Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain | Avie AV2396

Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain

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Label: Avie

Cat No: AV2396

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Christmas

Release Date: 19th October 2018



Amanda Powell (soprano)
Ross Hauck (tenor)
Jeffrey Strauss (baritone)
Apollo’s Fire


Jeannette Sorrell


Amanda Powell (soprano)
Ross Hauck (tenor)
Jeffrey Strauss (baritone)
Apollo’s Fire


Jeannette Sorrell


Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain conjures a holiday celebration of the Scottish and Irish immigrants who settled in the Appalachian Mountains. With Jeannette Sorrell directing Apollo’s Fire and a host of singers young and old in folk carols and shape-note hymns, Christmas is welcomed with love, singing, dancing and prayer.

Following the release of the award-winning Sugarloaf Mountain: An Appalachian Gathering (AV2329), which was a Top 5 Billboard Classical Crossover hit, Jeannette Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire present Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain. In this celebration of the American immigrant experience, fiddlers, medieval harp, hammered dulcimer, bagpipes and singers join with children’s voices to evoke the Celtic roots of an Appalachian Christmas. From Christmas Eve in medieval Scotland to folk carols and shape-note hymns at a toe-tapping Christmas gathering in Virginia, Apollo’s Fire follows the journeys of the Irish and Scottish settlers who bravely crossed the Atlantic, settled in the mountains and welcomed Christmas with love, singing, dancing and prayer.

“The lightning strike of genius can happen, sometimes even repeatedly to those willing to earn it. Jeannette Sorrell is one such person. This show was intense, interesting, spectacularly performed, and deeply moving. If that’s not genius, I don’t know what is.” – Seen & Heard International

“The five sold-out performances of ‘Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain’ this month attest to the popularity of Apollo’s Fire’s crossover shows. This one is just as alluring and infectious as its predecessor” –

I. Christmas Eve at the Crossroads
1. Christmas Eve Reel (trad. Irish) / Christmas in America (trad. New England) / Old Christmas Eve (trad. Appalachian) (arr. Sorrell)
II. Celtic Memories: Christmas Eve in Old Ireland
2. The Truth Sent from Above (trad. British Isles) (arr. Sorrell)
3. Sheep Under the Snow / Apples in Winter / Little Christmas Reel (trad. Irish) (arr. R. Schiffer & S.P. Gilmore)
4. Blow, Northern Wind (Medieval English lyric) (arr. Brian Kay)
5. Don Oiche úd I mBeithil (That Night in Bethlehem)
6. That Night In Bethlehem (Don Oiche úd I mBeithil) (trad. Gaelic)
7. Nowell Sing We, Both All and Some (Medieval English) (arr. Sorrell)
III. Caroling Across the Waters
8. Innesheer / Ships on Full Sail + I Saw Three Ships / New Christmas Reel (trad. Irish) (arr. K. Stewart)
9. Yorkshire Carol / Somerset Wassail (trad. British Isles) / Kentucky Wassail (trad. Appalachian) (arr. Sorrell)
IV. Christmas Morning in Appalachia
10. Bright Morning Stars (Southern Folk Hymn)
11. Christ Child’s Lullaby (Talladh Chriosta) (trad. Scottish & Appalachian) (arr. Sorrell & A. Powell)
12. Frost & Snow / 28th of January / Dominion Reel (trad. Old-Time) (arr. R. Schiffer & T. Bergmann)
13. Jesus Born in Beth’ny (trad. Appalachian) (arr. Sorrell)
14. Star in the East / The Shepherd’s Star (Shape-Note Hymn from The Southern Harmony, 1835)
V. Wanderers Under the Sky
15. Joseph & Mary (trad. British Carol) / I Wonder as I Wander (trad. Appalachian, J.J. Niles) (arr. Jeannette Sorrell)
16. The Gravel Walk / Over the Isles to America (trad. Scottish Reel)
VI. Christmas Barn Dance
17. Hop High Ladies / June Apple Reel (trad. Appalachian)
18. Cold Frosty Morning / Old Christmas / Breakin’ Up Christmas (trad. Old-Time) (arr. Schiffer, Sorrell, Bergmann)
19. The Parting Glass (trad. Scottish/Irish)


The Appalachians teemed with fine ‘home musicians’ and here is an exhilarating attempt, using period instruments, to reflect that richness.  Tully Potter
Daily Mail 14 December 2018

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