E! the Dragnificent: ‘Celtic Woman’ performance with PSO stirs feelings of warmth and the meaning of Christmas

Our youth (and drag) correspondent, E! the Dragnificent recently covered the Celtic Woman holiday concert at Heinz Hall. She and her father attended the performance. ~ Sue

Celtic Woman The Best of Christmas Review Pittsburgh
Photo via Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

 

The Celtic Women’s performance was an amazing night of Christmas tunes with a traditional Celtic sound!

There were four women on stage in beautiful red sparkly gowns, the conductor in a white suit, and the fabulous Pittsburgh symphony orchestra. The four women are named Tara Mcneill as the violinist, Mairéad Carlin as the Soprano Vocalist, Éabha McMahon as the alto vocalist, and Megan Walsh as the soprano vocalist. The conductor was Lloyd Butler.

The songs they sang altogether were, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, “Angels We Have Heard On High” “Joy to the World”, “It’s Beginning/Ding Dong Merrily”, “Amid The Falling Snow”, “Oh Holy Night”, “Danny Boy”, “Upon A Midnight Clear”, “Carol Of the Bells.” During some of the songs fake snow was falling from the ceiling to give the full effect of the joy of Christmastime and not only was a surprise to the audience but to Éabha as well, who hoped that she wouldn’t swallow it.

To make the full effect of the Celtic sound, there were bagpipes and the Uillenn pipes and whistles. The women also sang songs on their own like, “O come, O come Emmanuel” sung by Mairéad Carlin, “Do You Hear What I Hear” sung by Megan Walsh, and a traditional Christmas Irish folk song called, “Dia Do Bheatha” sung by Éabha McMahon.

The sounds of the women’s harmony were soft and beautiful as their voices created a beautiful picture of Christmastime. Their Irish accents were very intriguing and could be heard through their vocal talents.

The bagpipes came out only sometimes and played beautiful songs like, “Amazing Grace, and “Auld Lang Syne”. Sometimes Tara McNeill came out and did captivating violin solos that had the audience cheering loudly! The first time I heard the Uillenn pipes and whistles play I couldn’t recognize where they were coming from, but I knew the sound very well. Éabha talked about how family is so important to her at Christmastime. “Sleigh Ride” and “Feliz Navidad”, were sing-along songs! When they all sang the song, “Deck The Halls”, Tara made a joke about, the words to it were an Ancient song.

I went with my dad and we had an amazing time. The performance stirred feelings of warmth and the meaning behind Christmas. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire performance from the sweet singing to the great sounds of the symphony.

 


Celtic Woman has a new holiday album The Magic of Christmas including many of the songs performed in this show. They return to Pittsburgh, this time at the Benedum Center, in April 2020. 

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