weather icon Partly Cloudy

‘Homecoming’ brings Celtic Woman back to Las Vegas

Talk about your epic road trips.

This one started March 1 in Florida — and doesn’t end until mid-June in the Chicago suburbs.

But for the four central members of Celtic Woman — singers Mairead Carlin, Susan McFadden, Eabha McMahon and violinist Tara McNeill — plus more than a dozen fellow performers joining them on stage, it’s just part of the gig.

Celtic Woman’s “Homecoming” tour brings them all to The Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall on Sunday afternoon.

“This is definitely a very hard schedule for everyone,” admits violinist McNeill, who also plays harp during the “Homecoming” tour. “It’s probably the toughest Celtic Woman has had yet.”

But nobody’s complaining.

“It’s funny what an audience can do,” McNeill says in a telephone interview from somewhere on the road. (Somewhere in Arizona, judging by the tour itinerary.) “We may be tired at different times, but whenever we get on stage, we’re feelin’ fresh again.”

Besides, for McNeill, performing with Celtic Woman definitely qualifies as living the dream.

The newest member of the Irish group — which was formed in 2004, in the wake of “Riverdance’s” success, to further spread the gospel of Irish music and culture — McNeill joined Celtic Woman two years ago.

But “I had been watching Celtic Woman for years, growing up,” she notes, describing it as “my dream job. If someone had asked me, ‘If there’s one thing you wish you could do,’ I would have said Celtic Woman.”

Not only did she admire the group’s “mixture of classical and Irish traditional music, even musical theater,” McNeill cites their status as “role models as well.”

So, while she was studying music — and winning multiple awards along the way — McNeill “really felt I would belong.”

Before becoming Celtic Woman’s resident violinist, McNeill performed with Ireland’s RTE Concert Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra, touring internationally as a member of Camerata Ireland — and as a singer and solo violinist with the group Aruna.

She was part of a string quartet accompanying Josh Groban during an appearance on an Irish talk show — and a member of the string section backing Bono during an Amnesty International charity concert in Dublin.

Most prophetically, McNeill appeared — playing the harp — on Celtic Woman’s 2015 TV special “Destiny.”

Now that she has fulfilled her perceived destiny by joining Celtic Woman, “it’s where I was meant to be,” McNeill says.

Even with the 4 a.m. arrivals at their various tour destinations. (The “Homecoming” tour has three tour buses and two trucks to transport the show to its destinations.)

Although McNeill is front and center on violin for most of the show, she plays harp — “a lovely addition to the show,” she says — during the traditional Irish tune “Danny Boy” and the classical crossover hit “Time to Say Goodbye.”

Her favorite number, however, takes place in the show’s second half: a violin solo performing “For the Love of a Princess,” from James Horner’s Oscar-nominated score for 1995’s “Braveheart.”

Sure, it’s Scottish, not Irish, but it’s a chance to “do what I love most,” McNeill says. “Classical, with a Celtic twist.”

Celtic Woman: By the numbers

■ Formed:2014

■ PBS debut: 2015

■ Current North American tour: 90 cities in 109 days

■ Days off during current tour: 18

■ Albums: 12

■ Albums that have reached No. 1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart: 12

■ DVDs: 9

■ PBS specials: 9

■ Album sales: More than 10 million

■ Countries where Celtic Woman CDs have gone platinum:9

■ Times Billboard has named Celtic Woman No. 1 World Albums Artist: 6

■ Celtic Woman tour audiences:More than 4 million in 24 countries

Source: Celtic Woman

Contact Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @CarolSCling on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Uncork’d launches wiith bubbles and a blade
Dozens of chefs representing some of the Strip’s top restaurants gathered Thursday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to launch the 2019 edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bunky the Clown at the clown convention
Bob "Bunky the Clown" Gretton talks about his life as a clown and the Clown Convention which was in Las Vegas at Texas Station this week. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Frying soft-shell crab at Lola’s in Las Vegas
At Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen in Las Vegas, soft-shell crab is breaded and fried and served either as an appetizer, po’boy or platter. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
The Stove in Henderson makes Pecan Pie Pancakes
At The Stove in Henderson, chef/partner Antonio Nunez stacks buttermilk pancakes with pecans and dulce de leche and tops them pie crust crumbs. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vinnie Paul remembered at Count's Vamp'd
The late rocker's favorite table at one of his favorite clubs in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
4DX movie experience at Red Rock
4DX movie experience during a demo reel at Red Rock. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What To Do On May The 4th
There are plenty of events going on May the 4th this year around Las Vegas. Celebrate Star Wars and Comic Book Day all at once. The Rogue Toys, the 501st, Rebel Legion and Millennium Fandom Bar are all hosting fun events to help celebrate your geek-dom. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Water Sports Introduces New Attraction At Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas Water Sports will debut its new aqua park attraction at Lake Las Vegas Days this weekend. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Making the Space Invader at Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas
Lysa Huerta, pastry cook at Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms in Las Vegas, starts with angel food cake, Fruity Pebbles ice cream and strawberry sorbet to create a space creature engulfed in flashing lights and swirling mists. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Pools
The M, Park MGM and NoMad are just a few great pools in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jose Andres explains Iberico pork
(Al Mancini/Las Vega Review-Journal)
Inside Life is Beautiful
Craig Asher Nyman explains how Life is Beautiful festival is booked and talks about this year's line-up. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America Pops Up In Vegas
Tattoo'd America, a new pop-up attraction on the Linq Promenade, had their grand opening Friday. The attraction is dedicate to the culture of tattoos. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jose Andres gets key to the Strip
Chef Jose Andres was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip and a proclamation declaring April 26 Jose Andres Day in Clark County by County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on Friday. The ceremony took place at his restaurant Bazaar Meat in the SLS Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sadelle’s in Las Vegas makes a grilled cheese with an inverted bagel
Michael Vargas, executive sous chef at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas, inverts an everything bagel and grills it with Swiss, cheddar and Muenster cheeses to make the Inverted Bagel Grilled Cheese. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prime rib is carved tableside at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas
Dave Simmons, executive chef of Lawry’s The Prime in Las Vegas, which plans special cuts for National Prime Rib Day, demonstrates the restaurant’s service from rolling tableside carving carts. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Celine Dion’s lounge gig a boon to Las Vegas act

Celine Dion performed “Because You Loved Me,” “Ashes,” Beauty and the Beast” and “My Heart Will Go On.” Her arrival drew a roar from the 300 VIPs in attendance, who were not informed of the night’s entertainment.