Bringing warmth to the longest night of the year

Black Mountain News

Warren Wilson College president emeritus Doug Orr will host award-winning recording artists Al Petteway, Amy White and Robin Bullock during the annual holiday concert "A Swannanoa Solstice" on Sunday, Dec. 18 at Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville.

This annual winter holiday celebration, now in its 14th year, will also bring in Grammy Award-winner David Holt and other special guests to share holiday songs old and new, religious and secular, joyful and poignant.

Presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, "A Swannanoa Solstice" again offers two performances in order to meet audience demand for this popular winter gathering and concert. The audience is invited to bring family and friends, share a cup of wassail and cookies, enjoy live music in the lobby, and join in the warm merrymaking and quiet contemplation of this Asheville favorite.

This year’s special guests include Phil Jamison and Ellie Grace, nationally acclaimed flatfoot dancers, and E.J. Jones, a Highland bagpiper.

Amy White and Al Petteway bring glad tidings to "A Swannanoa Solstice," a performance in Asheville on Dec. 18.

"A Swannanoa Solstice" showcases a spectacular array of seasonal festivities, with well-mastered Celtic and Appalachian songs and music on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, piano, Celtic harp, Irish bouzouki, vocals and world percussion. Through music and storytelling and poetry, the melodies played by Petteway, a virtuosic acoustic guitarist, draw from a broad variety of cultural influences from Middle Eastern tonalities to Scottish jigs. White, on piano, mandolin, guitar, Celtic harp, and percussion, draws on her classical background to create compelling original compositions and arrangements of traditional favorites. Bullock, a multi-instrumentalist who plays the guitar, mandolin and bouzouki, is hailed as a master musician whose style skillfully embraces Celtic and classical music.

Tickets are $45 regular, $40 student, $20 child, $10 student rush. But them at (828) 257-4530 or www.dwtheatre.com.

Warm and cozy

What: "A Swannanoa Solstice"

When: 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18

Where: Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville

Cost: $45-$10.