Fiddler Natalie MacMaster to perform 'Christmas in Cape Breton' Dec. 2

November 05, 2010

University Park, Pa. -- Fiddler Natalie MacMaster, one of the most versatile and lauded musicians on the folk and Celtic music scenes, helps ring in the holidays with Christmas in Cape Breton at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, in Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium. Nittany Valley Children’s Choir joins MacMaster and her band on stage at Penn State.

Tickets for the Center for the Performing Arts presentation are $37 for an adult, $17 for a University Park student and $27 for a person 18 and younger. Buy tickets online at or by phone at (814) 863-0255. Outside the local calling area, dial (800) ARTS-TIX. Tickets are also available at four State College locations: Eisenhower Auditorium (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Penn State Tickets Downtown (weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), HUB-Robeson Center (weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. when Penn State classes are in session) and Bryce Jordan Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

MacMaster’s band features pianist and step dancer Mac Morin, bassist and vocalist John Chiasson, drummer J. D. Blair and cellist Nathaniel Smith. Emily Flack, MacMaster’s 16-year-old niece, also figures in the performance. Flack, a Canadian singer and dancer, is on her first tour with MacMaster.

The concert evokes the holiday traditions of MacMaster’s native Cape Breton, a pristine island that’s part of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Due to the island’s relative isolation, Cape Breton-style fiddling is often considered more traditionally Scottish folk than the classical-influenced fiddling that has evolved in modern Scotland.

Foot-tapping rave-ups, heart-wrenching ballads and world-class step dancing -- combined with MacMaster’s fiddling fireworks on Celtic melodies and Christmas carols -- generate a “traditional fusion” delivered with intense energy.

MacMaster has collaborated and performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss, The Chieftains, Paul Simon and Luciano Pavarotti.

The Nittany Valley Children’s Choir, based in State College and directed by Lou Ann Shafer, was founded in 1997 and provides choral instruction for children ages 4 to 17.

Radio station 95.3 3WZ is the concert media sponsor. Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring MacMaster, is offered in Eisenhower Auditorium one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity. Seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

  • Fiddler Natalie MacMaster will perform at Penn State Dec. 2. For more information, or to buy tickets, click on the image above.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated November 18, 2010