The Performing Arts Center presents A Scottish Christmas on Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall. Tickets are $23 (rear balcony) and $28 (orchestra/front balcony). Discounts are available for groups. Tickets are half-price for UGA students with a valid ID. The holiday concert stars Bonnie Rideout (left), three-time winner of the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship.
A Scottish Christmas opens with Rideout’s emotional fiddle rendition of “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel” and ends with a stirring chorus of Robert Burns’ “Auld Lang Syne.” The show features a collection of traditional Scottish carols, wassail tunes and dance music associated with the celebrations of Christmas, Hogmanay (Scottish New Year) and the New Year. It includes such favorites as “Greensleeves (What Child Is This?)” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
Gaelic songs and hymns popular before the Reformation offer reflection into the gentler moods of Christmas, while jigs and reels such as “The Bottle of Punch” and “Ale Is Dear” bring out the merry spirits of the season.
A Scottish Christmas began with an album by the same name which hit the New York Times “Top Holiday Picks” list in 1996 and has continued to be a national holiday bestseller ever since.
Rideout is the only American to represent Scottish fiddle music at the Edinburgh International Festival. She is the first woman to hold the national Scottish fiddle title and the youngest to have garnered the U.S. championship, winning it for three consecutive years. She is the author of seven books and has recorded 14 solo albums, two of which received Grammy nominations.
For A Scottish Christmas, Rideout is joined by a troupe of Celtic musicians including Jerry O’Sullivan on uillean, small and Highland pipes; William Jackson on Scottish harp; John Doyle on guitar; and Matthew Bell on percussion. Ellen Wilkes-Irmisch and Sara Lyons are the Highland dancers featured throughout the performance.