MC ensembles to present “A Celtic Christmas” Concert

MC ensembles to present “A Celtic Christmas” Concert

Nov. 14, 2018 

The Maryville College Division of Fine Arts will present “A Celtic Christmas” on Tues., Dec. 4, 2018 at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for area students, and free for children 5 and under. Admission is free for MC students, faculty and staff, although a printed ticket is required for admission. To purchase tickets, please call the Clayton Center Box Office at 865.981.8590 or visit

The program will feature a unique mix of holiday music that draws inspiration from Celtic culture via the traditional music of the Irish, Scottish, Manx, Welsh and Cornish regions.

“These various cultures have characteristics that are found distinctly in their music: use of pipes, (bagpipes or the Irish Uilleann pipes), the Lombard rhythm or ‘Scotch snap,’ and large melodic leaps that correspond with poetic aspects of the Gaelic accent,” said Dr. Eric Simpson, assistant professor of music, director of bands and conductor of the Orchestra at Maryville College.

Selections include the “A-Soalin” traditional song, arranged by Ronald Staheli; “Jig and Fanfare” by Eric Simpson; “The Highland Carol” by Michael W. Smith, Charles Wesley and Christopher Wordsworth, and arranged by Fettke and Grassi; “Christmas Pipes” by Brenden Graham and arranged by Leavitt; “Christmastime is Here” by Vince Guaraldi; and “The Christmas Song” by Mel Torme.   

At the end of the performance, a Christmas sing-along for the entire audience will be enjoyed and all of the ensembles will combine to perform the traditional “Hallelujah Chorus” from George Frideric Handel’s Messiah. There will also be a special guest appearance by Santa Claus during the program! 

Featured ensembles will include:

  • The Orchestra at Maryville College, conducted by Dr. Eric Simpson, Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Bands and Conductor of the Orchestra at Maryville College
  • The Maryville College Concert Choir, directed by Stacey Wilner, Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of Choral Activities
  • The Maryville College Community Chorus, directed by Alan Eleazer, Adjunct Instructor of Voice and Conductor of the Maryville College Community Chorus
  • The MC3Band, directed by Dr. Eric Simpson
  • The Maryville College Jazz Ensemble, directed by Dr. William Swann, Professor of Music
  • Off Kilter, directed by Stacey Wilner

Christmas Open House

Prior to the concert, the Blount County Chapter of the Maryville College Alumni Association will host a Christmas Open House on Tues., Dec. 4 from 4:30 until 7 p.m. in Willard House on the MC campus.

Maryville College alumni and friends are invited to enjoy beautiful Christmas decorations, delicious baked goods and holiday music. Bring your camera for photos with Santa!

For more information about the Christmas Open House, please call 865.981.8202.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2018 semester is 1,154.