The Clark Kicks off Williamstown's Holiday Walk Weekend with Live Celtic Music

For Immediate Release

November 14, 2013

Williamstown, MA—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, December 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. FolkAlley.com described Shamrock City as “a deeply thoughtful, imaginative collection of songs which grapple with the wealth of ideas and emotions inherent in the immigrant journey.”

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 twenty minutes before the performance.

About the Clark

Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshires, the Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. The Clark presents public and education programs and organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship. The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Together with Williams College, the Clark sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Stone Hill Center galleries are open; admission is free. For more information, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.

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Press contact:
pr@clarkart.edu

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