From the first plaintive notes calling forth through Rideout's emotional fiddle rendition of "Oh Come, Oh Come Emanuel" to the last stirring chorus of Robert Burns' "Auld Lang Syne," an outstanding troupe of Celtic musicians presents this lively program, weaving the many moods of A Scottish Christmas. As seen on CBS Sunday Morning, A Scottish Christmas offers riveting fiddle and pipe solos, fiery Scottish dances including tap and soft shoe, and an emotional finale.
This collection of traditional Scottish carols, wassail tunes, and dance music associated with the celebration of Christmas, Hogmanay (Scottish New Year's Eve), and the New Year includes such favorites as "Greensleeves", "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", and "Adeste Fideles". Gaelic songs and hymns popular before The Reformation such as "Rorate" and "Baloo Lammy" offer reflection into the gentler moods of Christmas, while jigs and reels such as "From the Bottom of the Punchbowl" and "Ale is Dear" bring out the merry spirits of the season. This delightful show is presented by some of the most legendary Celtic musicians from both North America and Scotland, blending the sounds of the fiddle, bagpipes, uilleann pipes, border pipes, clarsach (Celtic harp), bodhran (Celtic frame drum), guitar and voice. Traditional dancers add grace and excitement to this elegant program.
On stages, from Scotland's Edinburgh International Festival to America's Kennedy Center, Bonnie Rideout's unique style of traditional Scottish fiddling has charmed audiences with her expansive knowledge of dance tunes, bagpipe marches, and ancient Gaelic melodies each reflecting the rich musical tradition of her heritage. From the earliest known strathspey to a newly composed lament in the Highland style, her repertoire is accented with the colorful gifts of storytelling, mouth-music, and song. This three-time U.S. Scottish Fiddle Champion is consistently featured on NPR's The Thistle and Shamrock, Morning Edition, and Performance Today.
Bonnie Rideout is the only American to hold the honor or representing Scottish fiddle music at the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival. She is the first woman to hold the national Scottish fiddle title and the youngest to have garnered the U.S. Championship. After winning the title for three consecutive years, she retired from the competition circuit to become the adjudicator and professional recording artist. For almost two decades, Bonnie has maintained a consistently high profile on stages around the world.
To witness Bonnie Rideout on stage is an experience like no other. Her maturity and intensity combined with the sheer joy she projects through her music leaves audiences spellbound. The driving rhythms of guitar and percussion behind her strong bow arm makes her music irresistible. Despite being chosen by Mel Bay Publishing Company as one of the twentieth century’s most influential fiddlers, Bonnie insists that it is not she, but the type of music she plays that draws people to her sold out shows. Simply stated, an evening with Bonnie Rideout is an opportunity to join in her passion to live every moment to its fullest, and an invitation to savor the purely Scottish flavors of her rich musical heritage.
The Great Performers Series is sponsored by M&T Bank, The Buffalo News and WBFO.