December 16, 2009
Caprock Celtic Christmas is a showcase of diverse talents of a whole range of musicians, singers and dancers.
As an early Christmas present to the Lubbock community, performers from Texas Tech's School of Music and beyond will bring singing, dancing and storytelling from Ireland, the British Isles, the Appalachians and the Balkans to the plains of West Texas.
The Eighth Annual Caprock Celtic Christmas Concert runs from 7-9 p.m. Dec. 20 in the Talkington Great Hall of the Legacy Performance Center, located at 14th Street and Avenue O.
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.
"The idea behind this concert is 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 said. "It’s a very big, very joyous undertaking. It’s become quite popular in the last eight years. It grew in a very organic way. But this year, we’re seeing a massive expansion, complete with live video stream at KOHM 89.1-FM."
The Vernacular Music Center, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Caprock Celtic Association and the Lubbock YWCA sponsor the event. Proceeds benefit the Vernacular Music Center Scholarship at Texas Tech.
Smith said this year’s event will include traditional Irish, English, and Balkan dancing as well as Gaelic-, Welsh-, 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.
Special guests include Scots piper Tom Campbell; Irish tenor Nat Cooper; bouzouki virtuoso Roger Landes; the Appalachian banjo/fiddle duo of Mason Brown of Boulder, Colo., and Doug Goodhart of Kansas City, Mo.; and the "folk ’n’ roll" of Chipper Thompson of Taos, N.M.
Lubbock’s trad-Irish band Johnny Faa play tunes and songs from their debut CD "Last Night’s Fun," the Texas Tech Set-Dancers provide the eightsome reels and jigs of the Clare Caledonian Set, and the Texas Tech Celtic Ensemble presents English rag-morris dances, Anglo-Appalachian fiddle music, Celto-Balkan crossover tunes, the choral repertoire of the Sacred Harp, and the Welsh mid-Winter hobbyhorse ritual called Mari Lwyd.
For the first time, the Caprock Celtic Christmas will be streamed live in both audio and video to listeners across the South Plains on KOHM 89.1-FM or at kohm.org.
"Really, the Caprock Celtic Christmas is an event to experience in person," Smith said. "You don’t really know what the event feels like unless you’re part of that big circle. That being said, we thought it would be a great idea to offer the program on the Internet as well as the radio for any of the listeners who might be homebound."
Tickets to the event are $4.50 for students and senior citizens and $9.50 for the general public. They can be purchased at the door or by calling Select-A-Seat at (806) 770-2000. Select-A-Seat will add a $2.50 surcharge to ticket prices.
The School of Music is part of the J.T. and Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts.
With more than 500 students, the size is ideal for creating larger ensembles as well as ensuring individual attention with private study.
Faculty includes a performing specialist on all band and orchestral instruments as well as piano, voice, organ, harp and guitar, and specialists in conducting, composition, electronic music, music education, musicology, world music and music theory.
Jillian Schmitt is studying vernacular music with an emphasis in hand percussion and has been a member of Texas Tech University’s Celtic Music Ensembles since its inaugural semester in 2006. She has participated in every Celtic Christmas and talks about what it’s like to learn new instruments, an entirely new way to play and … how to dance.
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