Over the last two decades, the annual Pipes of Christmas concerts — devoted, mostly, to traditional takes on holiday classics — have become a tradition of their own, as well as a comforting, uplifting New Jersey institution. This year’s shows will take place at the Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, Dec. 16 at 2 and 7 p.m., as well as at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.
The show features bagpipes — and other instruments such as drums, harp, fiddles and organ — on holiday favorites such as “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “Joy to the World” and “Amazing Grace,” with readings from the Celtic literature of Scotland, Ireland and Wales interspersed between the musical numbers. Participants will include actors James Robinson and Andrew Weir (who were both in the movie, “Braveheart”), harpist Jennifer Port, guitarist Steve Gibb, fiddler Calum Pasqua, piper Ben Power (from Broadway’s “Come From Away”) and the Pipe Major Kevin Ray Blandford Memorial Pipe Band from Redlands, Calif.
Proceeds go to a several organizations, including a music scholarship program that makes annual gifts to the National Piping Centre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (both located in Glasgow, Scotland), the Gaelic College of Nova Scotia and Summit High School.
Also, nonperishable food will be collected from concert-goers in Summit, to be donated to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
Here is some music from one of the 2016 shows: