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

  • Reveling in the Renaissance… Elizabethan Style
    Reveling in the Renaissance… Elizabethan Style
    December 12, 2018 by
    A Post by Elizabeth A. Fulford, Music Director and Evanne Brown, Assistant Music Director
    While most of us have some awareness of the most notorious facts and legends about King Henry VIII (who reigned from 1509 to his death in 1547), few are aware that, in addition to his having six wives and founding the Church of England, Henry Tudor was also a poet, musician, athlete, and scholar. Originally destined, as the second son, for an ecclesiastical career, Henry received the musical training appropriate for a clergyman. An expert singer with a clear tenor voice; a player of lute, flute, recorder, cornett, and virginals; and a composer of sacred and...
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  • The Kovar Family Revelers
    The Kovar Family Revelers
    December 6, 2018 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    This past Spring we asked the Revels community to share their favorite memories from the past 35 years in our "Washington Revels at 35" Retrospective. Longtime reveler Dick Kovar reminisced about his own path to the Christmas Revels chorus, and it was such a touching story about the joy of participating in this annual holiday celebration (as an audience members and a cast member) that we had to save it until closer to this year’s show. As we prepare to open this weekend, we hope you enjoy Dick’s look back at 35 years of Revels productions that have meant so much to so many...
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  • Rediscovering a Family Tradition
    Rediscovering a Family Tradition
    November 29, 2018 by
    A post by Ross Wixon, Marketing Director
    What would it be like to go to a concert and feel like you truly belonged? Like the performers on stage weren’t singing to you, weren’t selling you some experience — but instead to realize that they were singing and dancing along with you? That this show, this experience, couldn’t be happening if you weren’t there?...
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  • Guest Artist Interview: Rock Creek Morris
    Guest Artist Interview: Rock Creek Morris
    November 16, 2018 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    People who enjoyed Jim Voorhees’ October blog post learned about the close connection between Morris dancing and Revels — but what is it like to be part of one of Washington’s Morris teams? Since the Rock Creek Morris Women will perform in The Christmas Revels this year, we thought it would be fun to keep the Morris conversation going and learn more about the dance — and the dancers — you will see this December!...
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  • Guest Artist Interview: Piffaro
    Guest Artist Interview: Piffaro
    November 9, 2018 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    Piffaro, The Renaissance Band has been delighting Christmas Revels audiences in Washington since 1990. The world-renowned early music ensemble will grace the Lisner stage with its fascinating collection of period wind instruments, and these talented musicians never fail to breathe life into the beautiful music of the Renaissance. Washington Revels' Music Director Elizabeth Fulford recently had a chance to talk with members of Piffaro about the group's origins, its work, and its long history with The Christmas Revels. Read on to learn more about Piffaro and the musicians you can see and hear this December!...
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  • The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 1
    The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 1
    October 30, 2018 by
    A post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director
    Hello from mid-way through our Elizabethan Revels process (or should I say, “progress”)! This is always my most favorite time of the Fall. Everyone is cast and in rehearsal — Adult, Teen and Children’s Choruses — and all are learning the beautiful, rousing and fun musical pieces we will share with you in December. This is some really exquisite music we are singing, and the chorus already sounds terrific. I think of the music as the “glue” that holds our play together and moves us forward, company and audience experiencing the event in real theatrical time. In our earliest rehearsals, we only sing — no blocking (that is, giving stage direction) until we’ve devoted almost a month to focusing on the notes, the words and the harmonies of these songs....
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  • Caper Like a Wild Morisco: Morris Dancing and Revels
    Caper Like a Wild Morisco: Morris Dancing and Revels
    October 12, 2018 by
    A guest post by Jim Voorhees, Morris Dancer
    Jack Langstaff and Mary Swope walked toward us across the National Mall. It was a beautiful, sunny Spring day in 1983. The Foggy Bottom Morris Men were dancing in front of the Castle, near the carousel. Jack and Mary watched carefully. We talked. They needed a Morris team for a show they were doing in Lisner Auditorium that December. Would we be interested? Jack and Mary saw us do dances from villages in the Cotswolds, near Oxford. Like most Cotswolds teams, we wore bells, waved handkerchiefs, and clashed sticks....
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  • Revisiting an Article by Mary Swope
    Revisiting an Article by Mary Swope
    September 27, 2018 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    For October's Directors' Blog installment, we're winding back the clock to 1997 for this article by founder and former Producer Mary Swope, all about that year's medieval Christmas Revels. While much has changed in the intervening 21 years, many important elements remain the same — not just the people involved, but also the spirit behind this joyous production that continues to resonate with Washington audiences years later. Enjoy this look back, as we continue to move forward towards this year's Elizabethan Revels!...
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  • Maritime Voices at the C&O Canal
    Ten Years of Maritime Music
    August 29, 2018 by
    A post by Mike Matheson, Director, Maritime Voices
    This year marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Washington Revels Maritime Voices. During that time the group has performed a repertoire of more than 80 songs on more than 70 occasions in more than 30 venues in the Washington and Baltimore areas. Why has maritime music been such a success for the Revels? First of all, this region has a strong maritime tradition, dating back to the 18th Century. The Port of Baltimore has long been a major center of maritime commerce, the Chesapeake a thriving fishing community, Washington the headquarters of the U.S. Navy, and the C&O Canal a channel of commerce to the ports of Alexandria and Georgetown. Major naval battles have been fought up and down the Chesapeake. All of this has produced a rich and varied tradition of maritime and canal music, which we have been very happy to draw upon, and one which has a natural appeal to audiences in this area....
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  • We’ll Take That to Go: Parades, Processions and Connecting with the Broader Community
    We’ll Take That to Go: Parades, Processions and Connecting with the Broader Community
    August 8, 2018 by
    Posted by Washington Revels
    So a dragon, a hobby horse, and a jester walk into Takoma Park… It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it becomes reality each 4th of July when Washington Revels steps out and sings out at the Takoma Park Independence Day Parade. Whether the temperatures are in the 70s (this year) or inching towards the 100-degree mark (2012), several dozen revelers of all ages can be relied upon to sing, play, and march their way through a community institution, and share a few centuries-old traditions in the process....
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531 Dale Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910
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