An Irish Christmas

Published: December 2015


Invited to create a gift of holiday music, renowned fiddler Séamus Connolly, Boston College’s Sullivan Family Artist-in-Residence, chose two Irish Christmas pieces, one traditional, the other contemporary. On December 10, he brought his fiddle to Gasson 100 to perform before the stained-glass “Irish Window”: “The Piper Through the Meadow Straying,” with a melody similar to “Deck the Halls,” and “Christmas Eve,“ composed by Tommy Coen (1910-74).

In September, Connolly announced he would retire at the end of the fall, after teaching music in Boston College’s Irish Studies program for 25 years. Connolly is the winner of 10 all-Ireland fiddle championships—taking home the first when he was 13 years old. Other honors include, in 2013, a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2003, he founded and went on to direct the University’s Gaelic Roots Music, Song, Dance, Workshop, and Lecture Series. For this performance he is joined on piano by Elizabeth Sweeney, the Irish music librarian at the John J. Burns Library. Sweeney was one of two students in Connolly’s first class at Boston College.

This feature was posted on Thursday, December 17, 2015 and is filed under Videos.
Producers: Paul Dagnello, Ravi Jain. Video: Paul Dagnello, Ravi Jain. Audio: Paul Dagnello