CTK Christmas Concert: A Celtic Christmas Ceilidh featuring “Fine Sprits” on Saturday, December 2, 2023
Christ the King Church opens its doors to the community on Saturday, December 2nd at 3PM to the Celtic music group “Fine Spirits.” The concert is titled “A Celtic Christmas Ceilidh,” and the audience will be treated to sacred and secular Christmas Music from the Celtic lands in a warm, informal setting.
“We are thrilled to host a couple of concerts a year at Christ the King Church,” says Reverend Charlie Vensel. “They are all open to the public. We can’t think of a better way to kick off the Christmas season than to have ‘Fine Spirits’ join us for our Christmas concert. We know it will be quality music, entertaining, and celebratory.” The event would be best enjoyed by anyone over age 8.
The concert begins at 3:00 p.m. and will finish in plenty of time for concert-goers to leave for home before the Hiawassee Sheriff’s Christmas Parade begins. No tickets are necessary.
Charles Baugh is the spokesperson for “Fine Spirits,” and he is enthusiastic about introducing his fellow musicians to the Hiawassee audience. However, many concert attendees who frequent Celtic themed events might recognize several faces in the group.
Along with Charles Baugh, the musicians include Debra Peterson, Henry Franz, and Fiona and Alton Leonard.
“These are all excellent musicians who have performed extensively throughout the region and far beyond. They will each perform with unusual Celtic musical instruments, and they will describe these unique instruments to the audience,” says Baugh.
“Among the instruments we will be playing are a low D Irish Whistle, a harp, an Octave Mandolin, an Irish Whistle, a Bodhran, a Mandolin, and a Hurdy Gurdy.
“We are also excited to have Henry Franz perform on the Uilleann Pipes, which are small indoor bagpipes,” Baugh explains.
These musicians met each other at the Georgia Renaissance Festival, and they have been performing together in various configurations for over 30 years. They also have distinguished individual resumes.
Henry Franz is a founding member of the Atlanta Pipe Band. He has performed with the noted Celtic group “The Chieftains” and with the Atlanta Opera.
Debra Peterson has been a solo performer on the harp since 1996. She is also the Choir Director at St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church in Norcross, GA.
Fiona Leonard is affiliated with the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company. She studied in London through the United Kingdom National Theatre and Atlantic Overtures through The UK in Atlanta Theatre. She is also a noted professional costumer and owner of Toast of Christmas Past Holiday Entertainment.
Alton Leonard also performed with The Chieftains and currently performs with Atlanta Radio Theatre where he is their composer in residence. Alton will be performing on a Hurdy Gurdy for this concert which he built himself.
Charles Baugh was a member of The Atlanta Opera for 18 consecutive years and earned recognition as their Children’s Chorus Master. He has performed solo concerts by invitation at St. Martin in the Fields, London. He released a popular Christmas CD called “Ancient Splendors” which will be available in the Narthex.
Debra Peterson will also have a CD for sale in the Narthex.