Green Christmas

Irish tenor Emmet Cahill will perform “Christmas in Ireland” on Dec. 5 at Saint Therese Catholic Church in Alhambra. Photo courtesy of Emmet Cahill

Southern Californians can dream of a white Christmas, but only if they travel to some snowy destination. How about a green Christmas instead?

You only have to travel as far as Alhambra — where you can hear sounds of the Emerald Isle from famed tenor Emmet Cahill as he performs his “Christmas in Ireland” tour.

On Dec. 5, Cahill will be performing at Saint Therese Catholic Church. The concert will feature many beloved holiday songs and carols, including “Silent Night” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” along with Irish classics such as “Danny Boy” and “An Irish Lullaby.”

“This is my first time performing at this church,” Cahill told the Review by phone from Ireland.

“I love Christmas music, and we only get to sing it for a few weeks of the year. I’m doing three shows during my California tour, which will include stops in Santa Barbara and La Jolla.”

The 28-year-old has been a principal vocalist for the world-renowned Irish music show Celtic Thunder since 2011. He has a long list of accolades, including “Tenor of the Year” by the Irish Music Association. In 2018, Cahill performed to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall, and his music album “Emmet Cahill’s Ireland” released with Sony Music USA reached number one on the Billboard World Music Charts.

“It all started when I was a kid,” Cahill recalled. “My dad was a piano teacher and my mom was a church singer. They always sang Irish songs and I grew up surrounded by music. I’ve been doing this since I was very young.”

Born in the Irish village of Mountnugent, Cahill showed real promise as a singer at a young age, so his family moved to Mullingar in order for him to receive voice lessons, better schooling and scholarship opportunities. At the age of 18, he began his professional training at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Since then, Cahill has established himself as one of the most in-demand Irish music acts in America.

“I love the community feeling that comes with performing in a church,” Cahill said.

“There will also be a part of my show where we take audience requests. I have no idea what they’re going to ask for, which makes it a bit fun. It’s very much a family show — we want to get everyone ready for Santa Claus. It will be an uplifting night for everyone. People should have their voices warmed up because they’ll be asked to join in and sing!”

The “Christmas in Ireland” concert will take place on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Saint Therese Church, 1100 E. Alhambra Rd. General admission tickets cost $35. Tickets, including a meet and greet at 6 p.m., cost $50.

They can be purchased at the door or online at

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Kamala Kirk is a contributing writer for the South Pasadena Review, San Marino Tribune and The Quarterly Magazine. Kamala formerly served as Managing Editor of Beauty Launchpad Magazine, West Coast Editor of American Salon Magazine, and Digital Editor for E! Online. A native of Hermosa Beach, California, she is a proud USC Trojan and pug mom to Wrigley the Pug (@pugofpasadena).