The Southwest Celtic Music Association, known for bringing some of the best Irish musical acts from around the World to North Texas for their signature event, the North Texas Irish Festival, is wishing DFW a very Merry Christmas with “A Celtic Christmas” featuring Solas.
“A Celtic Christmas” will feature Solas, a celebrated Irish Band and an original Celtic mass by local Richardson composer Rick Holt on December 8th, 2012 at the First United Methodist Church in Richardson. Richardson-based composer Rick Holt, a percussionist, composer and member of the local Irish band “5 Second Rule,” wrote the piece in a sacred musical form of a Mass based on the Eucharist liturgy while also incorporating the rhythms, melodies and harmonies of the popular Celtic genre.
A 25-piece orchestra with an organ and chorus will bring the piece to life. Featured in the Mass will be three distinctively Celtic instruments: the uillean pipes (Irish bagpipes), the Irish whistle and the Celtic harp. The five sections of the Mass cover a range of Celtic styles, from dances to airs, and attempt to capture and project the emotion of sacred music in a way that is quintessentially Celtic. “I am thrilled to have my piece performed for the first time as part of such a festive event in the magnificent setting of the First United Methodist Church Richardson,” said Holt. “I am also very grateful to the music staff, which is pulling out all the stops to make this evening a joyous experience for all those in attendance.”
After the Celtic Mass, Solas, the quintessential Irish-American band recording and touring in the U.S. today, will wow the crowd with a full-length concert. Fifteen years ago, in a manner befitting their name (Gaelic for “light”), Solas burst onto the Irish music scene and instantly became a beacon for contemporary relevance in timeless traditions without stooping to clichés. Anchored by founding members Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (violins, vocals), Solas also includes Mick McAuley (accordians, low whistle, concertina, vocals), Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals), and newest member and lead singer, Niamh Varian-Barry. Through fresh and unexpected arrangements of age-old tunes, compelling and topical originals and covers, and unparalleled musicianship, Solas continues to define the path for the Celtic music world and drive the genre forward.
Also featured at “A Celtic Christmas” will be a performance from the North Texas Caledonian Pipes and Drums, which will be performing a stirring arrangement of the Scottish classic, “Highland Cathedral,” along with the First United Methodist Church Richardson’s choir, orchestra and organ. The arrangement was also done by local composer Rick Holt. To add even more festive flair to the event, dancers from the Maguire Academy of Irish Dance will perform a traditional Irish step dance.
A Celtic Christmas will be held at First United Methodist Church Richardson on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m. First United Methodist Church Richardson is located at 503 North Central Expwy., Richardson, TX 75080, one block south of Arapaho on the southbound service road. Tickets are $12 each and are available at http://www.fumcr.com/concerts.