Christmas

The Celtic At The Cathedral

 

Musical Performers for 2016

From dancers to pipers, from accordions to fiddles we have a mixture of the finest performers and most amazing vocalists anywhere! The following artists are reoccurring artists from the last decade of Celtic Christmas.

Peadar Hickey

Peadar has a passion all aspects of Irish culture -the GAA, the Irish Language, Irish history and Irish music and song. A career in music began in Dublin’s Temple Bar where he quickly established himself on the folk and traditional music circuit. A proud native of Dublin City, Peadar landed in New York City in 2010. Since then, he has been in great demand as a live entertainer all over New York and far beyond. Peadar is currently the resident entertainer for five Irish music venues in New York, where each night audiences are treated to an engaging, informative and uniquely Irish entertainment experience. He also tours extensively with Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones. Described as being “sincere in his delivery”, Peadar has a passion for the story of Ireland that comes through strongly in his performances. Peadar’s talent as a singer/guitar player has landed him on stages in some very high places to say the least! Peadar is also currently the guitar instructor at The Irish Arts Center in Manhattan.

 

 

Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums

Close your eyes and soak in the stirring sound of a fast-paced jig or a haunting slow air. When you hear the majestic sound of the Great Highland Bagpipes, you will be transported to the mist-covered mountains of Scotland, surrounded by soft purple heather, rowan trees and kilted musicians.
All this atmosphere is courtesy of Austin’s own iconic pipe band, Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums. Made up of home-grown musicians standing shoulder to shoulder with pipers and drummers from around the globe, Silver Thistle has been entertaining audiences with traditional and cutting-edge alternative Scottish music for over thirty years.  In addition to local gigs, the band travels farther afield to perform and compete both in the US and internationally.
And when the music stops, come visit us at www.silverthistle.org.

Gregory Grene

grew up between Cavan, Ireland and Chicago, and is the leader of THE PRODIGALS, one of the foremost Celtic rock bands in the United States. He studied accordion with Sean Donaghue in Ireland and Liz Carroll in Chicago, under whose tutelage he won the Midwest Fleadh Ceoil in the Junior and Senior Divisions. As a student at Trinity College in Dublin he founded their Traditional Music Society and continues to pull from his traditional roots in producing critically acclaimed music like his recent solo CD, Flipsides. A songwriter and composer of exceptional merit, his music can be found anywhere from local Irish music sessions to major motion pictures.

Alexander Grene

Alex Grene was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has grown up between New York, Chicago, and various parts of Ireland. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 2012 with a degree in Music Composition.In October 2013, Alex's first feature-length film, "Directors: A Comedy," won the prize for Best Comedy at its world premiere at the 2013 Indie Fest USA. Since then, he has worked on several music videos and numerous shorter works. Current projects include a documentary about a Palo Mayombe priest and a fully animated music video.Alex composed the full-orchestral score to his feature film, and has created soundtracks for the promotional video of the Haiti-based nonprofit AGF. He composes primarily classical, Irish traditional, and electronic music, but has written in styles ranging from hard rock to jazz to (on one occasion) a score for thermometer and tuning fork. Alex is also an expert Irish fiddler; he plays frequently with Irish rock band The Prodigals.

Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has been playing violin since the age of 3. His introduction into the tradition of Irish fiddle came when he was 14 years old under the direction of the renowned Irish fiddler Martin Dowling. Martin instilled in him a great love and deep appreciation for the music. Christopher has also studied under the direction of world-class fiddle players: Liz Carroll, Brendan Mulvihill and James Kelly. Christopher has received numerous awards and recognitions for his outstanding achievements in Irish music. He was a recipient of the Ed Ward scholarship and has won first place awards in the mid-western Fleadh Cheoil, allowing him to compete in three All-Ireland world competitions. In 2001, Christopher moved to Austin to pursue a Master’s Degree in Viola Performance at UT under the direction of Roger Myers. Since that time Christopher has performed and recorded with Celtic music groups: Cluan and the Tea Merchants.

The Selkie Girls

The Selkie Girls have quickly and firmly established themselves as one of the premier folk music acts in the North Texas region. The band (Alli Johnson: guitar, vocals, Jaycie Skidmore: penny whistles/flutes/vocals, Dave Ervin: guitar/mandolin/vocals) have performed at the most sought-after - events throughout the state, with featured performances at the North Texas Irish Festival, Austin Celtic Festival, Texas Scottish Festival, the Kimbell Art Museum, and some of the premier local pubs as well. With so much great music in the DFW area, it’s worth noting that the Selkie Girls offer a unique perspective on Celtic and folk music. Their take on the Celtic music tradition, built upon lush vocal harmonies and dynamic instrumental arrangements, always captivates their audiences. The band’s repertoire includes ancient laments, contemporary ballads, traditional Irish tunes, Scottish Gaelic folk sung in the native tongue, and foot-stomping jigs and reels. 

