McCarthy's Red Stag Pub and Whiskey Bar

Experience a taste of Ireland and the British Isles at Bethlehem's Celtic Pub and Restaurant.

Experience a taste of Ireland and the British Isles at Bethlehem's Celtic Pub and Whiskey Bar. With authentic Irish and British Isles food made from scratch, a full bar, an extensive Irish and Scottish whisky menu, and a family-friendly atmosphere, McCarthy's is the place for a true Celtic experience in the Lehigh Valley.

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Third Thursday Open Celtic Session

  • McCarthy's Red Stag Pub 534 Main Street Bethlehem, PA, 18018 United States (map)

First Friday Celtic Music Session is open to all levels of musicians and singers, or just come to enjoy the wonderful people and music!

What is a Session? 

Irish traditional music sessions are mostly informal gatherings at which people play Irish Traditional Music, they can be for practice or show. You'll sometimes see them called a seisiún, which is Irish for "session".  
The general session scheme is that someone starts a tune, and those who know it join in. Good session etiquette requires not playing if one does not know the tune, and waiting until a tune one knows comes along. In an "open" session, anyone who is able to play Irish music is welcome.
Most often there are more-or-less recognized session leaders; sometimes there are no leaders. At times a song will be sung or a slow air played by a single musician between sets.
The objective in a session is not to provide music for an audience of passive listeners; although thepunters (non-playing attendees) often come for the express purpose of listening, the music is most of all for the musicians themselves. The session is an experience that is shared, not a performance that is bought and sold.
The sessions are a key aspect of traditional music; some say it is the main sphere in which the music is formulated and innovated. Further, the sessions enable less advanced musicians to practice in a group.
Socially, sessions have often been compared to an evening of playing card games, where the conversation and camaraderie are an essential component. In many rural communities in Ireland, sessions are an integral part of community life.

Earlier Event: December 17
Piper's Request
Later Event: December 31
Richardson & Purcell