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Magical Strings Celebrates 36 Years of Celtic Yuletide Concerts!

Welcome to the timeless realm of Celtic Yuletide!  Three generations of the Boulding family will set the stage ablaze with the Tara Academy Irish Dancers, lively fiddling of Jocelyn Pettit, soulful songs of Colleen Raney with brilliant Dublin guitarist Colm MacCarthaigh and dynamic percussionist Matt Jerrell.  Philip and Pam’s Celtic harp and hammered dulcimer will sing mysteries from their recent sojourn in Ireland, augmented by cello, violin, whistles, accordion and concertina.  This festive gala of music, dance, storytelling, juggling, and songs of the season brings warmth and joy into the heart of winter.  Don’t miss it!

 “Uplifting”  “Brilliant!”  “Enchanting”
Magical Strings

"Just keeps getting more amazing!"

wreath36th Annual Celtic Yuletide Concerts wreath

Thank you for a great Yuletide season in 2014. Check back with us for details about the 2015 season.

This year’s Yuletide Performance Dates include:

Sunday, Nov 30, 3:00 pm
Redeemer United Methodist Church
9900 NE Shorty Campbell Rd

Sunday, Dec 7, 3:00 pm
Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center
10020 SE 256th St

Friday, Dec 12, 7:30 pm
Urban Grace Church, 902 Market Street

Saturday, Dec 13, 7:30 pm
Town Hall, 1119 – 8th Ave

Sunday, Dec 14, 3:00 pm
The Lincoln Theatre

Monday, Dec 15, 7:00 pm
The Theater at Meydenbauer

Wednesday, Dec 17, 7:30 pm
Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St.

Friday, Dec 19, 7:00 pm
The Snowy Owl Theater
877.265.6026 x1

A Joyous Festival of Music and Dance

With Celtic harps, hammered dulcimers, whistles, concertina, strings and more, Philip and Pam Boulding and their five grown children along with granddaughters are joined by the lightning feet of the Tara Academy Dancers. Soulful Irish songs sung by actress/singer Colleen Raney will grace the hall.  Son Brenin’s soulful cello graces every Yuletide show, while daughter and brilliant violinist Brittany will offer her special solo in Seattle; you might also witness sparks of dueling percussion amongst the 3rd generation with drum and hard shoe dance! Also featured is a magical tale from the Celtic tradition, providing a glimpse of another world through story, verse and eurythmy.  The audience becomes a key part of the festivities, with members invited to don a costume and follow the processional through the aisles with the musicians, and join in the caroling near evening’s end.  The hall resounds in glorious harmony as we close singing “All Through the Night.”

About Magical Strings

Philip and Pam Boulding founded Magical Strings in 1978, the same year that they began the tradition of Celtic Yuletide Concerts with their family. They have performed throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland and Japan, toured and recorded with Dan Fogelberg, appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and recorded 18 albums on four labels.  Often referred to by local media as the "Von Trapps of the Northwest", their love of music is embraced by all five of their grown children, who each year return home from the east coast to join the band for the final weekend of Yuletide Concerts.  Their daughter Brittany, a virtuoso violinist, moved from New York City back to the Northwest where she plays with the Seattle Symphony, is Associate Concertmaster of Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, concertmaster of both the Northwest sinfoneta(SP) and Auburn Symphony.  She is also a member of the acclaimed Finisterra Trio, which will be featured at this year’s Seattle show at Town Hall.  Philip and Pam also design and build Celtic harps, run the School of Magical Strings, and host the Magic Hill Summer Harp Camp, and Summer Fairy School on their beautiful 5-acre home overlooking the Puget Sound.

About Colleen Raney

Colleen Raney

Colleen Raney is among the best young Celtic singers of her generation, inspired by the Irish and Scottish songs and tunes she grew up with, both as a member of the multi-talented Raney family, and alongside Magical Strings. With a gorgeous voice accompanied by some of the best acoustic musicians in the Northwest, Colleen breathes new life into the old songs. Collaborator and master guitarist Colm MacCárthaigh often plays in duet with Colleen, and they toured extensively in the United States and Ireland following the release of their acclaimed album, Cuan, in late 2011.  Dublin born MacCárthaigh is an in-demand session guitarist and bouzouki player who has played with musicians worldwide including Seattle luminaries Tom Creegan, Dale Russ and others—and he joins Magical Strings Celtic Yuletide for the third time.  Raney is currently touring an exciting new CD recorded in Ireland with top Irish traditional musicians, called Buy clomid usa.  She makes her home in Portland, Oregon. Learn more at
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About Jocelyn Pettit:

Jocelyn Pettit


Jocelyn Pettit is a vibrant fiddler, step dancer, singer, and composer from Canada's West Coast, who met Philip and Pam while performing on the Celtic Music Cruise Alaska in June 2012.  Leading her band with original, contemporary and traditional repertoire, Jocelyn's high-energy, uplifting performances have ignited stages and delighted audiences across Canada, the USA, Scotland, and Malaysia.  Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee 2010 – “World Artist of the Year” and “Young Performer of the Year”.




Comments from Yuletide attendees:
“It’s not Christmas till the Yuletide Celebration.”   NG, Kirkland
“What a joy and delight. My heart was stirred, and my feet were tapping. Enchanting!”  PD, Centralia
“A fantastically warm concert. This is the beginning of a new tradition for me and my family.”  BM, Gig Harbor
“Sets my feet a dancin’ and my hear soaring! I’m 67 now…you make me feel young again!” LJ
“We brought cousins visiting here from Limerick, Ireland who declared the program 'brilliant’”.    MP,
“You guys rock!”  CU, Tacoma
“I feel deep joy listening to the music – ancient stirrings of something warm and familiar. Thanks!”  DH
 “Wonderful!  This will be our annual tradition.”  FJC, Woodinville
“Absolutely beautiful!”  AH, Issaquah
“Fabulous!  We’ll be back next year!”  CF, Olympia
“This is our family tradition—wonderful!”  BB, Lynnwood
“I find myself transfixed and in awe of where the music takes me.”  EE, Seattle
“With no power for a week, you have warmed my heart for this holiday season and the year to come.”  SW, Bellevue
“There is no doubt that you already embody the joy and priceless recognition of this soul-inspired season.  Your concert last weekend was my most favorite ever experience.  The genuine love and inclusive outreach to the community was straight from the heart.  I love the spirited selections as well as the lullaby for your granddaughter.  To be a member of your family or even an extended member would be a real honor for anyone…Thank you for your outpouring of love and fabulous music.  The McKassons were amazing, as was the juggler and the woman with the angel’s voice.  My husband couldn’t get over the young dancer who clicked her heels midair. We’ll be back next year.  Thank you for the inspirational evening and for making these concerts a tradition.  In gratitude,”   SK, Portland, OR
Experience the joy of Celtic Yuletide.

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