St Iberius Church, Wexford hosts a very special candle-lit Christmas concert this Friday focusing on some of the music and poems that make Christmas in Ireland so unique. Entitled An Irish Christmas | Nollaig na nGael the show aims to shine a light on how Christmas in Ireland is celebrated when you strip away all the razzmatazz. There will be no “dreaming of a white Christmas”, no fake-hilarious “ho-ho-ho”s. What there will be is a selection of music, songs, stories and poetry that are distinctly Irish. While this is the darkest time of year it can be a quietly joyful time. If this concert does nothing else it will give one an alternative and quietly entertaining take on Christmas, one which will hopefully appeal to all the family.
The show, which opens with Mary Forde reading Máirtín Ó Direáin’s beautiful ‘Cuireadh do Mhuire’ (Invitation to Mary); poet Fintan Murphy reads a couple of his own poems and ‘Sí an Nollaig í’ by Dónall Ó Colchúin; 5-part acapella group Credo go way back in time for their selection of sacred songs, with Conor Murphy on piano accompaniment; author, musician and spoken word performer Peter Murphy gives a rendition of Patrick Kavanagh’s A Christmas Childhood; award-winning poet Máire Ní Bhriain reads a short selection of her poetry as well as reciting Máire Mhac an tSaoi’s ‘Oiche Nollaig’; traditional singer Matt Murphy sings the hauntingly beautiful and poignant Christmas 1915; Ballymitty harpist Shelly O’Grady plays a set that includes ‘Boolavogue/waltz’ and ‘A Ray of Hope’; fiddle player Alice Wickham McIntyre, accompanied by guitarist James McIntyre, plays ‘Enniscorthy Carol’, ‘Fairytale of New York’ (instrumental) and ‘The Snow it Melts the Soonest’; uilleann piper Éanna Harrington performs a solo set (tunes tba); Ann Marie Corcoran sings ‘Winter, Fire and Snow’, ‘Life The Wings’ and ‘Scarlet Ribbons’. There may be a very special guest or two. No admission charge. Voluntary donations to Arthur and Aodhán’s Fast Appeal.
Organised by the Wexford town branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.
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