Pipes Of Christmas Concerts

Commemorating John Curry and the 1879 Vision at Knock, Ireland

The Pipes of Christmas will celebrate its nineteenth season with performances in New Jersey and New York this December. The holiday favorite opens on Saturday, December 16 at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, located at 921 Madison Avenue (at 73rd Street) for a 2PM performance. The concert moves across the Hudson River on Sunday, December 17 to Central Presbyterian Church located at 70 Maple Street in Summit, NJ with performances at 2 and 7PM. The 2017 production will mark the world premiere of “Beautiful Things,” an original composition by acclaimed Celtic harper Cormac De Barra of Dublin, Ireland. The piece commemorates the vision of the Virgin Mary at Knock Cathedral in Ireland in 1879.
Earlier this year, the remains of the last remaining witness to the vision were reinterred at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City from the pauper’s grave where he was laid to rest in 1934. His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, supervised the service.
For those weary of the ceaseless stream of secular seasonal music from department stores to TV, the Pipes of Christmas offers a spiritual and traditional take on the season that connects concertgoers to the holiday in a fresh, meaningful way. The show features tunes such as O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Joy to the World, and Amazing Grace, all performed live on pipes and drums, harp and fiddle, and organ and brass. Not only does the performance define Christmas cheer, but also it inspires those of Celtic descent to retrace and reconnect to their ancestry.
The concert presents the music of Christmas accompanied by readings taken from the Celtic literature of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Featured performers include James Robinson from the film “Braveheart,” New England fiddle champion Paul Woodiel, “Riverdance” Irish uilleann piper and flutist Christopher Layer, Gaelic Mod champion harpist Jennifer Port of Golspie, Scotland, and the Pipe Major Kevin Ray Blandford Memorial Pipe Band from
Redlands, CA.
Proceeds from the concert support an extensive music scholarship program, which includes the Carol Hassert Memorial Fine Arts Scholarship at Summit High School in Summit, NJ as well as annual gifts to the National Piping Centre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (both located in Glasgow, Scotland) the Gaelic College of Nova Scotia and Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas. Proceeds also support the Society’s sponsorship of the US National Celtic Harp
Championship, the Gaelic Literature Competition at Scotland’s Royal National Mod and an annual academic research prize at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the acclaimed Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye. Named one of New York City’s “Top Ten” holiday events, the concert is made possible by a generous gift from the Grand Summit Hotel in Summit, NJ. Each year, concert highlights are webcast in hi-definition over the Christmas holiday to a global audience. The 2016 production was the recipient of the prestigious Telly Award for broadcast excellence.
Tickets may be purchased online exclusively
through SmartTix at www.smarttix.com or by
phone at (212) 868-4444. Reserved patron seats
are available at both venues.

(above) Pipers from the Kevin Ray Blandford Memorial Pipe Band are returning to the East Coast this December to join the company of the 19th annual “Pipes of Christmas” concerts. Photo by Warren Westura.

(above) Cormac de Barra. The acclaimed Irish composer and performer will debut his new composition on the 1879 miracle at Knock Cathedral, Ireland.