WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- On the eve of Williamstown’s popular Holiday Walk weekend, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute welcomes Irish-American band Solas for a holiday concert. The event takes place in the Clark’s auditorium on Friday, Dec. 6 at 8 pm. Tickets are $35 ($30 members). To order tickets, visit clarkart.edu or call 413-458-0524. Order early as holiday concerts almost always sell out.
Holiday Walk weekend, a cherished Williamstown tradition, marks the start of the holiday season for many, attracting visitors to the many shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions in town. The Clark’s holiday concert is an equally beloved tradition--and Celtic music has proven to be among the museum’s most popular offerings.
Through fresh and unexpected arrangements of age-old tunes, along with compelling originals and covers, Solas (Gaelic for "light") continues to define the path for the Celtic music world. Founding member Seamus Egan, A four-time winner of the All-Ireland award on an unprecedented four different instruments, has been musical director of WGBH’s popular A Christmas Celtic Sojourn since 2007. "He is a big part of our success," said Brian O’Donovan, host of the annual WGBH production. "He really upped our level of sophistication musically when he came on board."
Anchored by founding members Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (violins, vocals), Solas is rounded out by Mick McAuley (accordians, low whistle, concertina, vocals), Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals), and newest member and lead singer Niamh Varian-Barry. Known for its high-energy, engaging performances, Solas will include a special selection of holiday standards for the Clark’s concert.
Solas recently released its eleventh studio album, Shamrock City, which tells the turbulent mining-town history of Butte, Montana at the turn of the twentieth century.
The album weaves a tale of immigrant history through the eyes of Egan’s great-great uncle, Irish immigrant Michael Conway. With the Shamrock City project and current tour, Solas seeks to reach beyond the music by creating opportunities for fans to share family histories at tour stops and online.
Due to construction activity at the Clark, parking is limited. Plan to arrive 20 minutes before the performance.