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Friday, January 11, 2019

Irish Pipers Club of Boston Holds First Concert on January 11, 1910 in Boston's South End

Photo courtesy of Lives of the Pipers

The first concert of the newly-formed Irish Pipers' Club of Boston was held at Wells Memorial Hall on Tuesday, January 11, 1910, part of a cultural explosion of Irish music, dance, language and arts taking place in Boston in the early 20th century.   

The concert was significant for Irish music historians because it included notable uilleann pipers Michael and William Hanafin and John Nolan.  And guests in the audience were identified as Sergeant James Early of the Irish Music Club of Chicago and Patsy Touhey, who was born in Galway and grew up in South Boston. Touhey was considered by many to be the finest piper of his generation.

Other performers at the concert included singer Peter O'Neill, Irish step dancer James Cahill and the Irish Choral Society, led by director Charles F. Forrester, according to the Republic Newspaper, an Irish Catholic paper owned by John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, the grandfather of President John F. Kennedy.  

Wells Memorial Hall was located at 978 Washington Street in Boston's South End, then a heavily Irish neighborhood.  

For more about Irish music in Boston, see Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past

For details on Irish cultural activities in greater Boston, visit   

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