Bandleader Ric Blair and his renowned Irish group, the Celts, premiered A Celtic Christmas at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Monday night (Dec. 13). The event featured Irish and Scottish Christmas carols dating from as far back as the 12th century along with modern favorites performed with Irish instrumentation. Tim O'Brien -- founding member of the bluegrass band, Hot Rize -- opened the evening and played mandolin with the Celts. Other special guests and features included readings from the Glaswegian Bible, Irish whistle and pipes by Eric Rigler ("My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic) and Ivan Goff (Riverdance and Lord of the Dance), Altan vocals and Irish fiddling by Mauread Ni Mhaonaigh, dancing by the Nashville Irish Step Dancers and a performance of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" by the H2O Praiz Children's Choir.
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