Father Quinlivan returns to St. Greg's for Christmas concert

by PATRICK J. BUECHI
Thu, Dec 10th 2015 09:00 am
Staff Reporter
Father Bill Quinlivan hopes to debut new songs at the Christmas concert. (Courtesy of Father Bill Quinlivan)
Father Bill Quinlivan hopes to debut new songs at the Christmas concert. (Courtesy of Father Bill Quinlivan)

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at the noses, and Father Bill Quinlivan singing about the birth of our Lord. The season has arrived.

Father Quinlivan will perform a Christmas concert at St. Gregory the Great Parish in Williamsville, on Friday, Dec. 11, beginning at 7 p.m., with special guest Ceili Rain lead vocalist Bob Halligan Jr. The two friends are still working out exactly how the concert will proceed, but Father Quinlivan expects to be the opening act, as Halligan is the more experienced musician.

"Bob and I will probably play some together," Father Quinlivan said. "We've done that a little bit. He sometimes invites me to come up and do harmonies on one of his songs at Ceili Rain concerts. I haven't done that much due to my lack of memorization, as much as I love their songs. I don't even remember lyrics to my own songs. I can sing harmonies. I just can't sing words."

Songs will include sacred traditional and original songs from Halligan's new solo album, "Christmas," and a selection from Father Quinlivan's "Blanket of Stars" and "Back to Bethlehem" albums.

"I like (the 'Back to Bethlehem' title track) a lot because every December we go back to Bethlehem," Father Quinlivan said. "Every year when we are in Advent and looking to Christmas, we go back to the mystery of what God accomplished with the birth of His Son."

He hopes to debut two new songs. "Gloria" tells the story of the reaction of the shepherds after they have heard the angels singing, "Glory to God in the Highest."

"They kind of look at each other and say, 'Did we just hear that? Did you just see that? That incredulous mixture of wonder and excitement and joy?' Then moves to the question of, do we hear the angels' song of Gloria?"

Another song has only a melody and chorus at the moment.
"I'm hoping that the verses come before the 11th of December," Father Quinlivan said. "I try not to push the process."

The concert is partly to promote Halligan's new album, which he is still recording. Father Quinlivan asked Halligan if he was going to do any concerts to support it.

"He got back to me and said, 'If I do a concert in Buffalo, would you do it with me?'" Father Quinlivan said. "Yeah, twist my arm. Of course I will."

Halligan said he enjoys performing with Father Guinlivan due to his beautiful voice and ease in front of an audience.

"He is one of the sweetest people going," Halligan said about his good friend. "A very funny man, he leaves no pun unspoken."
The concert will be free. Father Quinlivan's CDs and book "Made to Praise Him: Finding My Song," will be for sale, along with Halligan's latest release.

The concert will be live streamed on the parish's website, so fans will be able to watch the show from the comfort of their own home. Click here to watch the live feed at St. Greg's. 

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