Celtic Christmas Festival to run Dec. 16

Concert celebrates Celtic music.

The Irish have a saying:
"Dance as if no one were watching,
Sing as if no one were listening,
And live every day as if it were your last."
As an early Christmas present to the Lubbock community, performers from Texas Tech University School of Music and beyond will bring some of the best singing, dancing and storytelling from the Emerald Isle and the highlands of Scotland to the plains of West Texas.
The Fifth Anniversary Celtic Christmas Concert begins at 8 p.m. Dec. 16 at Hemmle Recital Hall, located in the Music Building on the Texas Tech Campus.
Christopher J. Smith, associate professor of musicology and director of the Vernacular Music Center, said the concert has become a holiday tradition for the Lubbock community in the past five years.
The College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Caprock Early Music Association and Caprock Celtic Association sponsor the event.
"The idea behind this concert has always been to present a family friendly show that makes use of the diverse talents of a whole range of musicians, singers and dancers that we have on the South Plains," Smith says. "It’s a very big, very joyous undertaking. It’s become quite popular quite swiftly in the last five years. It grew in a very organic way. Most of the advertising has been word-of-mouth."
Smith says this year’s event will include traditional Scottish, Irish, and Breton dancing as well as Gaelic- and English-language traditional songs, instrumental dance tunes and slow airs.
The much-loved fear an tí ("man of the house") Tom McGovern returns as host.
Other performers include featured tenor Nat Cooper with special guest saxophonist Brad Leali; Lubbock’s trad-Irish band Last Night’s Fun; Scottish bagpipe musician Patrick McLaurin; the Sweet Peas and TTU Celtic Ensemble; Roger Landes and Chipper Thompson of Taos, N.M., performing "Appalachified" Christmas songs; Irish vocalist Michael Black of the legendary Black; and fiddler Heather Gilmer from Austin.
The event will be previewed on KOHM – FM’s "Celtic Shores" program at 9 p.m. Dec. 15., and broadcast live at 8 p.m. Dec. 16. The shows can be accessed at 89.1 FM or www.kohm.org.
"Really, the Celtic Christmas is an event to experience in person," Smith says. "You don’t really know what the event feels like unless you’re part of that big circle. But, some people might be homebound, so we thought it would be nice to make it available on KOHM."
Tickets to the event are $5 for students, $8 for senior citizens and $10 for the general public. VIP seating with pre-show event is $25. Tickets can be purchased by calling Select-A-Seat at 770-2000 or at the door.

CONTACT: Christopher Smith, associate professor of musicology, director of Vernacular Music Center and TTU Celtic Ensemble School of Music; (806) 742-2270 ext. 249; christopher.smith@ttu.edu.