The Front Row: Celtic Christmas

Dec 13, 2017

The Caprock Celtic Christmas is one of the great traditions in Lubbock, now in its 17th year. Chris Smith visits this episode of the Front Row to share more about the concert.

Did you imagine the Celtic Christmas would look like this?

I guess I would say I did not imagine it would be something like this, but I hoped it would be. It was certainly always intended that it would be an annual event that could develop a bit of an annul following of all kinds of folks that might be looking for something on a Celtic theme, as part of the holidays. It’s a big fundraiser for us, as you know, as part of our scholarships and our guest artist series.

But yeah, we’re still here after 17 years. And we just keep trekking on.

How did you come up with the idea for a Celtic Christmas?

Lots of communities across the country, and in fact, all around the world have something like this—some kind of a themed midwinter, holiday, Celtic themed thing. My own particular model was the Christmas Rebels, which are a kind of reviews, semi-stage, theatrical thing. It actually began in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I’m from, and it’s usually on some kind of a theme. It’s usually north European folk music, not always Celtic—sometimes American music, American folk music. And there will be stories and recitations and folk plays and more.

So my model, I don’t think I thought of it consciously when I thought of a midwinter celebration, I thought of the Christmas Rebels….it’s definitely like a gathering of the clans. We have people who come back every year, guest artists, and others. So it’s kind of a family celebration on the stage as well as in the house.

One of the astonishing things to me is the ensembles you pull together. How do you do this?

Well there are really two parts to that. One is that because people are very busy, because these are all independent organizations, soloists, or ensembles, or dance groups, the Celtic Christmas is very modular. We basically have one big tech session slash dress rehearsal the night before the show. And then we do the show and a lot of times we have people coming from out of town so we don’t have the luxury of long periods of rehearsal.

At this point honestly, anybody who’s returning they kind of know their role. It’s a little bit like a family Christmas where everybody knows that, “ok Uncle Harry is going to sing his song now.”

Listen to the full interview at the top of the article.