Tomaseen FoleyTomáseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas

A night filled with Irish stories, music, songs, dance and holiday cheer

Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 | 7:00 p.m.

The NFCC Artist Series invites you to spend an evening with native Irish storyteller Tomáseen Foley and some of the most gifted Celtic musicians, dancers and singers performing anywhere today, on either side of the Atlantic. NFCC presents Tomáseen Foley’s A CELTIC CHRISTMAS on FRIDAY, DEC. 9 at Van H. Priest Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Show begins at 7 p.m.

“Long, long before Riverdance, Tomáseen says, “ordinary country people knocked sparks off the bare flagstone of their neighbor’s floor as they danced jigs, reels, and hornpipes with their hob-nailed boots, and the rafter rang with the fiery music of the fiddle and the pipes.”

A Celtic Christmas is a re-creation of a night before Christmas in the West of Ireland in the 1940s, before the motorcar, the television, and the telephone. In the remote parish of Teampall an Ghleanáin--Tomáseen Foley’s birthplace--the neighbors gathered at each others farmhouses and brought with them their fiddles, uilleann pipes, flutes, whistles, bodhráns, for a night of traditional Irish music, traditional carols, traditional Irish dancing, and, of course, storytelling.  A Celtic Christmas brings to life just such a night – a wholesome, cultural, family feast directly from the rich table of communal life in the west of Ireland.

Tomáseen Foley is a master of the Irish narrative, and a keeper of the flame for a priceless piece of Irish culture.  
“Tomáseen Foley is doing what his ancestors have done for centuries – long before “The Nutcracker” or “It’s a Wonderful Life”- he is carrying on an ancient tradition for the audiences that pack theatres across the United States every winter to see it.” ~ Mail Tribune, Medford, OR

The show’s Music Director is William Coulter, an internationally recognized master of the steel-string guitar, who has been performing and recording traditional Celtic and American folk music for more than 20 years. Also featured are uilleann piper, flute and whistle player and world-champion level traditional Irish Dancer Brian Bigley; one of the most scintillating and versatile young violinist in North America Edwin Huizinga; traditional Irish fiddle player and world-champion level traditional Irish Dancer Katie Grennan; and new to this year’s show, fresh from her studies of the ancient art of traditional Irish singing at the renowned University of Limerick in south-west Ireland, is vocalist Kara Matthews, singing traditional Irish Christmas carols.

Tickets for Tomáseen Foley’s A CELTIC CHRISTMAS are on sale now in the NFCC College Advancement office or by calling 850-973-1653. Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended; limited tickets may be available at the door.

Upcoming performances of the NFCC Artist Series include Ragtime and Boogie-Woogie Pianist Bob Milne on Jan. 20; the Russian String Orchestra on Feb. 3; and The Peking Acrobats® on Feb. 23. NFCC Community Theatre will also present “Shrek the Musical, Jr.” on Jan. 28 at Van H. Priest Auditorium.