A Celtic Christmas set for Reynolds Performance Hall

Celtic Crossroads, a globetrotting traditional Irish group, will perform “A Celtic Christmas” at the University of Central Arkansas’s Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m.

The band gained its name from a period in Ireland when adjacent communities met at the crossroads between towns to mingle. This was before pubs became popular.

Celtic Crossroads has been praised as the “the most exhilarating and authentic show to come from Ireland in decades – not to be missed.”

The talented musicians combine North American bluegrass, jazz, European Gypsy and other forms of Celtic music from Europe and around the world to produce a delightful fusion, sworn to captivate the audience.

“They do covers, one of them being ‘With or Without You’ by U2,” Jerry Biebesheimer, UCA’s director of public appearances, said. “They also do some dancing while they perform. Their dancing is best described as halfway between clogging and ballet.”

He said the group acquired its fame from the World Fusion PBS Special in 2010 after its third tour in the United States.

“They have videos that have gone viral on YouTube,” Biebesheimer said. “They’re not the standard group that is a cliché.”

The musicians play a variety of string and percussion instruments, including the harp, violin, flute, guitar and the banjo. They reenact traditional Irish music with modern technology and are described on their website for delivering an “explosion of youthful energy and dazzling musicianship. Spontaneous mid-show ovations are the norm, and enraptured Celtic Crossroads audiences are always compelled to shout, and SHOUT for more.”

Ashley Love, director of finance and marketing for UCA Public Appearances, said the show would appeal to a wide variety of audience.

“This is a multigenerational show, one that you can take your grandparents and children to,” she said. “Half the show will  be traditional Celtic music, and the other half will be Christmas stuff.”

Biebesheimer said, “I’ll be surprised if they don’t play ‘Silent Night’.”

Tickets may be purchased at the UCA Ticket Central Box Office. They are free for UCA students, $10 for non-UCA students and $23-$40 for the general public. Call (501) 450-3265 or toll free from anywhere in Arkansas at 1-866-810-0012 or visit www.uca.edu/reynolds.

For further information, contact Biebesheimer at (501) 450-3682 or jerryb@uca.edu.

- By Carissa Gan
College of Fine Arts and Communication Media Office