"Energy, variety, authenticity and world-class talent, recorded in sparkling clarity —the perfect companion for winter in Quebec...or anywhere else!"

—Mary Cliff, Traditions, WAMU

Featured Artist Biographies

Pierre Chartrand, dancer & percussion

Pierre ChartrandBorn and living in Montreal, Canada, Pierre Chartrand is a dance historian-ethnologist, choreographer, master step-dancer and accomplished dance caller. Dancing for more than 35 years, he regularly performs and teaches in Quebec, Canada, the United States, and Europe. After achieving his Master in Dance at the Sorbonne (Paris) in 1991, he founded the Centre Mnémo (see, http://www.mnemo.qc.ca/), an extensive resource center for traditional Québec dance and music. Pierre has published numerous books on folk music and dance as well as many articles for magazines, and has lectured and spoken both on radio and at conferences. He has won international awards for both dance and choreography. He taught dance at the Université du Québec à Montréal and recently teaches in the folk music program at Cégep de Joliette (Junior College) in Joliette, Québec. In 2000, he started his company, Danse Cadence, and began producing his own shows based on Québec music and dance (for more information on Danse Cadence, see http://www.danse.qc.ca/). Current productions include, among others, Rapetipetam, Chasse-Galerie, and Le Bal des Ménestriers.

Éric Favreau, fiddle

Eric FavreauÉric Favreau comes from a family of traditional musicians and has spent much time playing with other fiddlers, learning their repertoire and studying their varied styles. He has explored many sources, including archives and field recordings he has personally made, and has accumulated a rich and fascinating repertoire. Both individually and as a member of various groups, Éric has vast experience in the Canadian, United States, and European music scenes. He has recorded two solo albums. One of them, made with fiddler and friend Mario Landry (Reel à Deux), has become a reference for traditional fiddle music in Quebec. He has recorded three albums (La st-Berdondaine, Les choux pis des melons, Épilogue) with Entourloupe, and has appeared on at least twenty others. He is currently performing and touring with Tidal Wave, or Raz de Marée -- a cross-border group from Québec and New England -- inviting cultures to meet and share the love of traditional music and dance (for more information on Tidal Wave, see http://www.tidalwavemusic.com/index_eng.html). Éric is a consummate entertainer/educator in traditional music workshops presented in the public school system under the auspices of the Minister of Education.  He also teaches traditional fiddle and the history of traditional music at the Cégep de Joliette (Junior College) in Joliette, Québec. Éric’s playing is marked by delicacy, nuance and liveliness that will leave no foot untapped!

Stéphane Landry, accordion

Stephane LandryOne of the most gifted accordionists in Québec, Stéphane Landry was introduced to the accordion at age ten. As soon as his talent became apparent, his parents entrusted him to Gérard Lajoie, a dominant figure in traditional circles in the 1950s. A renowned virtuoso, his style is upbeat and lively with a powerful, driving rhythm. He has gained a distinguished reputation outside Québec through extensive touring with the group Entourloupe. Not only in demand for dances, Stéphane has been invited to perform at such prestigious venues as the Smithsonian Festival in Washington, D.C. and the Ris Orangis Festival in France. In 1996, he was the Québec representative at the Montmagny International Accordion Festival. This exceptional musician exhibits remarkable technique and a dynamic style.

Riki Schneyer, singer

Riki SchneyerRiki Schneyer has been singing traditional music all her life. Raised in a musical, artistic, social activist family, she has performed throughout the country, promoting the folk music of the Americas, Britain, France, and anything else that strikes her fancy. She has sung everything in American folk music from African-American spirituals to the ballads of southern Appalachia, from broadsides to sea chanties to blues. She can be heard on numerous recordings, and several film soundtracks, including “The Wobblies.” In moments between songs, she has had a 27 year career as a psychotherapist, from which she has now retired, in order to pursue a second career as a visual artist (for more information on Riki's art, see http://rikischneyer.com/). She is utterly delighted to be performing with the Washington Revels, singing some of her favorite music, the traditional songs of Québec.

John Devine, guitar

John DevineJohn Devine from Berkeley Springs, WV is in constant demand as rhythm guitarist in a host of popular contra dance bands around Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. He has been singing and playing guitar for dances, concerts, school programs and workshops for over thirty years – it is his profession and what he loves to do.  Noted as an exceptional singer graced with talented guitar playing, and a delightful sense of humor, he has traveled and played extensively independently and with numerous folk artists and groups, including Steve Hickman, Ralph Gordon, Fiddlestyx and Blue Bamboo.  John has been a staff member at Buffalo Gap, and plays at dance workshops, festivals and camps around the country. Music is also merged into his daily farm life where he and his wife have been developing Wind Dance Farm & Earth Education Center for nine years (for more information, see http://winddancefarm.org/).  John’s musical talents and traditional dance instruction are shared regularly during their programs and community gatherings. His last appearance with Washington Revels was in the Early American-themed Christmas Revels in 2006.

