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The Kovar Family Revelers

The Kovar Family Revelers

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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Guest Artist Interview: Rock Creek Morris

Guest Artist Interview: Rock Creek Morris

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

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

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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Ten Years of Maritime Music

Ten Years of Maritime Music

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

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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Making the Sausage: just what goes into a Christmas Revels?

Making the Sausage: just what goes into a Christmas Revels?

A post by Colin K. Bills, Production Manager
The title of this post could easily refer to a prop we’ve got in mind for this year’s production. Indeed, our selection of fake meats — from the Boar’s Head that will once again make an appearance in 2018 to the côtelette de veau bien rôtie sans os produced last year as one of our foods in les Parties de Grégoire — is mouthwateringly delectable. That is, unless one is a vegetarian or allergic to painted Styrofoam.

However, the sausage here is of the metaphoric sort. Those who have been on or backstage in a Christmas Revels can surely appreciate the time, effort, sweat (and alas, sometimes tears) that are required of the hundreds of folks who contribute to this epic performance. And while effort is surely required, time is our most valuable commodity. Members of the chorus know that auditions for Christmas occur in late May. That’s nearly seven months before the show! That should be enough time to put this thing together, right?

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Freedom and the Fourth of July

Freedom and the Fourth of July

A post by Andrea Jones Blackford, Director, Jubilee Voices & Co-Director, Heritage Voices
On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass delivered an address at an event in Rochester, New York commemorating the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Douglass’ words reveal the reality that the Founding Fathers’ vision of freedom in the Declaration of Independence did not include enslaved people, who were considered then property or livestock. His speech included the sights, sounds and stories of the enslaved, and of his own experience under slavery, underscoring the hypocrisy of celebrating freedom while benefiting from “cargoes of human flesh.” His words were a warning to the young republic — then 76 years old — to reconsider this paradox.

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A July 4th Welcome for Syrian Refugees

A July 4th Welcome for Syrian Refugees

Posted by Washington Revels
The Fourth of July is a special holiday for Washington Revels. It’s a chance for Revelers from across our community to spread the joy of shared music, dance, and play with our largest single audience: parade spectators! Even more wonderful for us, these onlookers are our Takoma Park neighbors, who turn out each year to cheer on the many great community groups that participate in the historic Takoma Park Independence Day Parade (129 years and counting).

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The Next 35

The Next 35

A post by Patti Knapp, Business & Development Director
Hello Friends: I write today grateful for the progress our Washington Revels community has made and humbled by the road that lies ahead of us. Since I arrived in August of 2016, the warmth of your welcome and your willingness to lend your talents to new fundraising endeavors has overwhelmed me. With your help we have strengthened Revels’ financial foundation and nurtured the vibrant circle of volunteers, donors, performers, teachers, and learners that make my work worth pursuing.

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Washington Revels, Inc.
531 Dale Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910
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301-587-3835 (voice)
888-587-9050 (fax)

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