The Pipes of Christmas announced today that Aberlour Single Malt Whisky has joined the list of sponsors and supporters for their 2017 concerts.
Aberlour and the Pipes of Christmas are a perfect fit. You hear of music being played to plants or cows. But not to barrels, like the Aberlour distillery manager who used to serenade the casks of maturing spirit with his bagpipes.
Aberlour breeds strong characters – people with a long view. The current Whisky Maker and his team are the same men who originally laid down the casks of what is bottled today as 18 year-old. That’s continuity. There are still those who remember the brewer touring the distillery with a jug of new made whisky to give each worker a dram.
At the distillery, the sounds of the chattering burn were many and various. From the cooperage came the wheezing of bellows, the clanging of hammers and the thud of new casks. From the mash room, the clatter of clogs on stone floors and the scrape of steel shovels. From everywhere, the slapping and whirring of belts driven by the continually revolving waterwheel.
Today it’s quieter. Although the distillers use modern technology, they take pride in this rich past. When new stills were installed in 1975, for example, a time capsule was discovered with an 1898 bottle of Aberlour. They recreated it without adding water or using modern methods, by maturing the spirit in handpicked Oloroso sherry butts. Hence the spicy, full-bodied fruitiness and dark amber color of each numbered batch of Aberlour A’bunadh – ‘the original’ in Gaelic.
The stories of Aberlour are of knowledge and experience. Nature. Ambition. Skill. Community. And in the town itself just as throughout the rest of the world, it’s in the telling that the generosity of Aberlour shines through.
The concert presents the music of Christmas accompanied by readings taken from the Celtic literature of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Featured performers include James Robinson and Andrew Weir from the film “Braveheart,” New England fiddle champion Paul Woodiel, “Riverdance” uilleann piper and flutist Christopher Layer, Gaelic Mod champion harpist Jennifer Port of Golspie, Scotland, and the Pipe Major Kevin Ray Blandford Memorial Pipe Band from Redlands, CA.
Proceeds Support Scholarships and More
Proceeds from the concert support an extensive music scholarship program, which includes the Carol Hassert Memorial Fine Arts Scholarship at Summit High School as well as annual gifts to the National Piping Centre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (both located in Glasgow, Scotland) the Gaelic College of Nova Scotia and Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.
Proceeds also support the Society’s sponsorship of the US National Scottish Harp Championship, the Gaelic Literature Competition at the Royal National Mod and an annual academic research prize at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye.
In addition to Aberlour Single Malt Whisky, the concert is made possible by a generous gift from the Grand Summit Hotel in Summit, NJ. Celtic Life magazine is the official media partner for the Pipes of Christmas.
Named one of New York City’s “Top Ten” holiday events, each year, concert highlights are webcast in hi-definition over the Christmas holiday to a global audience. The 2016 production was the recipient of the prestigious Telly Award for broadcast excellence.
About “The Pipes of Christmas”
Since making its debut in 1999, The Pipes of Christmas has played to standing room only audiences. Now a cherished holiday event, the concert provides audiences with a stirring and reverent celebration of the Christmas season and the Celtic spirit. Audience-goers return year after year to experience the program, many reporting that the Pipes of Christmas has become part of their family’s annual Christmas tradition.
The concert has been lavished with critical acclaim. In his review for Classical New Jersey Magazine, Paul Somers wrote, “The whole evening was constructed to introduce gem after gem and still have a finale which raised the roof. In short, it was like a well constructed fireworks show on the Glorious Fourth. The Westfield Leader described the concert as “a unique sound of power and glory nowhere else to be found.”