'Pipes of Christmas'
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 (NJ) Leader described the concert as “a unique sound of power and glory nowhere else to be found.”
About the Clan Currie Society
The Clan Currie Society is an international, non-profit cultural and educational organization. It is the preeminent Scottish-American cultural society in preserving and promoting Highland heritage at Scottish Games, ethnic festivals, as well as community groups and classrooms. The Society has over 2,000 members worldwide that gather via the Society’s website and at special events and clan gatherings.
The Society was originally formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1959 to further the knowledge and appreciation of the MacMhuirich (pronounced MacVurich) Bardic dynasty. The MacMhuirichs served for over 700 years as professional poets to the Lords of the Isles and later to the MacDonalds of Clanranald among other prominent Highland clans and families. The Red Book of Clanranald, one of Gaelic Scotland’s literary treasures, was penned by successive generations of the MacMhuirich family.
Today, the Society is a respected producer of programs and events to honor Scotland’s rich culture and heritage. The Society’s signature events include The Pipes of Christmas, the annual observance of Tartan Day on Ellis Island– the largest attended Tartan Day event in the world, and the annual MacMhuirich Academic Symposium. To commemorate the 10th annual observance of Tartan Day on Ellis Island, the Society commissioned and launched the Ellis Island Tartan in April 2011. The tartan is designed primarily for all Americans whose ancestors came to the United States through Ellis Island. The Society’s scholarship program provides financial support for students wishing to further their studies in music, poetry, and Gaelic history.
In honor of the clan’s bardic heritage, the Clan Currie Society is also the Title Sponsor for the Scottish Harp Society of America’s National Championship. The harp or clarsach was the instrument of the bard. The Society also produces the Harp Glen – a festival of the Scottish harp at the Seaside Highland Games in Ventura, CA – and participates in over a half dozen Scottish Highland Games in the US, Canada and Scotland.
The Society has spearheaded the construction of two permanent clan monuments in Scotland. A MacMhuirich Memorial Cairn has been built adjacent to the ruins of Bale nam Bàrd, the Chief Bard’s home at Stilligarry on the Island of South Uist. A carved paving stone, commemorating the bard Lachlan Mòr MacMhuirich, has been installed at Makar’s Court alongside the Scottish Writers Museum in Edinburgh.
Clan Currie is an outstanding producer of exhibitions and documentary films. Past exhibitions have included “The Life and Legacy of John Muir,” “Tartan – Scotland’s Enduring Icon,” and “Loyalty and Rebellion: The Jacobites and America.” The Society received one of its many awards for video production excellence for “The Crafter’s Song”, a documentary film narrated by Cliff Robertson.
The Arms of the Society were granted by the Court of the Lord Lyon, Edinburgh, Scotland on June 30, 2006. The star, or mullet, is a heraldic symbol frequently found on individual Currie family coats of arms in Scotland. The thistle wreath, or chaplet, represents the international community the Society has created in “promoting Scottish heritage in general and Clan Currie heritage in particular, involving domestic and international matters.”