Washington Revels Recordings

Sing & Rejoice CD

This recording celebrates 30 years of Washington Revels and honors what lies at the core of every Revels performance: the music. It also celebrates those who perform it—our volunteer adult and children’s choruses, the brass, our artistic directors, and the many others who have helped us celebrate community, culture, and tradition through the years. Sing & Rejoice presents a potpourri drawn from Christmas Revels productions, featuring previously unrecorded music: choral anthems, rousing rounds, audience favorites, and other songs, familiar and new, spanning eras from medieval Spain to 20th-century America and countries around the globe. It not only marks our 30th anniversary, but also celebrates the common threads—music, community, and tradition—that bind us through the ages as a human race. For that, we sing and rejoice!

Release date December 2013

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Remembrance of Things Brassed

A Christmas Revels Retrospective, 1996-2012

The release of this recording celebrates Washington Revels’ thirtieth anniversary and documents some favorite moments in Washington Revels Brass history. In classic Revels style, this musical offering is entirely eclectic and includes music from almost every Christmas Revels show in Washington over the past sixteen years. Many of the pieces will be familiar to even the most casual of Revelers. On the other hand, a few pieces are taken from the most obscure Revels archives. If there is anything that lends unity, it is the irrepressible spirit of joy and celebration that attends the arrival of each successive year’s shortest day.

Robert Birch – trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn & piccolo trumpet
David Cran – trumpet, cornet & flugelhorn
Sharon Tiebert – horn
Benno Fritz – trombone
Robert Posten – bass trombone

Release date December 2012

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Le Temps des Fetes (Washington Revels)

French Canadian Music & Dance in Celebration of the Winter Soltice

“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

Travel with us to Trois-Rivières, a town in southern Québec. It’s late December during le temps des Fêtes, the time of celebration, and smoke is rising from the chimneys. The timber business is thriving and the Hudson’s Bay Company is paying good money for beaver pelts. A group of young men is preparing to leave home seeking profit and adventure—to be voyageurs. The only way into the wild Canadian woods is on the rivers and lakes, so the men will paddle a huge canoe to trade European goods for pelts, singing as they go. The voyageurs’ songs are part of a lively tradition in Québec. The region’s early immigrants brought with them the music, dances, and legends of their native France. Over time, a distinct French Canadian culture began to emerge, influenced by Native American traditions and immigrants from Britain and Ireland. This Québécois winter celebration includes a selection of traditional and new music, blending old French tradition and New World ingenuity with a modern flair. Our story begins in Trois-Rivières one evening in December and ends exactly one year later. You’ll hear carols, wild dancing, and music from the hearths of Québec. And be prepared for a deal with the devil and a ride in a flying canoe!

Release date December 2010

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Hard Times Come Again No More

American Music of the Civil War Era

It is this unique collection of musical styles that inspired Washington Revels and Heritage Montgomery to produce this new compilation of American music of Civil War era—in honor of the sesquicentennial of this war and as a companion to the new documentary film, Life in a War Zone: Montgomery County during the Civil War 1861-1865. Though a product of its time, this music still strikes a chord that resonates in us all a century and a half later. It paints a portrait of those who sought peace, beauty, justice and freedom in the midst of a war that was said to have cost 618,000 lives. It chronicles a journey of people—white, black, Union, Confederate, enslaved, and free—whose lives were swept in the violent winds of a conflict that changed their lives, and our nation, forever.

Joining Washington Revels Heritage Ensembles, Brass Quintet and String Band on the recording, are guest artists, Jacqueline Schwab, Bruce Molsky, Pete Cooper, The Federal City Brass Band, Douglas Jimerson, and Magpie.

Release date March 2011

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Behold That Star CD Cover

An American Song Quilt

“A wonderful collection of late 19th-century fare.” —The Washington Post

“An outstanding collection…educational and entertaining.” —Parents Guide/Audioweb

The cast of the Washington, D.C. Revels traces how American music was fashioned from distinct European- and African-American styles. A delightful American panorama of ebullient gospel shouter, prim Sunday-go-to-meetin’ hymns, brisk fiddle tunes, lonely slave spirituals, plucky brass band numbers, and timeless fold songs. A few are Christmassy, but this is definitely an all-year-round record. Features fiddle great Bruce Molsky and baritone Charles Williams. [Released 2001]

Release date 2001

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Children Singing in Celebration of the Winter Solstice

“An enchanting collection.” —The Washington Post

At every Revels, the children’s chorus steals the show. This adorable, musically lovely collection is sung by the children of the 1992 Washington Revels. English, early American, French and Irish carols are gorgeously sung with sweet, sure harmonies. As a special treat, the children caper through a frisky St. George and the Dragon play. This recording was made by Washington Revels children, under the direction of Jill Bixler, and includes such favorites as The Wren Song, The Friendly Beasts, There Was a Pig Went Out to Dig, Glory to the Mountain, The Souling Song,” “The Holly and the Ivy, Dame Get Up and Bake your Pies, Little Jack Horner, Swing on the Year, and more!

Released date 1993

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Montgomery County During the Civil War, 1861-1865

Life in a War Zone DVD cover
Life in a War Zone is hosted by Washington Revels Executive Director Greg Lewis and the soundtrack was created by Music Director Elizabeth Fulford Miller, Associate Music Director Andrea J. Blackford, and award-winning Sound Engineer Charlie Pilzer (with additional sound effects and audio by Matthew Nielson and Flawn Williams). The music featured on the soundtrack comprises a wide variety of vocal and instrumental styles, including African American spirituals and field hollers, popular songs of the era, traditional folk music, shape note tunes, and regimental brass band music.

Featured on the soundtrack are performances by Washington Revels heritage ensembles (Jubilee Voices and Gallery Voices), brass quintet and string band; fiddle and banjo music by Bruce Molsky; expressive piano solos and accompaniment by renowned pianist Jacqueline Schwab; and period band music performed by the Maryland-based Federal City Brass Band. The theme music used for the DVD is the poignant tune, “August,” written by Pete Cooper, a London fiddler and composer. Cooper was last heard performing as part of the 2010 Christmas Revels in Lisner Auditorium as part of The Mellstock Band from England.

Watch “Life in a War Zone” online

The documentary film, “Life in a War Zone,” and companion CD recording (“Hard Times Come Again No More”) were produced with generous support from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.

Release date March 2011

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