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

pipes of christmas 2021

CAITLIN WARBELOW

The annual Pipes of Christmas concert series, which could not 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 New York.

The 2 p.m. Dec. 19 concert at Central Presbyterian Church in Summit — which will feature holiday music with traditional Celtic instrumentation, and readings — is sold out, but tickets are still available for the 2 p.m. Dec. 18 show at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. 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, harp player Rachel Clemente, cellist Sarah Hewitt-Roth and pipes/whistle player Dan Houghton will be featured, along with two new faces: fiddler Caitlin Warbelow (currently performing in “Come From Away” on Broadway) and the Scotland-born and currently New York-based singer Margaret Kelly. Guitarist Steve Gibb will serve as the musical director.

“Tapping into our most primal 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 but intimate concert experience,” wrote David Gerald Palladino-Sinclair in a review of the 2017 Summit show for NJArts.net.

The concerts, he wrote, never fail “to amaze audiences with unique artistic combinations that seem to affect everyone in attendance most profoundly.”

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

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