Monday 14 October 2019

Emily's traditional travelling adventure

Emily with her band
Emily with her band

Maria Pepper

A talent for traditional music has taken one Wexford woman all over the world.

Musician Emily Jane Furlong (27) from Rathangan is currently playing in the house band in Raglan Road at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, which is one of the best known and most successful Irish pubs and entertainment venues in the United States.

The former Rathangan National School and Bridgetown Vocational College student is Raglan Road's lead singer and guitarist and was promoted to band leader last year.

She and her fellow band members bring authentic Irish music to thousands of tourists who pass through Disney every year. She plays six nights a week to thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Emily Jane's family is steeped in Irish music with her grandfather Larry Furlong having been one of the founders of the famous Mayglass Ceilí Band which toured Ireland and the UK in the 1950s and 1960s. Larry has remained involved in Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and Irish traditional music well into his senior years.

'I grew up surrounded by Irish music and started playing local gigs at 11 years old. I learned music with my family from the age of five and then all through school', said Emily Jane who has toured extensively since then, playing gigs all over Ireland and Britain as well as residencies in Europe.

She also taught music to Comhaltas students in Ceoltóirí Munna and Curracloe. Her viral video of 'Grace', which was released to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising, has has over three million views.

She worked for Carnival Cruise Lines sailing the east cost of America, the Bahamas and Bermuda and before being offered a contract in Raglan Road and also worked on a cruise ship as an entertainer for six month.

Wexford People