HACC Professor leads a Celtic, musical life

By day he teaches sociology; by night, his vocals soar

Anthony Amuso, Staff Writer

Professor John Flavin teaches Sociology at HACC, but every Saint Patrick’s Day, performs as a lead vocalist for the band “The Ogham Stones” at local venues around the Lancaster, PA area.

The Ogham Stones started 11 years ago when Flavin’s friend, who is the owner of the vinyl store, Angry Young & Poor in Lancaster, gave him a CD to check put.

“One time at a gathering he slipped me a CD and said, ‘I think you’ll really like this.’” It was a copy of some music from the Kilmaine Saints from Harrisburg, Pa. 

“It completely blew me away that such a great band was from right in Harrisburg, and it literally that kind of, you know, propelled me forward,” he said.

This led Flavin to form a group of local musicians in the Lancaster area. 

“We performed in public for the very first time on Saint Patrick’s day in 2010,” he said. 

They were supposed to have their 10-year anniversary show last year, but due to the pandemic, they had to cancel it. This year, a series of live performances are scheduled.

 The Ogham Stones released their first EP in 2015, which was compiled of a list of songs they routinely performed with and can be found on the band’s Spotify here

They pull inspiration for their music from The Popes, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphy’s, Great Big Sea, The Call, and traditional Celtic music. 

When describing the inspiration from Celtic nations and the group’s specific music genre, Flavin mentioned influences from all areas of the Celtic heritage.

“A lot of people, kind of, merge Irish and Celtic as being the same thing. They’re not.” 

The Celtic Nations are Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Wales, Brittany, and Cornwall. Some other countries across Europe have Celtic influence as mentioned in this article about Celtic nations from WorldAtlas.

“We kind of draw music from all of those areas. You know, we’re very heavily influenced by the bagpipes,” Flavin said. 

The “Ogham Stones” play year round. They play summer festivals, Celtic Christmases and any other events that call for Celtic Rock.

“We play summer festivals all throughout the summer, and then we get to play Halfway to Saint Patty’s Day, and then by then we’re arranging A Celtic Christmas, and then, you know, and then just whenever there’s a special event.” 

The Ogham Stones say they are happy being a regional band; however, Flavid says, there’s always flexibility.

“If Flogging Molly’s out there reading this and says, ‘We want those guys to open for us on our next European tour,’ I think we’ll talk about it,” Flavin says discussing the band’s schedule.

Speaking of touring, Flavin hinted fans might soon hear some new music. 

“I think in the future you’re gonna see more recorded material available from The Ogham Stones, knock on wood, sooner than later,” Flavin said.

To purchase tickets to the St. Patrick’s Day shows, follow the link to the Eventbrite page here.

For more information on The Ogham Stones, see their website: The Ogham Stones