Celtic Christmas in Rangeley and Carthage Dec. 3 & 4

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New England Celtic Arts will host Celtic Christmas by Matt & Shannon Heaton at the Lakeside Theater in Rangeley on Wednesday, Dec. 3 and at the Skye Theatre in South Carthage on Thursday, Dec. 4 with both concerts starting at 7 p.m. A pre-show jam will start at 6:30 p.m. at Skye Theatre. Audience members are encouraged to bring their instruments.

“Fine Winter’s Night,”the holiday show by Matt & Shannon Heaton  www.mattandshannonheaton.com    features traditional, updated, and original Irish music to evoke Christmas and the winter season. This December, The Heatons will perform their unique Christmas show in Maine at Lakeside Theater and Skye Theatres respectively.

Boston-based Matt and Shannon Heaton’s holiday songbook is not your run-of-the-mill collection of Christmas music. On their Dec 2007 CD release, “Fine Winter’s Night,”they feature music dating from the 12th to the 21st century. With an appealing blend of voices, guitar, bouzouki, Irish flute and whistle, “Fine Winter’s Night” is simultaneously homegrown, refined and timeless.

Audience members will hear a few reassuring favorites (a lullaby version of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and the anti-war hymn “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”) alongside unexpected new holiday songs (“First Snowfall of December” and “Julius the Christmas Cat”). With “Fine Winter’s Night,” the Heaton’s offer both secular and spiritual music to brighten chilly winter days and warm long winter nights.

Irish Music Magazine’s Bill Margesen said, “For variety, fun, warmth and musicianship, this is the best of the lot,” and Scott Alarik of the Boston Globe called it “a cocoa warm set of carols, wintry jigs, and originals about the snuggling moods of midwinter.”
 
In addition to singing and playing with poise and passion, Matt and Shannon are natural performers. They connect with audiences, and each show reflects what and who is going on in the room at the moment. “Fine Winter’s Night” is a sweet and splendid way to usher in the holidays for Irish music purists or general acoustic music lovers alike.

The Concert at Skye Theatre on Thursday December 4th is Skye’s Annual Christmas Concert and will be preceded by a potluck supper starting at 5:15. Reservations are required at the Skye concert.

Skye Theater is located 3 miles West of East Dixfield village at 2 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Rd and US RT. 2 in South Carthage. Lakeside Theatre is on Main Street in Rangeley, Maine. Ticket price is $10 at the door. Call New England Celtic Arts at (207) 562-4445 for reservations and directions.

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