Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Caitlin Warbelow & Margaret Kelly Join PIPES OF CHRISTMAS Concert

The concert will also include a moment in memory of the late Stephen Sondheim.

Caitlin Warbelow & Margaret Kelly Join PIPES OF CHRISTMAS Concert

The Pipes of Christmas is finalizing plans to celebrate their 23rd season with performances this weekend in New York City and New Jersey. The holiday favorite will open on Saturday, December 18 at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, located at 921 Madison Avenue (at 73rd Street) for a 2PM performance. The concert then moves across the Hudson River on Sunday, December 19 to Central Presbyterian Church located at 70 Maple Street in Summit, NJ with a SOLD OUT performance at 2pm.

For those weary of the ceaseless stream of secular seasonal music from department stores to TV, the Pipes of Christmas offers a spiritual and traditional take on the season that connects concertgoers to the holiday in a fresh, meaningful way. The show features beloved tunes such as, "Highland Cathedral," "Joy to the World", and "Amazing Grace", all performed on pipes and drums, harp and fiddle, and organ and brass and more. Not only does the performance define Christmas cheer, but also it inspires those of Celtic descent to retrace and reconnect to their ancestry.

The concert will also include a moment in memory of the late Stephen Sondheim.

New Stars Join the 2021 Production

In addition to regular favorites including the Kevin Ray Blandford Memorial Pipe Band, the Solid Brass ensemble, harper Rachel Clemente, cellist Sarah Hewitt-Roth and pipes/whistle player Dan Houghton, the concert is delighted to welcome two new cast members.

Fiddler Caitlin Warbelow:

Originally from Fairbanks, Alaska, Caitlin Warbelow is a violinist and fiddler currently residing in Manhattan. Currently the violinist/fiddler for the Tony-award winning and Grammy-award nominated Broadway musical 'Come From Away.' Caitlin previously performed with Riverdance's 'Heartbeat of Home' as well as Sting's musical on Broadway, 'The Last Ship.'

She has toured with Cherish the Ladies, The Alt, Mick Moloney and the Green Fields of America, Michael Londra and Celtic Fire, Trinity Dance Company, and the Cathie Ryan Band, among many others.

Caitlin performs, records, and teaches extensively in NYC and around the country in a variety of traditional and popular Irish and American genres, and occasionally returns to her roots as a classical violinist. Caitlin holds honors from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, the National Suzuki Conference, the New England Fiddle Championship, and the Fleadh Cheoil, and she is on the faculty at Manhattan's Irish Arts Center as well as the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.

Broadway Vocalist Margaret Kelly:

A native of Falkirk, Scotland, Margaret has wowed audiences in Scotland and in the USA with her stirring, powerhouse voice which has been described as "cathartic."

After establishing herself as an artist to watch in Scotland, recording and starring in musicals, Margaret was awarded with a Scholarship to American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and made her move across the pond.

Her regional credits include 'LES MISERABLES Cats,' 'The Full Monty', 'West Side Story', 'My Fair Lady', and 'Hereafter Musical' at The Snapple Theatre on Broadway. She also performed the National Anthem at the 10th Anniversary commemoration of 9/11 in New York City.

As a founding member of The Highland Divas, Margaret has toured with her group, most recently at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Madison Square Garden and around the USA as a Guest Artist with Pops orchestras.

Musical director for the concert is Steve Gibb, guitarist from Broadway's 'Jersey Boys'. Gibb hails from Inverness, Scotland.

Performances Will Adhere to Strict Pandemic Precautions

While the world continues to grapple with the worldwide pandemic, the Pipes of Christmas will be taking rigid health precautions including a vaccine or 72-hour mandate for all audience members, the wearing of masks and social distancing. In addition, all performers will be required to submit a negative rapid Covid test prior to the performance.

Proceeds Support Scholarships and More

Proceeds from the concert support an extensive music scholarship program, which includes the Carol Hassert Memorial Fine Arts Scholarship at Summit (NJ) High School as well as annual gifts to the National Piping Centre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (both located in Glasgow, Scotland) the Gaelic College of Nova Scotia and Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.

Proceeds also support the Society's sponsorship of the US National Scottish Harp Championship, the Gaelic Literature Competition at Scotland's Royal National Mod, and an annual academic research prize at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland's Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye.

Each year, concert highlights are webcast in hi-definition over the Christmas holiday to a global audience. In 2020, the entire concert was reimagined as a virtual experience featuring leading Scottish performers filed on location in Scotland. The program was nominated for a prestigious MG Alba Trad Award for virtual programming excellence.

Recognizing Our Honorary Chairman and Concert Sponsors

The Pipes of Christmas is thrilled and delighted to announce that our 2021 Honorary Chairman is The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church.

Title Sponsors for the concert are Investors Bank, the Best Western Plus Murray Hill Hotel and Suites, Aberlour Single Malt Scotch and Glenfiddich Single Malt Whisky. The concert has also been made possible by a generous grant from Scottish Heritage USA.

About 'The Pipes of Christmas'

Since making its debut in 1999, The Pipes of Christmas has played to standing room only audiences. Now a cherished holiday event, the concert provides audiences with a stirring and reverent celebration of the Christmas season and the Celtic spirit. Audience-goers return year after year to experience the program, many reporting that the Pipes of Christmas has become part of their family's annual Christmas tradition.

The concert has been lavished with critical acclaim. In his review for Classical New Jersey Magazine, Paul Somers wrote, "The whole evening was constructed to introduce gem after gem and still have a finale which raised the roof. In short, it was like a well-constructed fireworks show on the Glorious Fourth. The Westfield Leader described the concert as "a unique sound of power and glory nowhere else to be found."

For more information visit:

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You