Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Annual Celtic Concert To Make Spirits Bright

Published December 9, 2010

Celtic and Appalachian traditions, high spirits and mystical song, again share a Christmas stage as the 18th annual Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert takes place Dec. 18 and 19 at the Emory University Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

Featured performers include renowned Irish folk singer Moya Brennan and her ensemble; American banjoist and Grammy-Award winner Alison Brown; storyteller and fiddler Joe Craven; Irish guitarist and songwriter John Doyle; and the Emory Celtic Chorus, who will sing “Quis Est Deus?” (“Who Is God?”), a choral piece based on a seventh-century Irish poem in which a fairy questions St. Patrick about the nature of the Christian God he is bringing to Ireland.

Other favorites of the annual event who will take part again include Rising Appalachia, Highland Sounds, the Buddy O’Reilly Band, Scottish and Irish dancers, Scottish Pipes and Drums, and many more. Altogether, the vital Atlanta Celtic music scene will be represented in both the Irish tradition and in the Scottish, as well as many forms of Appalachian-style music with its close connections to the Celtic lands.

The concert, produced by the W.B. Yeats Foundation at Emory University, will be filmed this year as a PBS Christmas special. The foundation was established in 1989 to promote understanding of Irish and Celtic culture by James Flannery, Winship Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Emory, Irish tenor and Yeats scholar. In addition to the Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert, the Yeats Foundation presents lecture series, poetry readings and symposia.

For Flannery, the principal appeal of the concert to people of all ages and religious affiliations lies in the way it expresses the quest for spiritual renewal at the heart of the Christmas season.

Performances will be Saturday, Dec. 18, and Sunday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m. as well as a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Dec. 19.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for students and children. Discount tickets at $20 apiece are available to groups of 10 or more people. Tickets are available at the Arts at Emory Box Office at (404) 727-5050 or online at