Stephen Winick, singer

Steve WinickStephen D. Winick has been singing traditional songs—French, Canadian, Irish, and English—for over twenty years. He currently sings with the local sea chantey group the Ship’s Company Chanteymen and with Celtic rock ensemble Jennifer Cutting’s Ocean Orchestra. As a child, Steve attended the United Nations International School in New York, where he began learning French at the age of six. One of the first songs he can remember learning was “V’la l’bon vent,” which appears in this year’s Washington Revels production. He went on to earn both an MA and a PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. He now works as the writer and editor for the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. He has taught university folklore courses at the University of Pennsylvania and George Mason University, has published widely on folklore and folk music in both academic and popular publications, and for twenty years was a contributing editor to Dirty Linen, the Magazine of Folk and World Music. The 2008 Christmas Revels was Winick’s first appearance with Washington Revels. He was originally an expert consultant to the directors, passing along many songs for them to consider; pieces such as “Les parties de Gregoire” and “Les plaisirs de la table” were included in the show at his suggestion. When the directors discovered he also sang, they encouraged him to audition for the role of Gaston, the lovable but reckless rogue who leads the voyageurs astray.

Katrina Van Duyn, storyteller

Katrina Van DuynKatrina Van Duyn performed with Revels in 2007's Elizabethan show (as Good Queen Bess) and in 1989's Victorian Storybook production (as the Queen of Hearts and sundry other storybook characters). Ms Van Duyn has appeared at Arena Stage (Ann Stanton, in All the King's Men; Angelique, in Vivisections from the Blown Mind), Clark Street Playhouse (The Vagina Monologues), Gallaudet (voicing for Pooh, Ice Wolf, Can Do), Georgetown (Z, in Village Wooing; Anna, in Old Times), the Goodman at the Kennedy Center (She Always Said, Pablo), Horizons (Mabel Dodge, in Losing Lawrence; Dot, in Mrs. California), Maryland Shakespeare (Rosalind, in As You Like It), Rehoboth Summer Theatre (Oriana, in The Winter Man), Scena (the Beckett Festival, European Play Festival), Shakespeare Theatre (Octavia, in Anthony and Cleopatra; Portia, in Merchant of Venice; Viola, in Twelfth Night), Smithsonian (St. Joan; Gwendolyn Fairfax, in The Importance of Being Earnest), Source (Olivia, in Twelfth Night; Lady MacBeth; Mrs. Martin, in The Bald Soprano; Terry, in Extremities; Oriana), Studio (Marguerite Gautier, in Camino Real), Washington Stage Guild (Yelena, in Uncle Vanya), and Woolly Mammoth (Dr. Dupont-Seche, in The Cockburn Rituals). When not acting onstage, Ms Van Duyn does so on audio recordings (Wonder Woman, Serrano Legacy, Survivalist, etc.). Outside her life as a performer, she is a free-lance manuscript editor, a cyclist and cycling advocate, and an aspiring Master Gardener.

Elizabeth Fulford Miller, music director

Elizabeth Miller as The DogaressaElizabeth Fulford Miller has performed with Washington Revels since 1993 and served as its Music Director since 2004. In addition to providing music direction for the annual Christmas Revels, she also directs or oversees the direction of all other Revels productions, including outreach performances, and personally directs the Gallery Voices (formerly, the Washington Revels Singers), a small ensemble that has performed at numerous venues.
She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM '80 and MM '82), where she performed roles in many operas, oratorios and chamber works.  She was awarded three separate fellowships to attend the Aspen Music Festival and School in the areas of choral music, vocal chamber music and opera theater. An active professional singer in the D.C. area, Elizabeth performs as soloist in local concerts and events, sings as a professional chorister with the National Master Chorale, and serves as section leader and cantor at Augustana Lutheran Church in Washington, DC. She has also sung with many local groups, including the Wolftap Chamber Singers, Washington Bach Consort, Master Chorale of Washington, Washington National Opera Chorus, and the Choral Arts Society of Washington.
By day, a librarian and Webmaster at the Library of Congress, Elizabeth also designs and maintains many Web sites for local artists and musicians, including the Washington Revels (www.revelsdc.org).

Charlie Pilzer, producer

Charlie PilzerMusician. Producer. Sound engineer. Event organizer. Charlie Pilzer is a busy man, always devoting himself to creating award-winning Scandinavian, Celtic, folk, and acoustic music and sharing his love of the traditions with audiences, listeners, and other musicians around the world. Well known as a dance musician (piano and bass) for New England folk dances, Charlie began his involvement with Scandinavian music in 1978, when he met the Faroe Islands-based band Spælimenninir ("the folk musicians") during their first U.S. tour. Reflecting the international group's membership (Faroese, Danish, Swedish, and American), Spælimenninir's repertoire is pan-Scandinavian, with a good helping of American contra dance music. In addition to being a performer, Charlie is a strong supporter of promoting folk music and dance as part of everday life. He has been on the staff at camps run by the Country Dance & Song Society and the Christmas Country Dance School at Berea College, and has served as program director for the CDSS Family Week program at Pinewoods Camp. Involved with the Washington Revels for years, Charlie is currently an Artistic Associate for Music. When not performing, Charlie is chief engineer at Airshow Mastering in Springfield, VA. His success with mastering all the genres of music made in the mid-Atlantic region - from gospel to folk, world music to alternative -- can be attributed to his broad base of experience and musical knowledge. Charlie's attention to detail is well known and is best exemplified in the audio restoration of vintage recordings. In addition to mastering a dozen GRAMMY-nominated projects, Charlie received a GRAMMY for mastering and restoration on the Anthology of American Folk Music (1997).