Date:   11/8/2012

Switchback to perform

Switchback's Brian FitzGerald and Marty McCormack will give a special holiday performance and engage the audience in an old-fashioned sing-along with their “Midwestern Christmas” concert at the historic Thrasher Opera House on Saturday, December 8. Included in the show will be yuletide favorites such as, “Oh, Holy Night,” “Jingle Bells” andAway in the Manger” from their holiday CD "A Very Switchback Christmas", as well as Irish melodies, lively reels and jigs, and original songs.


Switchback has been entertaining audiences around the world with their unique American Roots music blended with Celtic Soul for over two decades. In 1986, FitzGerald was a mandolin student of Jethro Burns and had already been touring with Clifton Chenier when he met McCormack, an award-winning voice student of Whelma Oshiem at the American Conservatory of Chicago and a member of the Star Search selected band Beyond Blue. They were both chosen by legendary County Kerry composer and concertina master Terrence 'Cuz' Teahan to join his traditional Irish group. Teahan taught FitzGerald and McCormack the old country techniques of Irish musical entertainment, making them one of the last generations to be directly influenced by a master of this musical genre.


Their first album was literally a commercial success, with Chevrolet using one of the songs to promote their Chevy Blazer. Their music eventually reached the ear of Grammy-winning producer Lloyd Maines, who then produced several albums for the band, with The Fire That Burns being selected as one of Performing Songwriter Magazine's top choices for 2003.


Switchback can be heard at festivals and venues from coast to coast, playing over 200 engagements a year. Their music is frequently played on radio stations such as RTE Radio One with Pat Kenny in Dublin, Ireland and can be seen on Public Broadcasting Television stations throughout the United States. In addition, they annually tour Ireland and frequently perform at the Westport, County Mayo pub owned by The Chieftain's Matt Malloy, who often appears there as well.


Wherever they play, no matter the size or age of audience, Switchback always captivates and charms folks with their energy and creativity.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Alliant Energy Foundation, the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Accommodations provided by The Heidel House Resort & Spa.

Tickets for this special holiday entertainment are only $13 and available at the Thrasher office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake Bank (Green Lake); Pick N’ Save, Ripon Drug (Ripon); Twister (Princeton) or by calling (920) 294-4279.  Online tickets available at


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