The Pipes of Christmas will celebrate its thirteenth season with performances in New York and New Jersey this December. The holiday favorite, produced by the Clan Currie Society, opens on Friday, December 16 at 8PM at Central Presbyterian Church located at 70 Maple Street in Summit, NJ. The “Pipes” will also return to its New York City home at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, located at 921 Madison Avenue (at 73rd Street) on Saturday and Sunday, December 17 and 18 at 2:00 PM.
Proceeds from the concerts support a growing music scholarship program which includes annual gifts to the National Piping Centre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (both located in Glasgow,) the Gaelic College of Nova Scotia and Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.
Named one of New York City’s “Top Ten” holiday events, the 2011 concerts are made possible by generous gifts from Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky – part of the Classic Malts of Scotland, the Grand Summit Hotel, Rodney Strong Wines, Walkers Shortbread and the Hat Tavern Restaurant.
The concert presents the music of Christmas accompanied by readings taken from the Celtic literature of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Featured performers include Andrew Weir from the film “Braveheart,” fiddle champion Paul Woodiel, “Riverdance” piper Christopher Layer, Gaelic Mod champion harpist Jennifer Port of Golspie, Scotland, and the Pipe Major Kevin Ray Blandford Memorial Pipe Band of Redlands, CA.
Order Tickets Now
General admission tickets are $50 for the NJ concert and $60 for the NYC concerts and are available via mail order. A downloadable ticket order form can be found on the concert’s website at www.pipesofchristmas.com. Tickets for the NY concert may also be purchased online at www.smarttix.com or by phone at (212) 868-4444 or by mail order. Premium VIP seats are available at both venues through membership in the “Friends of the Pipes of Christmas.”
About “The Pipes of Christmas”
Since making its debut in 1999, The Pipes of Christmas has played to standing room only audiences. Given the popularity of the program, a second concert was added in 2001 to accommodate the high-demand for tickets.
That same year, the concert began an award-winning partnership with HomeTowne Television by broadcasting concert highlights on Christmas Eve to an estimated 40,000 cable subscribers. Four productions have received the prestigious Telly Award for television production excellence.
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.
Since its debut in 1999, the concert has received great 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 (NJ) Leader described the concert as “a unique sound of power and glory nowhere else to be found.”
Proceeds from the concerts fund a growing number of music scholarships. The Alex Currie Memorial Scholarship for Bagpipe was created in honor of the famed Canadian piper and is administered by the Gaelic College in Nova Scotia. The Pipe Major Kevin Ray Blandford Scholarship – is awarded annually by the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Col. William McMurdo Currie Memorial Scholarship for the Clarsach (Scottish harp) is administered by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) in Glasgow. The newly-created Private Bill Millin Memorial Piping Scholarship is bestowed annually to Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.
Commenting on the Society’s music scholarship program, stage and screen star Alan Cumming said, “I am delighted that proceeds from the Pipes of Christmas will result in these important gifts which ensure that the future of Scottish culture is safer with these generous scholarships.”
The Clan Currie Society is also the Title Sponsor of the annual National Scottish Harp Championship of America.
Photo: The Kevin Ray Blandford Memorial Pipe Band of Redlands, CA returns to the NY area for three performances of the Pipes of Christmas this December.
Photo by Warren Westura.