Monday, December 26, 2011


Dugan's Hooligans: The Farewell Concert

WHEN: Friday, December 30, at 8:00 PM
Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Rd, Morristown.
TICKETS: $7.00 per person at the door. For further information, call 973.335.9489, or visit

The concert, originally scheduled for September 2, was cancelled by Hurricane Irene and rescheduled. Opening will be Princeton's Cotillion Singers.

The performance is part of The Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series, sponsored by The Folk Project each Friday evening at The Fellowship.

Dugan's Hooligans is a family band, conceived as a Celtic Eclectic Ensemble, and a showcase for two talented young people: Fiddle Phenomenon Connor Dugan and Harpist/Tin Whistle player/Dancer/Vocalist Sharlys Dugan. The parents, George (Bodhran) and Nancy (Harp and Keyboards) Dugan, call it “parenting with a backbeat.” They act as roadies, arrangers, and accompanists. Onstage, they have so much fun it looks easy, but the kids are hard workers, highly trained, award-winning solo performers and musically disciplined. The Hooligans have been a local hit for years, but Connor is now at the Berklee School of Music, Sharlys will be entering college and it's time to move on.

Connor Dugan (right) started playing fiddle at the age of 6. The New York Times has described him as a”virtuoso fiddler.” He is equally at home with classical music or a traditional Irish tune, some funky bluegrass, a rag, a Cajun riff, or an old time shuffle. He is a violinist with the Baroque Orchestra of North Jersey, the NJ Concert Opera, and has frequently performed with the Harmonium Choral Society. Connor has been a guest artist with the New Philharmonic Society of NJ, and has performed with the Livingston Symphony and the Stirling String Ensemble. He was twice winner of the Mid Atlantic Irish Fiddle Championship, and has many other championship awards, including Celtic, Old time and Bluegrass champion at the Fireback Fiddle Contest, and the Sussex Fair Fiddle contest. He is currently Grand Champion of the Lyons Fiddle Contest. In October of 2009, Connor was cast as a character and fiddler in the critically acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's production of The Grapes of Wrath.

Sharlys Dugan (above, left) began playing harp at the age of 4. She won her first North Atlantic Irish Harp Championship at the age of six, and held the title for three consecutive years. As well as an accomplished classical and Celtic harpist, she is a champion tin whistle player, vocalist, flautist, and Irish dancer. Presently a high school senior, Sharlys is involved in musical theater, and is a member of the Madison HS Jazz Choir. A member of the Harmonium Choral Society and the Harmonium Chamber Singers, Sharlys frequently accompanies Harmonium on whistle or harp, and has joined the Baroque Orchestra of NJ as guest harpist or soloist.

Dugan's Hooligans will perform its final concert as a band on December 30 at The Minstrel. Interspersed with band numbers will be several solo segments from Connor and Sharlys. Joining them will be musicians from outside the family, previewing the new directions of their musical journey.

Opening act for the Hooligans will be Princeton's Cotillion Singers, a 20-voice choral group that forms annually to sing at the Princeton Cotillion, a holiday event of the Princeton Country Dancers. They perform a mix of folk, ritual, Christmas, Solstice and other year-end songs.

The Folk Project is a non-profit 501(c) Corporation whose mission is to present high caliber folk music performances and instructional workshops for the public and members; to encourage development of musicianship and performance skills in the northern New Jersey area; and to provide interesting social and learning activities relating to traditional and participatory folk music and dance.