W.B. YEATS FOUNDATION

 

Emmy Award-winning

Southern Celtic Christmas Concert

Offered nationally by American Public Television for the

2014 and 2015 Holiday Seasons

 

“Enchanting.” “Resplendent.” “Magical.” “Exciting and engaging.” “A tour de force.” “Moving, mystical and joyful.” These are just a few of the audience responses to Georgia Public Broadcasting’s 2011-2012 telecasts. The Concert won the 2012 Southeast Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Entertainment.


Produced in Ireland and on the stage of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University in Atlanta, the Southern Celtic Christmas Concert” celebrates in music, dance, poetry, song and story the mystical beauty and heart-warming holiday traditions of the Irish and Scots-Irish and their connection to the traditional culture of the American South. The concert also delivers an inspiring holiday message about the way music and the other arts connect communities and bring people together.


Featured in the Concert are three Grammy Award-winning artists: singer Moya Brennan, called “The First Lady of Celtic Song”;  Riverdance composer Bill Whelan in a stunning choral piece based on a 7th century Irish prayer poem on the spiritual meaning of Christmas; and dazzling bluegrass banjoist Alison Brown, the first woman named the Bluegrass Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year. Also featured are the soulful harmonies of sister duo Rising Appalachia, renowned Irish balladeer John Doyle, and percussionist, fiddler and mandolin player Joe Craven as well as a host of the top traditional musicians of the South. Of special interest to many viewers will be a rare television appearance by the beloved Irish poet Seamus Heaney, whose recent death evoked an unprecedented outpouring of grief throughout the world. In an interview filmed in the haunting 6th century monastic community of Glendalough, the setting of his beautiful poem “St. Kevin and the Blackbird,” Heaney explains the inspiration of the poem, which is then recited by James Flannery, the host of the Concert – a poignant moment that makes the program a treasure for the ages. The Southern Celtic Christmas Concert is dedicated to the memory of Seamus Heaney because of his genius and generosity.


In the course of the Concert we are taken on an exciting artistic journey from the soaring music of the ancient Celtic lands all the way to the rollicking exuberance of Irish, Scottish and Appalachian musicians and dancers in full flight. Shepherding us on that journey is noted Irish tenor, theater producer and Yeats scholar-director James Flannery.


Another of the many distinctive appeals of the Concert is stunning visual imagery ranging from the misty mountain landscapes of Ireland and Southern Appalachia to dramatic images of the Holy Family by the renowned Irish stained glass artist Harry Clarke.


Called by the Atlanta Journal Constitution “a rollicking yet reverent occasion,” the Southern Celtic Christmas Concert is both entertaining and inspiring as well as evocative of the Christmas season in a way that hasn’t previously been seen on PBS. After seeing the program for the first time, a viewer wrote:



The lively music, the haunting poems, the audience participation, the very spirit of the occasion and the overall idea that God is everywhere – in all of us and everything we do – provided an extraordinary hour of entertainment that was the highlight of the holidays for our entire family.

Please support the W.B. Yeats Foundation and the Celtic Christmas Concert with your donation today.

Southern Celtic Christmas

DVDs are available for purchase

from Compass Records.