Arts & Entertainment

Celtic Christmas Concert at Willow Grove Church


SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ - Willow Grove Presbyterian Church is presenting a Celtic Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 15 at 3:00 pm.  The free concert by the duo McDermott's Handy will be preceded at 2:30 pm by Meet the Instruments, a special musical event for children and their families. 

The Celitc Christmas Concert will be a blend of lively dance tunes and Irish songs with poignant stories about some of the customs that are now part of the Christmas season traditions. Instruments will include the harp, fiddle, flute, tinwhistle, guitar, bouzouki and bodhran. Among the many songs will be “Christmas Comes But Once A Year,” “The Wexford Carol” and “Auld Lang Syne”.

Musicians Kathy DeAngelo and Dennis Gormley have been performing traditional Irish music together as "McDermott’s Handy" since 1978. With a stage presence honed by 35 years of performing in a wide variety of venues, their music is enjoyed by children and adults of all ages. 

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Kathy DeAngelo plays the Irish harp, fiddle, and banjo. She has a commanding and expressive voice and sings in English as well as Irish. Although she started playing guitar and folk music as a teenager, it was her meeting Irish fiddler Ed McDermott in 1971 that sparked a lifelong passion for Irish traditional music. She started on the fiddle in 1977 and took up the harp in 1984. She has been actively engaged on the New Jersey folk music scene since the early ‘70s and is well known in the harp world as a performer and teacher and director of the Somerset Folk Harp Festival & the Harpers’ Escape.

Husband Dennis Gormley had a long-standing performing career on the Philadelphia folk scene prior to meeting his wife and taking up Irish music in the late ‘70s. A talented multi- instrumentalist, he is a guitarist and is an accomplished flute and tinwhistle player.  He also plays the bouzouki and mandolin.

This concert is the first in a series "Music For the Soul" sponsored by Willow Grove Church.  The series is funded by a grant from the Presbytery of Elizabeth and will include concerts and events through November 2014.

Following the concert, there will be reception and a time to  meet and greet the musicians.  CD's will be for sale. 

Willow Grove Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) is located in Scotch Plains at 1961 Raritan Road, across the street from the Scotch Plains Southside Firehouse and Southside Soccer Park, near the corner of South Martine Avenue. The facilities are handicap-accessible. Call (908) 232-5678 or visit for more information.


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