Popular Christmas Concert To Return Via the Internet
“Festival of Advent” to Showcase Acclaimed Scots Performers In Beautiful and Historic Settings
Manhattan’s annual Pipes of Christmas concert, a joyous celebration of Celtic music and poetry produced by the Learned Kindred of Currie, returns for a joyous 22nd year.
Traditionally held in packed out venues, the 2020 production will instead bring this much-loved ‘festival of the soul’ to a worldwide audience in a new, unique and creative way.
A “Festival of Advent”
This year, in light of Covid-19 restrictions, the Learned Kindred is proud to introduce their Video Advent Calendar – a festive series of video webcasts – a much needed helping of Christmas cheer in these difficult times. To complement the new format the production team commissioned a series of inspirational films from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Nova Scotia and New York.
The first webcast will air on the Kindred’s YouTube channel on 29 November, the first Sunday in Advent, with further videos on following Sundays, culminating with a one-hour production on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Supporting the creative and performing arts
In this dreadful year, too many livelihoods have been severely impacted – the creative and performing industries have been particularly hard hit. With many traditional St Andrews Day, Christmas and other productions cancelled, lights have gone off in theatres and halls across the world.
Robert Currie, President of the Currie Family Society, a not-for-profit organisation, said,“While the making of this new video production has brought badly needed employment to creative people who might not otherwise be working, the Learned Kindred wanted to do more.
“In 2020, we will use part of the proceeds from our Pipes of Christmas Festival of Advent to support the artists working in the beleaguered creative industries.”
“This is in addition to our continued support of young people in education in Scotland, Canada and the United States through scholarships and sponsorships.”
“it’s a small gesture, but during Advent, a time of hope and anticipation, it was important to us that we didn’t sit this one out.”
Learned Kindred’s only fundraiser
This annual concert is the Learned Kindred’s only fundraiser, generating their operating budget for the year ahead. Losing the concert income is financially devastating to their outreach programmes which support young people in education in Scotland, Canada and the United States through scholarships and sponsorships.
Recipients of concert funds have included the Royal Conservatory of Scotland, the National Piping Centre, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Royal National Mod and the Gaelic College in Nova Scotia.
Donations Gratefully Accepted
Currie added, “It is our hope that via a crowdfunding programme, our friends, family and followers will consider making a donation to help defray production costs and provide us with some funds to operate in 2021.” A minimum donation of 20 GBP (30 USD) is suggested but viewers may donate as much as they wish. The concert website will include a PayPal link and donations can be made and will be gratefully accepted at any time.
“The Pipes of Christmas has, over two decades, become a treasured part of our holiday season and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, I am delighted to see the innovative programme planned for 2020,” said Joni Smith, Counsellor for the Scottish Government USA and a former Honorary Chairman for the concert. “I applaud all the hard work that has gone into its production and wish it every success.”
The Reverend Canon Dr. Joseph J. Morrow, Lord Lyon King of Arms added, “The joy this concert is marking at the season of Advent will be something of a glimpse of God’s Glory as well an anticipation of the coming of the surprise of God in bringing heaven to earth on Christmas day. I applaud and celebrate all the hard work by the many individuals in making this event happen and I wish it every success.”
Notes to the editor
Notes to the editor
About the Pipes of Christmas
The first Pipes of Christmas concert was held in 1999 and since that date the event has grown considerably with a larger company and extended performance runs. The producers have frequently commissioned new music for bagpipe, clarsach and other instruments. Traditionally, part of the programme is conducted in Scots Gaelic. Money raised from the concerts has helped fund the Learned Kindred’s outreach and charitable programme.
About the Learned Kindred of Currie
The Curries/Currys, originally known as MacMhuirich were for centuries hereditary bards to the MacDonald Lords of the Isles and the Clan MacDonald of Clanranald.
Professor Hugh Cheape of the National Centre for Gaelic Language on the Isle of Skye said of the MacMhuirichs, “This kindred as ‘bardic dynasty’ with such a remarkable history ought now to be recognised on the wider stage of Scottish culture as a family with an independent role at the centre of a widely connected and well-ordered culture that characterised Gaelic Scotland.”
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