Kieron Elliott

Kieron was born and raised in Airdrie, Scotland. Halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Actor, Singer, MC and more, Austin audiences have come to love him in his role of hosting the Austin Celtic Festival music stages and at other local events like St. Patrick's Day. We are excited to have him hosting the Celtic Christmas show and also to get the chance to hear him sing and perform with our group of traditional artists.

Inishfree Irish Dance

IThe Inishfree School of Irish Dancing has been one of the most prominent Irish Dance classes in the state of Texas for over 15 years. In this time children and adults have gained more than just the ability to dance. Classes focus on developing a strong work ethic, focus, achievement, good sportsmanship, and making lifelong friends. We pride ourselves on giving Texan children a place to flourish within the competitive world of Irish Dance where we regularly represent Texas and the USA at major competitions worldwide. As well as this, we perform throughout the state giving even our youngest children the chance to show off their skills.Inishfree was proud to open our first Austin, Kyle and Round Rock classes in the last two years. In this short period of time, we have flourished and continue to grow in numbers as well as achievement.If Irish Dance has been something you have been interested in trying, please come along to any of our locations for a free class. We are sure Irish Dance is something you will fall in love with.

 

Peadar Hickey

Peadar has a passion all aspects of Irish culture -the GAA, the Irish Language, Irish history and Irish music and song. A career in music began in Dublin’s Temple Bar where he quickly established himself on the folk and traditional music circuit. A proud native of Dublin City, Peadar landed in New York City in 2010. Since then, he has been in great demand as a live entertainer all over New York and far beyond. Peadar is currently the resident entertainer for five Irish music venues in New York, where each night audiences are treated to an engaging, informative and uniquely Irish entertainment experience. He also tours extensively with Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones. Described as being “sincere in his delivery”, Peadar has a passion for the story of Ireland that comes through strongly in his performances. Peadar’s talent as a singer/guitar player has landed him on stages in some very high places to say the least! Peadar is also currently the guitar instructor at The Irish Arts Center in Manhattan.

The Schola Cantorum of St. Mary's Cathedral

The Schola Cantorum was founded in 1993 by Cathedral Director of Music, John Balka. Suzanne Ramo became the Director of Music upon Maestro Balka's departure in 1997, and appointed Jeffrey Jones-Ragona as Choir Master and Philip Baker as organist. In 2001, Dr. Jones-Ragona became the Director of Music and continues to serve in that capacity. The Schola Cantorum is the principal choir for services at the Cathedral, and performs a repertoire that focuses mainly on Gregorian Chant and Renaissance and Baroque music. The Schola has been the featured vocal ensemble on the Celtic Christmas Concerts since the first concert in 2002. In 2005, the Schola joined forces with the Texas Early Music Project to perform the first-ever Austin performance of Monteverdi's "1610 Vespers," a concert which was awarded the Austin Critic's Table Award for Outstanding Classical Concert of 2005."

Stephanie Prewitt

has performed in theaters, cathedrals, and concert halls throughout the United States and Europe, in repertoire spanning eight centuries. A resident of Europe for two years after completing her university training, she soloed regularly with the renowned Clemencic Consort in Vienna and Paris. She was a member of the six-voice ensemble La Cappella, and toured with them extensively throughout Austria, Italy, and Scandinavia, in eclectic repertory ranging from obscure masterpieces of the Austrian Renaissance to American spirituals. Her most recent honors include an Austin Critics Table Award (2001) and the Adams Vocal Master Class Fellowship (2001) from the internationally acclaimed Carmel Bach Festival. She is featured on a recording of Koch International, singing 12th-century polyphonic chant with Heliotrope, an ensemble based in California.

Brett Barnes

regularly performs with Texas Early Music Project and the Schola Cantorum of St. Mary’s Cathedral. As a soloist, Mr. Barnes has been featured with The Houston Masterworks Chorale, Austin Symphony, San Antonio Symphony and Pops in a Broadway Review as well as their productions of Madama Butterfly and A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim, Midland Odessa Symphony, Mid-Texas Symphony, Victoria Bach Festival and the Richardson Symphony to name just a few. He has performed with Tulsa Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Beaumont Civic Opera, Capitol City Opera and is a founding member of the Not-Quite-Rite Players of the Scottish Rite in Austin, performing traditional melodramas. He has been honored as a National Young Artist, Metropolitan Opera Regional Winner, awarded the Marguerite McCammon Award for Vocal Excellence by Ft. Worth Opera, vocal winner of the Soratin competition, and was chosen to participate in the inaugural Festival-de-St. Cérè under the direction of Maestro Robert Shaw.

Daniel Johnson

Award-winning director, international performer and recording artist, Daniel Johnson has been the artistic director of the Texas Early Music Project since its inception in 1987. Johnson tours extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, performing Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music both as a soloist and ensemble member in such groups as the New York Ensemble for Early Music, Sotto Voce (San Francisco), and Musa Iberica.