in Music Performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Emmet auditioned for Celtic Thunder in June 2010 and was asked to join after Paul Byrom announced his resignation.
- George Donaldson (born February 1, 1970), is the oldest member of the group and is a well-known balladeer, guitarist and flautist from Glasgow, Scotland. Donaldson is a bus builder by trade and is self-taught as a musician. At Scotland's Celtic Park, Donaldson played to 65,000 fans at the opening match of the 2000-2001 season. Donaldson is married and has one daughter, Sarah. George released his new solo album "The World In My Mind" in April/May 2013.
- Keith Harkin (born June 10, 1986), is from Derry, Northern Ireland. He plays the guitar and piano and has written one of the songs for Celtic Thunder: "Lauren and I". Keith has recorded original songs apart from Celtic Thunder; some titles include: "Rosa" and "All Day Long". He released a solo album in Canada on September 4, 2012 and in the United States on September 18, 2012.
- Colm Keegan (born August 2, 1989) is from Dublin. He attended University College Dublin on a music scholarship, graduating in 2011 with an honors degree in Music and Irish. Colm joined Celtic Thunder in May 2012 as a new vocalist, after successfully making it through auditions. He was formerly a member of the Aontas Choral Ensemble, who are known for their work with Celtic Woman. Colm appeared in the Celtic Woman DVDs 'Songs From The Heart' (2009) and 'Believe' (2011).
- Ryan Kelly (born November 6, 1978), is from The Moy, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. He holds two degrees from the Queen's University Belfast, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and also a Graduate Diploma in Advanced Accounting, qualifying Ryan to be a chartered accountant. In the fall of 2010 Ryan released his solo album "In Time". 
The past members of Celtic Thunder are (in alphabetical order of family name):
- Paul Byrom (born April 11, 1979) is from Dublin, Ireland. In addition to Celtic Thunder, he has also performed at major sporting events in Ireland and abroad, including singing at the All Ireland Finals in Dublin's Croke Park and at Heinz Field for a Pittsburgh Steelers game in the USA. He has also performed for Ireland's President, Mary McAleese, and for Emperor Akihito of Japan. Paul has released two albums: Velvet and I'll Be Home For Christmas. Paul resigned to pursue a solo career in the US and left the group after the 2010 Celtic Thunder tour was over. He was replaced by Emmet Cahill. In December 2011, he released a CD "This Is The Moment". He released the DVD two years later with a PBS Special. Paul and long time girlfriend Dominique Coulter were married August 30,2013 in his hometown of Blackrock, Ireland. 
- Daniel Furlong (born January 3, 1998), is from Taghmon, County Wexford, Ireland. He was a guest member for Celtic Thunder during the 2011 Voyage Tour. He is a boy soprano and he was discovered when he entered a talent competition ("The All Ireland Talent Show") at the age of twelve and won. He won his first singing contest at the age of seven. In November 2011, Daniel released his CD "Voice of an Angel".
- Damian McGinty (born September 9, 1992), had been the youngest member of the group until being replaced by the 13-year-old Daniel Furlong. He is from Derry, Northern Ireland. He won his first singing contest at the age of five. He recorded the first Celtic Thunder album when he was fourteen years old. McGinty lists Michael Buble, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra among his inspirations. On April 29, 2011 it was announced that Damian was chosen as one of 12 contenders for The Glee Project, a reality series on the Oxygen Network. He tied for first and had a guest starring role in the third season of the Fox hit TV show Glee. He debuted on Glee season 3 episode 4 Pot o' Gold. Though originally awarded a seven-episode arc, his run-time was later extended to 16 episodes including a guest appearance in season 4's Glee Actually. In the summer of 2013 Damian joined Paul Byrom for "The Me and My Shadow" Tour.
Concerts, tours, and discography
On December 17, 2008, Celtic Thunder completed their 2008 US tour of fifty cities. They also toured the United States extensively in the fall of 2009, and plan to perform across the US in the fall of 2010. For spring 2009 they focused on touring Canada, while also playing some concerts in the north-eastern US.
During their 2008 fall tour, Celtic Thunder sold over 125,000 tickets in forty-nine shows and placed twentieth in the poll Star Tour Poll.
Celtic Thunder's first studio album and first concert special DVD were released on March 18, 2008. The album was titled Celtic Thunder and the concert special was titled The Show. It was filmed at The Helix in Dublin, Ireland, on August 2007.
The second studio album was released on September 16, 2008, titled Act Two. It included the rest of the songs from The Show.
The third studio album and second concert special DVD, both titled Take Me Home, were released July 14, 2009. Take Me Home was filmed at Casino Rama, Orillia (north of Toronto) while the group was on tour in 2009. It is considered a live concert DVD rather than a studio production.
The fourth studio album and third concert special DVD, both titled It's Entertainment!, were released on February 9, 2010. It was filmed alongside Storm at the Toronto International Centre Hall 5 (aka Arrow Hall), Toronto, Ontario, on October 1, 2009, and October 2, 2009.
