TORONTO, CANADA (November 1, 2018) – Award-winning, global media production company marblemedia has greenlit the production of A Celtic Family Christmas, a one-hour musical special starring the renowned MacMaster-Leahy family of musicians, which is set to premiere in December.
This Christmas, world-famous fiddler Natalie MacMaster, her fellow fiddler husband Donnell Leahy, their seven incredible children who play the fiddle, sing, dance along with a number of special guests, will be inviting North American families into their Christmas celebrations, filled with music, dance, storytelling and kinship. The filming of A Celtic Family Christmas will take place just outside Peterborough and Toronto in November, culminating with a performance in front of a live studio audience.
Both internationally acclaimed award-winning musicians in their own right, as a duo Natalie and Donnell are recipients of a Canadian Folk Music Award (2015) and an East Coast Music Award (2016), have collaborated on albums One (2015) and A Celtic Family Christmas (2016) and have been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Trent University. Natalie, Donnell, and their family, have an extensive discography with 12 albums which including 11 solo albums for Natalie MacMaster.
The one-hour special has been picked up by BYUtv in the United States and Canadian broadcasters YESTV, NTV, CHEK DT and Vision TV, which will air the special in December 8 (Local air times will be determined by the individual broadcasters.)
“As a proud Maritimer and a lifelong fan of Celtic music, I could not be happier to work with Natalie and Donnell to share the magic of their musical family with a broader audience,” said marblemedia Co-CEO Mark Bishop. “This special is destined to become a perennial holiday favourite and marks an exciting beginning to our relationship with the MacMaster-Leahy family.”
The MacMaster-Leahy family will perform classic Christmas carols along with some original renditions that will spark the Christmas spirit in all of us, making this time of year even more joyful. On stage will be no shortage of dancers, bag pipers, drummers and fiddlers. Celebrating the evening with Natalie, Donnell and their seven children, Natalie’s parents, a major influence for Natalie and their grandchildren, and Donnell’s mother, the matriarch of the Leahy family, will make a special guest appearance on stage.
Joining Natalie, Donnell and their seven talented children on stage will be special guests Jackie Evancho and Shawn Hook. Jackie Evancho (www.jackieevancho.com) took the world by storm as a 10-year-old contestant on America’s Got Talent, and in the intervening eight years has gone on to record seven studio albums, including 2016’s Someday At Christmas, which saw her once again at number one on the Classical charts. Shawn Hook (www.shawnhook.com), meanwhile, was the first artist signed to ABC Studios and his compositions have been featured on several series including The Hills, Eli Stone and Greek. In 2017, he released hit single “Reminding Me,” featuring Vanessa Hudgens.
Additionally, during the 12 days leading up to broadcast, fans can experience more from the MacMaster-Leahy family with exclusive digital content. Short music-based videos will be released on marblemedia facebook (facebook.com/marblemedia/) each day leading up to the broadcast. marblemedia will also give audiences a behind-the-scenes look with engaging videos, including rehearsals, a family Q&A, a dance lesson and a sing-along with the MacMaster-Leahy children. Follow facebook.com/marblemedia for more announcements and exclusive video content.
The MacMaster-Leahy family is also kicking off a cross-Canada Christmas tour November 23 in Victoria, which ends in Peterborough December 22. The tour is set to travel to the US next year. Visit natalieanddonnell.com/tours/ for more information.
A Celtic Family Christmas is created by marblemedia with the assistance of the Canadian Film or Video Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, and broadcasters BYUtv, YESTV, NTV, CHEK DT and Vision TV. Distribution360, a marblemedia company, holds worldwide distribution rights for the special. A Celtic Family Christmas is executive produced by Mark Bishop and Matt Hornburg of marblemedia and Jim Bell of BYUtv. The special is produced by Steve Sloan and directed by Shelagh O’Brien.
marblemedia is a leading global entertainment company that develops, produces and distributes compelling TV, interactive and digital content for audiences of all ages, across media platforms. With divisions specializing in primetime scripted and unscripted programming complementing its roster of successful kids and family properties, international distribution company Distribution360 and an in-house interactive studio, marblemedia is an expert in delivering winning content that meets the needs of an ever-changing media landscape.
Founded in 2001 by co-CEOs Mark Bishop and Matt Hornburg with a vision of creativity, partnership and innovation, the company has offices in Toronto and London, plus a 50-acre production facility located 90 minutes north of Toronto. Learn more at marblemedia.com.
For further information:
Associate Manager, ChizComm Ltd (on behalf of marblemedia)