For many in the Northwest, it wouldn't be the holidays without the rippling harps, dulcimers, and other lush Celtic sounds of acclaimed family ensemble Magical Strings. The tradition continues this year, as Magical Strings conducts its 35th triumphant year of annual Celtic Yuletide Concerts taking place throughout Puget Sound in December.
On Friday, Dec. 13 Magical Strings will perform at Urban Grace Church, 902 Market St. Tickets are available now, online at Magicalstrings.com, or via 1-800-838-3006. Advance tickets are $20 for adults, $12 for children (12 and under) for general seating; and $28, all seats, Reserved Section. For general admission at the door, pricing is $22 for adults and $14 for children (12 and under). Magical Strings will be at other venues as well over next week: Dec. 14 at Town Hall in Seattle, Dec. 15 at Lincoln Theatre in Mt. Vernon, Dec. 16 at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Dec. 18 at Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland, and Dec. 21 at Icicle Creek’s Snowy Owl Theater in Leavenworth.
At 35 years of annual holiday performances, the group is now well into three generations of performers, mirroring the generations of Northwest audiences who have enjoyed the group’s music and stories each year without fail. Each Christmas season, the grown Boulding children (now adults ages 42 to 31) return to the Seattle area to join in the performances and festivities – once debuting as elves and a fairy princess, they’re now scientists, builders/designers, and concertmasters, and have in turn brought forth a third generation including six grandchildren (ages 5-13) who are just as intensely involved in music and dance.
Featuring the lyrical, joyful sounds of Celtic harps, hammered dulcimers, violins, cello, whistles, concertina, percussion and more, each Celtic Yuletide performance is more than a concert – it’s a holiday gala of Celtic-inspired song, dance, theater and storytelling. The concerts are staged annually by three generations of the multitalented Boulding family and special guests as the perfect holiday event for young and old. Each Celtic Yuletide Concert offers lovely and delicate Celtic renditions of classic carols, soulful seasonal original compositions, and dance, juggling and storytelling. The audience even takes part in the festivities, with an invitation to join a processional through the aisles, or by singing along to traditional carols as “All Through the Night” beautifully closes out the evening.
For its 2013 Celtic Yuletide concerts, Magical Strings will be joined by the Tara Academy of Irish Dance (featuring world-class Irish dancers who have won competitions in Ireland), with sweetly poignant Irish songs from acclaimed vocalist Colleen Raney with Dublin-born guitarist Colm MacCárthaigh, Canadian fiddler Jocelyn Pettit, and Matt Jerrell with his impeccable percussion, all creating a remarkable celebration to kindle the light of Yuletide, better than ever in its 35th year.