Celebrating Christmas to the sound of Celtic music

Whidbey Island Music Festival presents ‘A Celtic Christmas with the Beggar Boys’

Whidbey Island Music Festival celebrates the holidays with “A Celtic Christmas with the Beggar Boys” at St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods Episcopal Church at 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10.

“Embark on a musical journey with us this holiday season as the Beggar Boys weave an enchanting tapestry of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Abigail Lennox’s ethereal voice dances with fiddles, whistle, and guitar, crafting a symphony of tradition and innovation,” said Tekla Cunningham, Whidbey Island Music Festival’s founder and director.

“Larry Young’s storytelling adds a dramatic touch, while live Irish step dancing transforms the stage into a rhythmic celebration. This magical festive experience transcends time and borders – a perfect family holiday treat, bringing the magic of Celtic heritage to the heart of the Pacific Northwest.”

Tickets are available online at whidbeyislandmusicfestival.org/festival-events/a-celtic-christmas.

St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods Episcopal Church is located at 5217 S Honeymoon Bay Road in Freeland.

While this is the final event for this year, Whidbey Island Musical Festival has a range of performances scheduled for the remainder the the 2023-2024 season.

“Baroqu-en Hearts: Music for Valentine’s Day” takes place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4. A musical tribute to love gone right, love gone wrong, love gone mad, and love just plain gone. From the heartwarming to the heartbreaking, enjoy music by Purcell, Handel, Strozzi and more, performed by acclaimed soprano Danielle Reutter-Harrah, violinist Tekla Cunningham, cellist Adaiha MacAdam-Somer and harpsichordist Henry Lebedinsky. Complementary Valentine’s Day-themed refreshments will be provided.

“The Deer’s Cry: Songs of the Celtic Saints” is at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 16. An old Irish legend says that St. Patrick, traveling though territory controlled by a Druid chieftain, recited a prayer of protection as he walked. The chieftain’s army saw only a great stag leading a herd of red deer, and the saint’s men passed through safely. That prayer has come to be known as The Deer’s Cry, or St. Patrick’s Breastplate. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Irish traditional music, from the mystical to the jovial, including songs and hymns attributed to St. Patrick and St. Columba, a mystical hymn to St. Brigid, and toe-tapping jigs and reels. Vocalist Natalie Ingrisano, fiddler Brandon Vance and guitarist/keyboardist Henry Lebedinsky serve up this family-friendly musical treat.

“Northern Exposure: Musical treasures from the frozen North” is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. While Italy was busy acquiring its status as the center of the baroque musical world, composers and performers in northern Germany, Denmark, Sweden and England were busy developing their own unique sound, blending Italian influences with a distinctly rich northern sensibility and style. Baroque violinist Tekla Cunningham, viola da gamba player Tess Roberts and harpsichordist Henry Lebedinsky offer up this program of fiery, bold and inventive works by Buxtehude, Westhoff, Sidon, Butler and Roman. This program introduces Whidbey Island Music Festival’s Young Artist Program with Whidbey Island High School student Rylie Patching performing on baroque bassoon.

“Lift Every Voice: A Celebration of Black Voices in Art Song” is slated for 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 5. Join radiant soprano Michele Kennedy and pianist Henry Lebedinsky for an uplifting, powerful, and inspiring program of spirituals, art songs and solo piano works by Black composers Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Harry T. Burleigh and Moses Hogan, along with insights and stories that vividly bring the music to life.

All performances are at St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods.

Founded in 2006 by Tekla Cunningham, Whidbey Island Music Festival is a vibrant and vital organization that serves the Whidbey Island Community with great performances of baroque and classical chamber music.