Pipes of Christmas concerts return to NJ and NY venues this week

CAITLIN WARBELOW

The annual Pipes of Christmas concert series, which was unable to take place in person last year due to the pandemic, is back, with COVID precautions, for its 23rd season, with shows in New Jersey and in New York.

The 2 p.m. concert on Dec. 19 at Summit’s Central Presbyterian Church — which will feature holiday music with traditional Celtic instrumentation and readings — is sold out, but tickets are still available for the 2 p.m. show on December 18 at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. To visit pipesofchristmas.com for ticket information, COVID guidelines and more.

Veterans of past concerts such as the Kevin Ray Blandford Memorial Pipe Band, the Solid Brass ensemble, harpist Rachel Clemente, cellist Sarah Hewitt-Roth and piper/whistle player Dan Houghton will be featured, along with two new faces : the violinist Caitlin Warbelow (currently playing in “Come From Away” on Broadway) and the singer of Scottish origin and currently based in New York Margaret Kelly. Guitarist Steve Gibb will serve as musical director.

“Powerful on our most primitive human emotions of heritage and family, and through their use of ancient instruments and classic seasonal texts, the Pipes of Christmas concert…offered a majestic and powerful yet intimate concert experience,” wrote David Gerald Palladino-Sinclair in a review of the Summit 2017 show for NJArts.net.

The concerts, he writes, never fail “to amaze the audience with unique artistic combinations that seem to touch all attendees most deeply”.

Proceeds from the concerts support cultural programs in New Jersey, Scotland and elsewhere.

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