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The North Wind

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Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
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I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Irish duo brings tradition to campus

The Irish music duo Siusan O’Rourke and Zig Zeitler will be performing Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Marquette Arts and Cultural Center. The duo and couple has toured around the country, as well as in Ireland.

O’Rourke and Zeitler play a lot of different genres: folk, Americana and Irish music. They are different from most of the Irish groups that travel because they’re a duo. Most similar groups have at the least three musicians.

“We’re looking forward to Marquette. We had a wonderful show up there in August,” O’Rourke said. “It was a pretty nice audience so I’m looking forward to coming back up and doing another one.”

O’Rourke said she and Zeitler have a deep respect for their Irish heritage and ancestors.

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“The Irish music comes to me primarily through my family. I grew up with it in my home,” O’Rourke said.
She said she is grateful to have grown up in a very large and traditional family.

“You are able to relate to those people on a daily basis then realize the amount of sacrifice that it took for them to come here and start with nothing so that you could be born and raised in this country,” O’Rourke said.

The couples’ heritage is a big part of their identity.

“It’s not a matter of something you’re obligated to do, it’s because it’s a part of you,” O’Rourke said.

After being conquered by the English, there was a 200-year period in Ireland when no one was allowed to play Irish music in Ireland. The culture could have been lost.

“It’s almost like a responsibility to see that this music is heard and that people remember it, so that the next generation will remember it,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke said her marriage to Zeitler has impacted their music.

“We’re able to do a lot of things that regular band members can’t because we’re more in touch with each other,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke has also spent five years fighting cancer. For the past few years, Zeitler and O’Rourke have used their “Cancer Stinks Road Show” to fundraise for the fight against cancer.

“I felt I needed to connect with the communities instead of coming in and doing a gig, then leaving,” O’Rourke said.

She said even though the whole ordeal was horrible, it brought her many blessing as well.

O’Rourke said she is grateful for the support that people have show to her throughout her struggle with cancer.

“For me, the package is all the people who have come into our lives because of cancer,” O’Rourke said.

“People that would have never reached out to us, people who are now in our closest circle of friends because of that diagnosis for me five years ago.”

For more information about the concert, visit the Marquette Arts and Culture Center located below the Peter White Public Library, or call them at (906) 228-0472.

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