Pittsburgh Happenings: Happy Holidays

Pittsburgh HappeningsBy Diane Byrnes

In December, a variety of Christmas events will be taking place, even though Covid is still in our midst.  The Gaelic Arts Society (GAS) will sponsor their Christmas celebration on the 4th, at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Greentree.  There will be a dinner and short program. 

AOH Sean MacBride Division 32 in Carnegie will hold their Christmas Party on the 4th at the Fairview Fire Hall at 7pm.  This party usually includes a meal and music with a DJ; this group likes to dance and they dance the night away.

This division was founded September 1989 and has close to 200 active members. Their monthly meetings are based in the Carnegie area.  They hold a variety of functions and support many charities, regional and international; Division 32 does live their motto of ‘Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.’

The Pittsburgh Ceili Club (PCC) will hold their Christmas Party at the Fox Chapel Yacht Club on the 5th, with a buffet & dessert & entertainment w ‘Corned Beef & Curry.’ Doors opening at 2, runs until 7P. 

The PCC has been in operation since 1993 and has been consistent in promoting Irish Ceili dance. 

They hold weekly Ceili’s at Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle in The Strip District of Pittsburgh.  The Performing Group visit a variety of venues and centers throughout the area performing the dances of Ireland; they are all well seasoned dancers and bring so much joy to many.

Now that we are in the Christmas season, what thoughts have you had on shopping?  A new CD I just received is Celtic Woman, ‘Post Cards from Ireland.’  This recording features thirteen new songs and is the group’s first new studio album since 2018s ‘Ancient Land.’ 

Celtic Woman features Chloé for a lovely version of ‘Angel.’  Megan Walsh and Tara McNeill have a duet on ‘The Lakes of Pontchartrain,’ and Susan McFadden performs ‘May It Be.’  The album also features the  newest member of Celtic Woman, Muirgen O’Mahoney, and joined by the British folk group The Longest John’s, who join Celtic Woman on a version of Richard Thompson’s ‘Beeswing.’  This is an absolutely beautiful recording.   Celtic Woman is one of the most successful PBS specials aired to date.

Their ‘North American Postcards From Ireland Tour is scheduled to begin February 2022.  The Women have been performing in Pittsburgh since they began singing together around 2006 and are one of the favorite groups that come to the ‘Burg’. 

Another favorite is Celtic Thunder, they will be performing at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg March 2022.  Because of the pandemic, these marvelous entertainers have had to postpone two concerts.  Let’s hope that they can make their tour in 2022.

Other concerts scheduled for Pittsburgh in 2022 include Gaelic Storm, Enter The Haggis, Red Hot Chili Pipers, and Clannad.  I expect we will have the good fortune to see a variety of other performers performing on our stages.

Shopping for the many people in our lives might take some creative thinking. Purchasing a ticket to one of the above events might be a good idea. Also, ‘The River City Brass,’ are celebrating their 40th Anniversary this season, offering many fine productions over the next several months.

From the 2nd through the 10th the ‘Christmas Brasstacular’ runs.  From March 3 through 22 they are performing ‘Celtic Connections,’ a dynamic program with Irish and Scottish music, songs and a variety of other entertainment for the season. 

The Artistic Director, James Gourley, is an accomplished entertainer, both with his antics and his tuba, you will really enjoy him.  James was born near Glasgow in Scotland and has traveled the world conducting the orchestras and teaching the tuba.Tickets from this company also make for a great Christmas present

Then there is PICT Classic Theatre and their production during February with ‘Endgame” by Samuel Beckett.  There will be another production in April with title to be determined, and in June ‘The Boys in The Band.’  Programs from this company also make for an excellent present.

Along with singers and musicians being out of work for the past 12 to 18 months due to the pandemic, look what has happened to our retail shops.  Due to the virus and the internet being so prevalent in our lives, so many people are shopping online. Of course if you cannot go out because you might catch something, what can you do? 

Many large box shops are closing their brick-and-mortar stores and you are pretty much forced to shop online.  I do not know about you, but I prefer to touch something that I may purchase, I want to see it, touch it and hold it (as long as it is not too big). 

A Very Happy Christmas to all of you and may the 2022 New Year bring good health and well deserved rewards to you and your families.

*Diane V. Byrnes, Producer & Host Echoes of Erin on WEDO 810AM, Sunday 12:30pm Online on Wednesday @ 1:30pm (then click on Listen Live) Email: [email protected]

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