Most people need winter cheer more this year than ever before. The Calaveras County Arts Council aims to deliver that cheer on the sparkle of harps and bouzoukis and a warm draught of fiddle music with their first winter concert and fundraiser in nearly two years.
On Sunday Dec. 5, at 2 p.m., the Alhambra Music Room at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys, the Arts Council will present “Christmas in a Celtic Land,” a concert by the Celtic trio Golden Bough. The concert celebrates all things British Isles, with rare holiday music and standard carols from Celtic nations like Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, French Brittany and Spanish Galicia, as well as compositions by members of Golden Bough.
Golden Bough, venerable and respected musicians in Celtic music circles and beyond, has been providing an opportunity for loved ones to join together in song and celebration with their concert program for over 40 years. Margie Butler, Paul Espinoza and Kathy Sierra capture the essence and joy of traditional music on a wide variety acoustic instruments, including Celtic harp, penny whistle, guitar, accordion, violin, viola, mandolin, and bodhran (a hand held drum, particular to the Celtic culture). The whole family will enjoy lively instrumental pieces, haunting ballads and humorous sing-alongs as the band creates an atmosphere in which the listener is transported to another place and time.
The intimacy of the Alhambra Music Room amid the glow and shine of holiday decorations make Ironstone Vineyards the perfect setting for Golden Bough’s rare carols and songs of celebration for the Winter Solstice and the New Year. Due to COVID restrictions, the Bret Harte Theater was not available for concerts this year so Ironstone is the new venue, and as board member Ruth Morrow said, “It’s good to shake things up. And Ironstone at the holidays is really something special.”
Executive Director Kathy Mazzaferro agreed. “We’re grateful that Ironstone is welcoming us. As much as we will miss the high school theater, Ironstone is such a beautiful facility. What better place to welcome the holidays?”
The concert is also a fundraiser to support the Arts Council’s music programs Music in the Parks and Ovations. In the pre-concert gathering, you can increase your merriment with champagne and hors d’oeuvres served by Ironstone.
“We hope that you will join us for this fundraising event in support of our music programs,” Mazzaferro said.
While the Arts Council this year has a stellar total lineup of five winter concerts, each concert will be planned and sold separately.
“Due to the ever-changing landscape in public health we are not selling season tickets,” Mazzaferro said, citing the uncertainty of the future. Still, she’s looking forward to the first Ovations concert in more than a year. After such a long hiatus, Mazzaferro is overjoyed to once again bring music to Calaveras County.
“I want joy and sparkle to return to Calaveras County,” she said. “A chance for us to be together. It reminds me of the song, When the Lights Go On Again (All over the World). There’s no better time for the lights to go on in Calaveras County.”
General admission tickets (no assigned seating): $50 adults. Available online through Nov. 28 at www.calaverasarts.org, or call 209-754-1774 Monday through Thursday. Tickets not available at the door.
Proof of COVID vaccination is required for entry.
“We take the health and safety of the citizens of Calaveras County seriously,” affirmed Mazzaferro. “We stand with other performing arts centers across the country in our joint efforts to crush this scourge. We will be following all current health department rules to keep everyone at the concert safe. Please respect the health of others.”