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Christmas With the Celts is an uplifting, spirited holiday celebration hosted by the international Irish music group The Celts, along with special guests Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh from the world famous Donegal group Altan, Riverdance/Lord of the Dance piper Ivan Goff, The Gael String Orchestra, The Nashville Irish StepDancers and the Children’s Celtic Choir. Filmed at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium, Christmas With the Celts airs Friday, December 23, 2011 at 10 p.m. on Eight, Arizona PBS.

Described as “modern meets ancestral,” Christmas With the Celts combines fiery new arrangements of modern seasonal classics, including John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas,” with ancient carols discovered by producer/musical director Ric Blair — some dating as far back as the 12th century and with shockingly relevant lyrics, presented on PBS for the first time.

The show has the energy of a rock concert, combining a brilliant nine-piece band, smoking-hot fiddling and piping from the world’s best, electrifying drums, moving and dramatic vocals, spirited Irish dancing, a rousing string orchestra and a children’s choir.

Christmas With the Celts is the perfect holiday perennial to deliver the spirit of the season for the entire family. 

Christmas With the Celts includes the following songs:

  •  “Farewell to Ireland”
  • “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
  • “Little Drummer Boy”
  • “Baloo Lammy/Foxhunter’s Jig”
  • “Treble Reel Dance”
  •  “The Wexford Carol”
  • “Palm Sunday/Atholl Highlander”
  • “Don Oiche Ud i mBeithil (To That Night in Bethlehem)”
  • “Toss the Feathers”
  • “The Greatest Gift”
  • “What Child Is This”
  • “O Holy Night”
  • “Happy Christmas”

About Eight, Arizona PBS

Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture -- utilizing the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services, and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961. Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems. With more than 1 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station's annual budget.

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.