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Adirondack Harper conveys Christmas tale

WILMINGTON - The Whiteface Community United Methodist Church in Wilmington will be transformed into a far away Scandinavian garden, monestary, and mysterious forest when Martha Gallagher, The Adirondack Harper, performs her concert, "The Christmas Rose," on Friday, Dec.11.

With Celtic harp in hand, Gallagher tells this unusual story through original music and spoken word, weaving together song and story, music and legend.

The concert is inspired by "The Legend of the Christmas Rose," a story written by Sweden's Selma Lagerlof, 1909 Nobel recipient for Literature.

"My imagination was captured by this story the very first time I heard it, read by a Viking descendant by the light of the real candles that burned on his Christmas tree on a snowy winter night many years ago," said Gallagher.

The Scandinavian story takes place in a monestary garden, a poor village, and a deep, dark northern forest. It features thieves, monks, robber women, herbs, wild animals - and wilder children - all tied up in an illustrious tale of danger, faith, mistrust, love and miracles.

"The tale is unusual, captivating and perfect for the darkest time of the year," said Gallagher, "when light and miracles abound throughout the many celebrations and traditions of the season."

"Although its basis is in Christian beliefs, the miracles of the heart; the "heart" of the story, transcend any one religion, making it a universal tale of faith, joy, hope and love," she added.

Gallagher has been sharing her spirited, distinctive, and richly varied music with audiences for over 30 years. Known in the northeastern region of New York, where she makes her home as The Adirondack Harper, she has performed with such luminaries as six-time Grammy winners, The Chieftains. Her extensive solo tours have taken her around the US and into Canada, with several tours sponsored by The National Endowment for the Arts. She has been featured on numerous television and radio programs; most recent appearances include BBC Television, Northeast Public Radio, and Good Morning Arizona.

The concert is suitable for adults and older children, but it is not intended for the attention span of young children, said Gallagher.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. The church is located at 1169 Haselton Rd., Wilmington, NY; suggested donation is $10. For more information on the concert, call 946-7757. For more information on Martha Gallagher, visit www.adkharper.com.

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