Leahy to bring ‘A Celtic Christmas’

Posted Dec. 17, 2008, at 6:49 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11:09 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — When Leahy last appeared on the Maine Center for the Arts stage in 2004, they brought down the house with their fiddle-driven music, meticulous step dancing and captivating vocals. This year, the spellbinding Canadian octet of brothers and sisters returns with a program to get audiences into the Christmas spirit.

Leahy will perform “A Celtic Christmas,” a mix of Celtic medleys and traditional Christmas carols, as part of the Maine Center for the Arts season on the road at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at Bangor Auditorium.

With a style planted squarely in their Irish and Scottish roots, these siblings explore a range of musical genres and cultures with a formidable instrumental prowess.

“Leahy makes Christmas a true family affair,” the Calgary Herald said in reviewing the group’s performance.

The Leahys — Donnell, Siobheann, Frank, Denise, Doug, Erin, Angus and Maria — were raised on a farm near Lakefield, Ontario. Each of the 11 Leahy children learned to play the Celtic fiddle from their father, while their mother taught them to sing, dance and play the piano.

The siblings also learned guitar, banjo, mandolin, drums and bass, and during performances they often switch instruments, each demonstrating remarkable skills.

The ensemble first gained attention with a documentary, “The Leahys: Music Most of All,” which won an Academy Award for Best Student Foreign Film in 1985. In 1998, Leahy gained international attention when Shania Twain invited the ensemble to open her debut world tour. Since then, Leahy has toured actively, introducing audiences across the globe to their high-energy, thrilling and spellbinding performances.

Leahy has released four acclaimed CDs, “Leahy,” “Lakefield,” “In All Things” and “Live,” which have sold more than a half-million copies worldwide.

Embarking on their first-ever solo Christmas tour gives the members of Leahy the chance to share a bit of the magic of the Christmas season that began when they were children and continues today.

These Christmas traditions included not only honoring the sacredness of the season, but also partaking of good food, the company of family and friends, and copious amounts of music. A Celtic Christmas offers audiences a peek in the window of the Leahy home to experience a bit of this holiday cheer.

For ticket information, call 990-4444 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

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