Washington Revels Blog

Washington Revels stages celebrations filled with traditional music, dance, stories and drama from around the world, revolving around the cycle of the seasons and the joys of community connections. Revels is for anyone who wants to share common ground through old and new traditions—connecting people across time and cultures. Revels is not something that you just watch—it is an experience.

While much of Revels takes place on a stage through song and dance, here on our blog members of our community attempt to capture the magic of Revels in words. We hope you take joy in reading these posts and that you will join us to make your own Revels memories soon!

Latest Posts

  • Wanted!—Heritage Voices
    Wanted!—Heritage Voices
    June 5, 2019 by
    A post by Elizabeth Fulford, Washington Revels Music Director
    During the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, Washington Revels formed several groups to research and “bring to life” the varied traditions that made up nineteenth-century musical life in this country, from shape-note tunes, to political ditties, to traditional spirituals. So when Jackie Streker of the George Washington University Museum approached me about recording some music for its upcoming “Songs of the Civil War” exhibit, I jumped at the opportunity to gather the forces and learn some new tunes....
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  • Hi Ho, the Rattlin' "Blog"
    Hi Ho, the Rattlin’ “Blog”
    June 1, 2019 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    For 35 years, Washington Revels and its audiences have celebrated the arrival of spring with performances on the first weekend of May featuring Revels’ usual combination of music, song, dance, and drama. Like many of the traditions that Washington Revels celebrates year-round, May Day has its origins in ancient festivities marking the changing of the seasons. These traditions relate to humanity’s vulnerability in the face of nature and its use of community celebrations to express the joys and fears surrounding the cycle of...
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  • The Sailors' Spring
    The Sailors’ Spring
    April 30, 2019 by
    A post by Mike Matheson, Director, Maritime Voices
    This past Winter, we sailors and womenfolk of the Washington Revels Maritime Voices got our annual voyage underway by performing center stage at the Folklore Society of Greater Washington's annual Mid-Winter Festival — and as all hearty sailors would do at the end of a successful voyage, we concluded February by conducting our usual raucous party. We’ve since been sailing through the Spring to some old familiar shores....
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  • News Release - May Revels at BlackRock SpringFest
    News Release – May Revels at BlackRock SpringFest
    April 11, 2019 by
    Silver Spring, MD, April 11, 2019 – While taking a holiday this May Day might not be possible for most people in Montgomery County, on Sunday, May 5, Washington Revels and BlackRock Center for the Arts will invite UpCounty residents to celebrate the return of Spring during the first annual outdoor BlackRock SpringFest: a free afternoon of traditional music, dance and more featuring local musicians and entertainers, craft vendors, food trucks, and 100 performers from Washington Revels....
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  • Maypole top with ribbons
    News Release – May Revels in DC
    April 11, 2019 by
    Silver Spring, MD, April 11, 2019 – While taking a holiday this May Day might not be possible for most Washingtonians, on Saturday, May 4, Washington Revels invites DC-area residents to celebrate the return of Spring during its annual May Revels at Washington National Cathedral: a free, family-friendly, one-hour performance that revives Spring traditions from merry old England....
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  • The Elusive Revels Elevator Pitch
    The Elusive Revels Elevator Pitch
    March 21, 2019 by
    A post by Ross Wixon, Marketing & Development Director
    One of the challenges that I find most fun to tackle is explaining to new audiences what Revels is. It’s not easy! I can’t just say, “Washington Revels produces theater.” Or, “Washington Revels is a community chorus.” Certainly, there are elements of both disciplines present in what we do here, but our programs extend far beyond stage productions and concerts. We teach children in multidisciplinary classes. We offer workshops in traditional crafts that are both volunteer opportunities and social time. We preserve and practice traditional dances, and we present informal participatory programs like our monthly Community Sings and Dances, World Story Time, and Day of Service volunteer activities....
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  • A Journey Paved with Songs of Freedom
    A Journey Paved with Songs of Freedom
    March 1, 2019 by
    A post by Andrea Jones Blackford, Director, Jubilee Voices & Co-Director, Heritage Voices March 1, 2019 As Washington Revels Jubilee Voices enters its ninth year as an ensemble, we’ve shared songs and stories all over the DC region, from the National Archives in Washington, DC to places...
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  • The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 2
    The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 2
    February 1, 2019 by
    A post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director
    Apologies for this belated letter... I had promised to catch up with you later in the process of mounting The Christmas Revels — and I guess strictly speaking this is later… only much later! As our royal carriage gallops further away from 2018 and our visit to Norwich with Will Kemp and Her Majesty the Queen, here are a few parting thoughts about this year’s sumptuous, boisterous, exquisitely melodious Elizabethan Revels....
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  • Maypole top with ribbons
    One Year with the Revels Directors’ Blog
    December 28, 2018 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    In our January 2018 e-newsletter we announced a new monthly blog series, featuring letters, essays, and musings from the directorial staff at Washington Revels; the first post in this series was published in February. As 2019 begins, we thought we'd look back at all 11 blog posts (and group them in one convenient place!). The Directors' Blog showcases a range of voices and topics, and highlights many facets...
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  • Heartfelt Thanks
    Heartfelt Thanks
    December 27, 2018 by
    A guest post by Susan Swope
    Susan Swope and her wife Shirley live near Gettysburg, PA and have been attending The Christmas Revels for nearly 20 years. Last Spring, Susan took a chance during our Spring Gala and submitted a winning bid to appear in a performance of the 2018 production. This is her story....
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