Fiddler Kathleen Keane of Tomaseen Foley's A Celtic Christmas
Boston) - Christmas music permeates Massachusetts, from the glorious strains of The Messiah to the happy chorus of Sleigh Ride. Celtic music hums across
the landscape too, a testament to the state’s heavily-Irish population and the caliber
of touring bands that put a Yuletide touch on traditional melodies.
A fine example is the Cherish the Ladies Celtic ChristmasConcert taking place at the
of Massachusetts in Amherst on December 10. Led by flutist Joanie Madden, the Ladies just
released their 3rd holiday album, Christmas in Ireland, which blends songs like Hark! The Herald’s Angel’s Sing with Joe Madden’s Hornpipe.
Radio host Brian O’Donovan’s popular show, A Christmas CelticSojourn, now in its 13th year, is a masterpiece production with an alluring stage design, tightly choreographed dancing, robust music and a well-paced narrative. Music director Seamus Egan and his band Solas are featured, along with singer Cathy Jordan, Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist, cellist Natalie Haas, the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, and Beoga’s bodhran player Eamon Murray. A Christmas Celtic Sojourn performs ten shows in
Boston, Rockport, New Bedford
and Worcester from
Tomaseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas show is set in a rural, remote parish in Limerick, and evokes the old-fashioned holidays that are marked by storytelling, music, jokes and dancing. The show stars Kathleen Keane on fiddle and whistles, uilleann piper Brian Begley, acclaimed steel-string guitarist William Coulter, and singer/storyteller Tomas Foley.
A Celtic Christmas opens at the
School in Harwich, Cape Cod, on December 12, and at Carey
Memorial Hall in Lexington
on December 13.
On December 12, the IrishCultural Center in
its annual Christmas Raffle and Celebration, featuring live music and dancing.
, the Blackstone RiverTheatre’s annual Christmas Celebration takes place on December 12-13, featuring
singer Robbie O’Connell and fiddler Rose Clancy, Pendragon, Tir Na Nog Irish
Dance Company and other local performers.
The Burren Pub in
presents comedian Brendan Grace on December 16 and 22, performing his own
unique show, A Graceful Kwismas. Then on
December 17, the Burren presents a great night of music featuring the band
Lunasa with Karan Casey.
On December 17, the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes andDrums holds its annual Christmas celebration and raffle at the Hoosic Club in
Milton. The seasoned band has performed at notable
political occasions, parades, and festivals throughout the country, and do a
lot of charitable work.
Check out acclaimed Irish-Canadian tenor John McDermott's A Family Christmas at Mechanics Hall at
on December 18. The concert is a fundraiser for the local St. John’s Food for the Poor Program. One of the original
Irish tenors whose first recording of Danny Boy was an international best
seller, the Toronto native has spent the last few decades raising funds for
worthy causes such as veterans assistance, hospice care, and Catholic
In Vermont, noted singer and banjoist Claudine Langille is performing at the Mount Holly Folk Club in Belmont on December 14 and at the Killarney Irish Pub in Ludlow on December 17.
For a full calendar of Christmas concerts in New England, including classical, liturgical and popular music, visit IrishBoston.org/Christmas_Concerts.php
This story originally appeared in the Irish Echo Newspaper.