Catamount Arts and KCP Presents announced the performance of Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy in Celtic Family Christmas, broadcast live from the MacMaster/Leahy homestead in Ontario, Saturday, Dec. 12.
Award-winning Cape Breton fiddle virtuoso Natalie MacMaster, known for fleet-footed Irish step-dancing while playing fiery jigs and reels, has toured with the Chieftains, Faith Hill, Alison Krauss, and Yo-Yo Ma. World-renowned fiddler Donnell Leahy, frontman of the critically acclaimed band Leahy, is a peerless instrumentalist credited for pioneering a new standard in Irish/Cape Breton music performance.
Together, MacMaster and Leahy are a force to be reckoned with, electrifying audiences worldwide with astonishing skill, intricate technique, and legendary stage presence. The couple’s beloved Christmas concerts often include at least some of their seven children in a captivating family showcase that brings to life the authentic, home-brewed nature of Irish and Cape Breton music and dance traditions.
KCP Presents has brought the MacMaster/Leahy family Christmas show to St. Johnsbury Academy’s Fuller Hall in the past, delighting sold-out audiences with an irresistible blend of traditional Celtic tunes, holiday favorites, and two generations of dancing fiddlers.
“For decades, we have toured extensively at Christmas,” writes MacMaster, “but this year marks our most unique (show), taking the stage to our home! We will spend just over an hour sharing with you our music and culture, Christmas traditions, and real life family dynamic…some dancing, some singing, some baking (and) many candid moments along the way.”
Molly Stone of Catamount Arts spoke with MacMaster and Leahy during Stone’s most recent episode of Catamoments, an interview series available on YouTube. Stone, MacMaster and Leahy discussed the decision to perform Celtic Family Christmas virtually, hosted by theaters that would have presented the show in-person had a live tour been possible.
“The whole spirit of this is (to) support your local theater,” Leahy said to Stone. As COVID-19 shut down tours and performances back in March, Leahy continued, “we heard about all the theaters in trouble and agencies and crew people.” The couple knew they could do a show online through their website, but they wanted to engage the communities that would normally benefit from hosting live performances.
“Let’s just do it how we normally would,” Leahy said. “If you want to purchase a ticket, you have to purchase it through a theater. I bought a ticket myself and my mother-in-law bought a ticket!”
To purchase your ticket to Celtic Family Christmas, Saturday, December 12, with Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, or to learn more about seasonal programming by KCP Presents and Catamount Arts, visit www.catamountarts.org.