After It's Entertainment!, Celtic Thunder fans sent many requests to Sharon Browne for a Christmas-themed album and an album containing more Irish music. Through these efforts, Christmas and Heritage came to be, postponing the release of Storm.
The fifth studio album, titled Christmas, was released on October 12, 2010, and the concert special DVD, also titled Christmas, was released on November 22, 2010. Christmas was filmed alongside Heritage at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York, on September 17, 2010.
The sixth studio album and fifth concert special DVD titled Heritage was released on February 22, 2011. Heritage was filmed alongside Christmas at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York, on September 17, 2010.
The seventh studio album and sixth DVD, titled Storm, was released on September 20, 2011 (originally recorded in 2009). Storm, unlike Celtic Thunder's other DVDs, is not just a filmed concert but has a storyline, an elaborate set establishing a location, and costumes which help to define the singers' and dancers' characters within the story. It makes use of the It's Entertainment cast which is Celtic Thunder's largest to date (25) and adds singer Dierdre Shannon.
The eight studio album and seventh concert special DVD are currently titled Voyage, and was released on February 28, 2012. It was originally set to be filmed on September 27, 2011, but due to changes, this filming was cancelled. Searching for a new venue began on October 3, 2011, and resulted in a filming date of October 18, 2011, in Kansas City, Missouri at the Midland Theater.
The eighth concert special DVD, companion DVD to Voyage for online purchase only, is titled Voyage II and was released on June 25, 2012. The CD of the same name was released on September 1, 2012, not available in stores.
The 2012 Celtic Thunder North American tour is being called a "best of" or "greatest hits" tour.
The ninth concert DVD special is called "Mythology". It was filmed in early 2013 at the Helix Theater in Dublin, Ireland. Featuring a Celtic Cross, the stage setting is one of the most ambitious. The tour starts in August 2013 in Canada, then they will head to the United States, and later finish out their tour in Australia and Tasmania.
Other bands by the same name
The Celtic Thunder played its first show in May 1977 at the Harp Pub in Baltimore, and went on to become one of the most influential traditional music groups in the U.S. Called "a great Irish band" by the Village Voice and "one of the best Irish folk acts in America" by The Washington Post, Celtic Thunder has released three albums. The band's second album, The Light of Other Days, won the Indie award for Best Celtic Album.
The band's founders are brothers Jesse Winch (bodhran, bouzouki, guitar, harmonica) and Terry Winch (button accordion). The Winches, first generation Americans, learned their craft alongside their father, Patrick Winch, and his friend P.J. Conway, as they played for traditional Irish ceilis in New York City in the 1950s.
Along with another original member, Linda Hickman (flute, whistle, vocals), the band has featured Laura Murphy (lead vocals), Regan Wick (piano, Irish step-dance), Nita Conley (vocals, guitar, piano), Steve Hickman (fiddle, harmonica, vocals), Tony DeMarco (fiddle), Dominick Murray (vocals, guitar), Rob Thornburgh (fiddle, vocals), Marty Somberg (fiddle), and Patrick Orseau (fiddle).
The original Celtic Thunder was able to retain rights to the name after submitting to a non-competition agreement with the Celtic Thunder Production.
- Celtic Thunder, the first album/DVD, was released on March 18, 2008.
- Act Two, the second album, was released on September 16, 2008.
- Take Me Home, the third album/second DVD, was released on July 14, 2009.
- It's Entertainment!, the fourth album/third DVD, was released on February 9, 2010.
- Christmas, the fifth album/fourth DVD, was released on October 12, 2010.
- Heritage, the sixth album/fifth DVD, was released on February 22, 2011.
- Storm, the seventh album/sixth DVD, was released on September 20, 2011.
- Heartland, the eighth album, was released on February 28, 2012.
- Voyage, the ninth album/seventh DVD, was released on February 28, 2012.
- Voyage II, the tenth album/eighth DVD, was released on June 25, 2012 (album on September 1, 2012). (For online purchase only)
- Mythology, the eleventh album/ninth DVD, was released in 2013.
- Christmas Voices, the twelfth album, will be released in October, 2013.
- Celtic Thunder (2008-06-30). "The Show in". Celtic Thunder. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
- 21, WLIW (2008-06-30). "Celtic Thunder in Dublin". WLIW21. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
- "Celtic Thunder Storms America". reuters.com. March 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
- The Glee Project
- Celtic Thunder (2011-05-12). "Ryan Kelly's blog". Celtic Thunder. Retrieved 2011-05-26.
- Celtic Thunder (2011-08-22). "Wow, What A Night - August 22, 2011 in". Celtic Thunder. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- Celtic Thunder. "Celtic Thunder - Artists". Celtic Thunder. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
- "Individuality". The Glee Project. Season 1. Episode 1. June 12, 2011. 12:07 minutes in. Oxygen.
- Celtic Thunder (2010-03-17). "Celtic Thunder Tour Dates in". Tour Dates. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
- Official website
- Damian McGinty's profile at the Glee Project website