Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Last night I went to see a concert called "A Scottish Christmas" featuring US Scottish fiddle champion Bonnie Rideout. It was AMAZING!! Bonnie is an awesome fiddler. She has great technical skill and definitely has a great time playing for crowds. Her fiddle playing was the highlight of the show for me, so energetic and fun. There was also a guy playing Bodhran (goat-skin drum), a guy playing guitar, a guy on pipes and flute, and a harp player. To top it all off, there were two Highland dancers brought out from time to time, dancing away to the sounds. All of the musicians were excellent, and the acoustics at the concert hall where I saw it totally enhanced the experience. You could hear each instrument very well, and that's definitely a plus in any concert.

The music was a mix of Christmas and Christmas-inspired songs/tunes, and traditional Scottish sets that, even if they aren't "Christmas music," definitely convey the spirit of the holidays. The stage was set with flowers and white Christmas trees and the like to set the holiday mood. The musical atmosphere was a bit different than what I expected. I thought each musician would come out more or less individually to play, but instead it was an ensemble setup most of the time. So, it was like a Christmas Eve Ceilidh (not sure if I spelled that right). It was definitely a fun show to see, and I recommend that, if Bonnie Rideout comes to your town, go see her!

And not only was the music good, but the performers were quite humorous when speaking to the audience (Bonnie and harpist William Jackson did most of the talking). Lots of jokes and comments about Eugene. The audience loved every minute.

To top off the evening, I purchased a DVD of the show (recorded on a different night) at intermission. It was the LAST DVD left!! I sure got lucky in my timing, or else I would have settled for a CD.

So that was my fun evening of Scottish music and culture. Talk to you all later!!

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