Sunday, December 18, 2005
A Caprock Celtic Christmas
Last night, Angry Joyce and I attended 'A Caprock Celtic Christmas' at Texas Tech University. I had some trepidation as although I like listening to bagpipes and Irish jigs, I have always thought that there is something goofy about the whole RiverDance thing. All my apprehensions were dispelled as it was one of the best performances that I have ever attended. It wasn't quite Ozzfest but I had a great time.
The evening started out with a bagpipe player who entered the hall playing a medley of traditional Christmas songs and melded in traditional Celtic music and occasionally mixed in some other tunes to elicit humor, which of course since it was a Caprock Christmas included 'Dixie'.
The next performance by a female choir group was excellent and was backed up by the musical director on Renaissance guitar. The master of ceremonies or 'fear an ti, which translates as man of the house, welcomed the audience and told the story of how on the holidays a candle would be lit welcoming travelers and inviting all to a night of dancing, music, and merrymaking, which also meant a little bit of pulling off the jug.
The musicians for the traditional Irish music were phenominal. I was most impressed with the bodhrain. I was not familiar with this instrument. The way this percussion instrument was played not only framed the music with rhythm but at times to my untrained ear seemed as rolling thunder across the plains, with a sound both eery and beautiful.
When the part of the evening arrived that I had somewhat dreaded came, all my doubts were dispelled. Maybe it was the difference between seeing this dancing on t.v. or seeing it in person, all I know is that I was transfixed by it. The first dancing performance was a woman and her two daughters. The youngest of which could not have been more than four or five. Although this performance lacked the intensity of the dancing performances to come later with the mother by herself, it was thoroughly enjoyable and was just the ticket to start off. On a sidenote, I would be remiss in not saying that I looked forward to each subsequent performances due to the fact that her skirts got shorter and shorter each time she reentered the stage. I guess all that traditional dancing is good for the bod, for she had the best set of legs that I might have ever seen.
After a short intermission, The West Texas Childrens Choir performed a few selections and I must say they were leaps and bounds better than the Chistmas Concert for the Damned that I attended earlier in the week. A group of mummers acted out a play and more traditional Celtic music was played. The finale was awe inspiring with 'Amazing Grace' played on the bagpipe backed up by both choirs.
I was glad that I attended and next year plan to take the kids with us. In fact this summer we might try to attend a Celtic Festival that is held in Amarillo each year. If anyone has a chance to attend one of these types of events, I would strongly encourage them to attend. If an uncouth redneck such as myself can have a good time, there is no telling how good a time can be had by a person with just a smidgin of culture.