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'The Pipes of Christmas' Returns for 17th Year; Concerts to Honor 'Braveheart' Composer Horner

Bagpipes playing for a full house at the Pipes of Christmas concert.
Strings ensamble playing at the Pipes of Christmas concert.

SUMMIT, NJ - The Pipes of Christmas will celebrate its 17th season with performances in New York City and Summit on December 19 and 20, respectively. The holiday concert offers a unique blend of drums and pipes, along with the harmonious sound of brass, strings, and percussion native to Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

The Pipes of Christmas 2015 performances will honor late film composer James Horner, who composed more than 100 films and received two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards over his famed career. His body of work includes scores for "Braveheart," "Titanic," "A Beautiful Mind," and "Field of Dreams."

To pay tribute to his legacy of bringing Celtic music to a broader audience, three "Braveheart" cast members -- Mhairi Calvey, James Robinson, and Andrew Weir -- will reunite to perform in the show.

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Glasgow-born actress Calvey rose to stardom at the age of five, making her film debut playing the role of Young Murron, in "Braveheart." and has now been cast in a breakout role to play famed Scottish heroine Flora MacDonald in "The Great Getaway," a movie about Bonnie Prince Charlie, written and directed by Robbie Moffatt. 

Robinson, perhaps best known for his role as Young William Wallace in "Braveheart,” is also a Glasgow native. His other film work includes "The Walk," while his television appearances include the Showtime series, "The Borgias," He recently toured the United Kingdom in a stage adaptation of the film "Brassed Off."

Weir hails from Ayr, Scotland. He appeared in "Braveheart’" as Young Hamish. He is one of the founders of the highly successful company "3rd Degrees Burns,’" making him one of Scotland’s top interpreters of the immortal bard.

In addition to the Horner tribute, the concert will also feature the world premier of a new work composed by a music student of Edinburgh Napier University as part of the university’s Christmas Composition Contest.

The concert is made possible by a gift from Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Grand Summit Hotel in Summit, NJ. Proceeds from the concert support an extensive international music scholarship program that includes annual gifts to students in the United States, Scotland, and Canada. 

The concerts open on December 19 at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, located at 921 Madison Avenue (at 73rd Street) in New York City, with performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Summit performances take place December 20, at Central Presbyterian Church, also at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

For tickets, priced at $150 for Reserved seating and $60 for General Admission, visit

Central Presbyterian Church is located at 70 Maple Street.

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