The Pipes of Christmas annual concerts return for an eighteenth season with performances in New York on Saturday, December 17 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, and in Summit, New Jersey on Sunday, December 18 at 3:00 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church.
The festive concerts, produced by the Clan Currie Society, offer a traditional Celtic interpretation of the holiday season with holiday favorites such as “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, “Joy to the World”, and “Amazing Grace”, all performed live on pipes, drums, harp, fiddle, organ and brass, accompanied by readings taken from Scottish, Irish, and Welsh literature.
Honorary Chairs for the concert include The Hon. Antonia Romeo – British Consul General in New York and renowned fashion designer and tartan author and aficionado, Jeffrey Banks.
Featured performers include James Robinson 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, the Solid Brass ensemble and the Pipe Major Kevin Ray Blandford Memorial Pipe Band from Redlands, California.
The 2016 concerts will also debut two world premiere compositions. The “Old Bard of Stilligarry,” composed by Eyler Coates of New Orleans, LA is a piece for Scottish harp and chamber instruments. The work was composed for the Society through a songwriting competition sponsored by the Scottish Harp Society of America. The title refers to the township of Stilligarry on the Isle of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides. For some 200 years, successive generations of MacMhuirich (the Gaelic equivalent of “Currie,”) served as Hereditary Bards to the MacDonalds of Clanranald.
The “John Muir Suite,” composed by Steve Gibb of Inverness, Scotland, pays tribute to the life of Scottish naturalist John Muir. The new work has been commissioned in honor of the Centennial of the US National Parks.
This past summer, the Clan Currie Society partnered with the US National Park Service to mark their centennial year. The Society’s exhibition, “The Life and Legacy of John Muir,” was on display at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum from April 6 through Labor Day. Attendance figures during this period exceeded one million visitors, making Tartan Day on Ellis Island one of the largest Tartan Day events in the world.
Proceeds from the Pipes of Christmas support an extensive music scholarship program, which includes annual gifts to the National Piping Centre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, 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.
The Society also recently donated two Scottish harps to Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT in support of their Celtic music education program.
The concert is made possible by generous gifts from the Gaelic College of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the Grand Summit Hotel in Summit, New Jersey, and Celtic Life Magazine.
In addition to the Pipes of Christmas and Tartan Day on Ellis Island, the Clan Currie Society is the Title Sponsor of the US National Scottish Harp Championship. The Society is also a sponsor of the Royal National Mod and hosts a number of Celtic music and Gaelic singing events at the Seaside Highland Games in Ventura, California, the Scotland Games in Scotland, Connecticut, and the Clan Currie Culture Tent at the Central Virginia Highland Games in Richmond, Virginia.
PIPES OF CHRISTMAS
Saturday, December 17 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church
921 Madison Avenue (at 73rd Street)
New York, NY 10021
Sunday, December 18 at 3:00 p.m.
Central Presbyterian Church
70 Maple Street
Summit, NJ 07901
General admission tickets, priced at $60, are available by mail via order form found online at www.pipesofchristmas.com. Tickets are also available through SmartTix by visiting SmartTix.com or calling (212) 868-4444. Reserved seating options are also available.
Contact: Sarah Roberts