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Celtic Christmas Concert December 5 at Playhouse

Celtic Christmas Concert December 5 at Playhouse

Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 7:49 pm

Celtic legends “The Boys of the Lough,” will perform seldom-heard traditional and folk music for the holidays from Ireland, the Shetland Islands and England on Friday, December 5 at 8 PM at the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, TN. The “Celtic Christmas” concert is part of an 11-city tour that kicks off with an appearance on “A Prairie Home Companion” hosted by Garrison Keillor. It will be broadcast live from Cincinnati on Nov. 29 to the four million listeners of National Public Radio. This seasonal event combines the music handed down through the generations with the lore of pagan winter solstice rituals, rare carols and tunes, folk stories and classic Celtic cheer to celebrate the season. The ancient Celts spent the long, dark nights of winter entertaining each other with music and storytelling, and The Boys of the Lough infuse the same warmth and spirit into their program. The lively acoustic jigs, reels, waltzes and tunes are played primarily on fiddle, button accordion, flute, tin whistle, guitar, concertina and mandolin. Some of the ballads and folk songs are sung in the sean nos style without accompaniment, and on occasion in the Gaelic language. The five professional musicians in the band are renowned as technical virtuosos on their instruments who perform with musical integrity. Cathal McConnell, the founding member, is arguably the most acclaimed traditional flute and whistle player in Ireland. A native of County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, he was All-Ireland Champion on both instruments at age 18. McConnell won Best World Album in the 2000 Indie Music Awards for one of his seven solo albums, and was the recent subject of an Irish documentary. Dave Richardson is a native of Northumberland in the U.K. and joined the band in 1973. He plays concertina and mandolin. One of the jigs he composed was featured in the Lord of the Dance and on a television episode of “Sex and the City,” and has sold several million copies. Brendan Begley plays button accordion and melodeon, and was All-Ireland Champion on melodeon. He previously played with renowned band, Beginish, and has recorded two solo albums. A native of Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula, he organizes a school to promote the music of West Kerry. Begley also hosted an Irish television program on traditional music for nine years. Kevin Henderson, a native of the Shetland Islands, was winning national fiddling competitions and titles from the age of 12. He founded the band “Fiddler’s Bid” at age 14, and now also plays with Session A9, which was just nominated for Scottish Folk Band of the Year. He has been featured on 10 music CDs. Garry O’Briain resides in County Clare, Ireland, and plays guitar and piano. He has played with a number of Irish bands, has written music for stage, film and television, and helped produce albums for many groups including the Clancy Brothers. He has recorded two albums of his own. To purchase tickets call the Playhouse Box Office at 931-484-5000. Visit the Playhouse online at www.ccplayhouse.com to view the full season schedule. Posted 11.18.08

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