Franklin Countys First News

Boston’s Matt & Shannon Heaton bring Christmas joy to Farmington’s annual ECU Heat benefit concert

Matt and Shannon Heaton

FARMINGTON - New England Celtic Arts and Old South Congregational Church will present “A Fine Winter's Night” with Matt and Shannon Heaton along with special guest Andrew Harris on Thursday, Dec. 14 in Farmington. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the show beginning at 7 p.m.

“Fine Winter’s Night” is not your run-of-the-mill Christmas show. With songs dating from the 12th to the 21st century, husband-and-wife harmonies, and instrumental accompaniment on guitar, bouzouki, Irish flute, Matt and Shannon Heaton’s holiday show is simultaneously homegrown, refined and timeless. Carols range across a spectrum of moods, much like the holiday season itself. There's poignancy and reflection with songs about Victorian winter romance, the nativity, and the stillness of the solstice.

The Heaton originals sound like timeless traditional classics, and their renditions resonate with listeners. The Heatons are no strangers to high-profile Christmas programs. Matt has played with the Boys of the Lough for their Christmas tour, while Shannon has appeared with the "Celtic Christmas Sojourn" production at the Cutler Majestic Theater, and and the companion DVD released by Rounder Records. They also recorded a Christmas album with the band Siúcra (“A Very Siúcra Christmas”).

The Boston Irish Reporter summed up “Fine Winter’s Night”: “Bringing us songs both sacred and reverent, Shannon’s voice is fresh and subtle like the first dusting of snow, while Matt’s light and sure guitar accompaniment sets the pace for a joyful sleigh ride. They lead us beyond familiar old songs but they don’t forsake them, either."

Opening the show will be University of Maine Performing Arts Chair and director of Deertrees Theatre, Andrew Harris. Harris will perform the Dylan Thomas classic “A Child's Christmas in Wales”

The event will also be a benefit for the annual ECU HEAT program in Franklin County. ECU HEAT is a fuel assistance ministry for low-income neighbors who live in Franklin County. Dubbed "$50 for 50", the program provides one 50-gallon fuel delivery per heating season. The applicant pays $50 toward the cost and the Franklin County Ecumenical Heating Fund pays the balance due. All forms of fuel energy are covered from oil to wood. Last winter 1009 people in 426 households were warmed by the generosity of neighbors who care.

Old South Congregational Church is at 235 Maine Street Farmington, ME. Call 207-491-5919 Reservations are strongly suggested. Ticket price is $20.00 for adults, $10.00 for students and UMF. More info at

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