News Release: Events

Nov. 30,  2011

GPB to Broadcast Emory's Popular Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert

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The Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert, a popular holiday tradition performed at Emory University, will be televised for the first time on Georgia Public Broadcasting throughout the state in December. Filmed live last year in Emory’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, the Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert will air on GPB Dec. 19 at 10 p.m., Dec. 24 at 11:30 p.m. and Dec. 25 at 5 p.m.

For 18 years, the concert has been a favorite in the Atlanta area. Described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as “a rollicking yet reverent time,” the concert celebrates in music, dance, poetry, song and story, the high spirits and mystical beauty of the Celtic and Appalachian Christmas traditions.

Featured artists in the telecast include three Grammy winners: “First Lady of Celtic Song” Moya Brennan; Celtic and bluegrass banjo virtuoso Alison Brown; and “Riverdance” composer Bill Whelan with a stunning choral setting of a seventh-century Irish prayer poem.

Also featured are the soulful harmonies of Rising Appalachia, a dynamic duo winning applause with their innovative interpretations of traditional Southern music. Other performers include madcap percussionist Joe Craven, renowned Irish balladeer John Doyle, uillean piper John Maschinot, The Buddy O’Reilly Band, the Rosin Sisters and other top traditional musicians of the Southeast.

Hosting the concert is James Flannery, Winship Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Emory. An internationally renowned Irish tenor and theater producer, Flannery is a scholar of W.B. Yeats and directs the W.B. Yeats Foundation, which produces the concert.

“People tell us that they return to the Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert year after year because they find a sense of community,” says Flannery. “People feel free to join in with laughter, clapping hands, even shouts of encouragement as fiddlers and dancers take flight. In a real sense, at the Celtic Christmas Concert, the performers onstage and the members of the audience become a family, joined by the wonder and joy of all that we share together.” 


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