A Celtic Christmas with Carnival of Souls

Brian LowryKeyboards, Accordion, Hammered Dulcimer
Kelly LowryVocals & Percussion
Caitlin Lowry ShegogVocals & Bodhran
Benjamin LowryBass, 6-String Guitar, Vocals
Joshua LowryFiddle, Mandolin, Banjo, Vocals
Roy AbbottFlute & Vocals
Daryl HartmanVocals, 12-String Guitar, Mandolin
Jonathan ShegogHighland pipes, small pipes, Vocals

 ‘Nollaig Shona Duit’ means ‘Happy Christmas to you’

A traditional Irish Christmas blessing:
‘May peace and plenty be the first
to lift the latch on your door,
and happiness be guided to your home
by the candle of Christmas.’

Experience the warmth and festive glow of being ‘home for the holidays’ as the Lowry family and CARNIVAL OF SOULS  bring a family-friendly concert with heart-warming traditional Christmas songs fused with reels and jigs and moving interpretations of traditional Christmas songs of worship, friendship and love in their performance – Celtic Christmas in Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall on Sunday, December 4 at 4:00 PM.

And all performed on a mix of non-traditional and traditional Celtic instruments – from the call of the highland bagpipes to the bodhrán drum, tin whistle, flute, guitars, accordion and keyboard — AND small jingle bell instruments for the children to play when they are called up front to join in the musical merriment! 

With vocals including Christ Child Lullaby, Come be Merry, Shepherds and Lassies and A Night in Bethlehem plus virtuosic instrumentals, your hearts will be warmed and filled with the miracle of Christmas as you join them in a carol sing-along at the conclusion of the concert.

Post-COVID, open theatre style seating has returned to 100% capacity.  There is no mask requirement. Please refrain from attending if you are ill or if you have been exposed to anyone with COVID.

Tickets are Adults $20, Students $5, and children under 6 Free.  Buy online here – or Pay  cash or check at the door.  Call to Reserve: 724-659-3159



Plan to Make a Day of it in beautiful Foxburg and get some Christmas Shopping done!  

Before or after the concert visit the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop to view the Cooperative Members’ Holiday Show and perhaps find an early holiday gift for that special person on your list from the first floor offerings of talented Cooperative Artists from the region.

Enjoy a brisk walk in the late autumn freshness along the Allegheny River trail or rent bicycles with Foxburg Tours in the morning or early afternoon!  Have lunch at the Allegheny Grille with inside seating overlooking the Allegheny River, or for more casual fare, at Foxburg Pizzawith salads, sandwiches and pizza.  Save time to enjoy wine tasting at Foxburg Wine Cellars and savor a gourmet coffee and hand made chocolate at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista.  Or spend the night in Foxburg in the lovely Foxburg Inn or up the river at Emlenton’s bed and breakfast,  The Barnard House.


CARNIVAL OF SOULS has been performing traditional and original Celtic music in Western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and West Virginia for nearly twenty years. The group uses a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional instruments to produce a rich range of music that would be at home in a pub in Dublin or a coffee shop in Shadyside.

Led by Brian and Kelly Lowry the band features highland pipes, bodhrán drum, 12 string and bass guitar, mandolin, fiddle, accordion, and keyboard along with high spirited vocals.    Their first CD, “No Scone Unburned” was released in 1999 and has been acclaimed by Dirty Linen, the international magazine of folk music, and is in the Irish music archives in Dublin. They can be heard at a variety of venues in the tri-state area.

Listen to their music from their CD No Scone Unburned – Forty-two Pound Checque/Wind that shakes the Barley on their website, Carnival of Souls.    More samples of No Scone Unburned  and their second CD, SconeHenge,  is available through their website and CD Baby.

The band includes talented members of the extended Lowry family.  The band members are:

Roy Abbott – flute

Daryl Hartman – vocals, 12-string guitar, mandolin

Brian Lowry – keyboards, accordion, tin whistle, hammered dulcimer

Kelly Lowry – vocals, percussion

Jonathan Shegog – Highland pipes, small pipes

Caitlin Lowry – vocals, bodhran, keyboard

Benjamin Lowry – bass, six-string guitar, vocals

Joshua Lowry – fiddle, mandolin, banjo, vocals

With the luck of the Irish and by reserving tickets at 724-659-3153, you can experience the joyous music making of the Lowrey family and Carnival of Souls – which has been hailed as creative and with tight arrangements in reviews of their most recent CD – “No Scone Unburned”:

Dirty Linen
“… it’s when the band gets creative that their sound gets most interesting. There are dreamy arrangements of “Lagan Love” and “She Moves Through the Fair” with echoing keyboards and rainsticks, a version of “Bogie’s Bonnie Bell” with a rythmic variation that turns it into a sad calypso, and a rocking hammered dulcimer reel set.

The Pittsburgh Tribune/Review 
“…Arrangements are tight, and the songs bristle with tin-whistles, accordion and galloping bodhran, an Irish drum played by vocalist Bob Hartman. The band proves equally adept at pint glass-rattling rave-ups such as “Allistrum’s March” and the lush, languid American Indian ballad “Shenandoah”

Celtic Christmas Traditions

Christmas has been marked in Ireland since St. Patrick brought Christianity to the island in the fifth century.

Over the centuries, pagan Celtic customs merged with Christianity to produce some uniquely Celtic Christmas traditions

Celebrating Christmas with the traditional trappings that go with this festive season have roots that go far back into Celtic history.

The Mistletoe gathered by the Druids for its magical and health giving properties.

The Yule log burnt by the Celts to counter the darkness of mid-Winter when they thought the sun stood still for twelve days and to bring good luck.

The Holly and Ivy –  evergreens that Celts saw as important to keep evil spirits at bay.

Some Celtic Christmas Customs

A Candle in the Window

As well as a throw-back to the ancient Celtic custom of using fire to celebrate the turning point of the year, this tradition is said to be aimed at welcoming travellers to your home. The candle in the window marks the way to warmth and hospitality to anyone who finds themselves, like Mary and Joseph in the New Testament, without a place to stay at Christmastime.


The druids of the ancient Celtic world used evergreen branches to symbolize the eternal nature of the human soul. In Christian times, the tradition of bringing evergreen branches into an Irish home has continued as a symbol of the eternal life brought about by Christ’s resurrection. In Celtic countries, evergreen branches such as holly and yew are more traditional than the German custom of bringing an entire tree into the home.