May 1-3 – Virtual May Weekend Festivities

Celebrate May Day with Special Virtual Events All Weekend

“Bring in the May” with Washington Revels! We can’t gather around the Maypole in our usual colorful and boisterous fashion, but we can still raise a hearty “Hurrah” for the arrival of Spring (and dress as colorfully as we choose!).

To mark May Day and the traditional May Revels weekend, our Friday and Saturday Daily Antidotes of Song will feature special guests offering Springtime songs and frivolity, plus May Revels traditions from members of the Revels Chorus and a few surprises. And on Sunday we’ll gather around a virtual crafting table — all are welcome to share in fellowship and to help contribute “Thank You” cards for healthcare workers to our May “Month of Service” project.

Learn more below, but first enjoy:

Now is the Month of Maying (in the time of COVID):

The Washington Revels Gallery Voices have gathered around the (virtual) Maypole to share this classic Spring madrigal — and to encourage us all to continue staying safe through social distancing! We’re in this together, and Revels will keep finding ways to create community for as long as self-isolation lasts. Many thanks to Reveler John Pomeranz and his wife, video editor Kathi Overton, for making this project possible!

Schedule of Events:

All free and open to the public!

Daily Antidotes of Song, 12 PM

Friday, May 1

Steve Winick and Jennifer Cutting (the fabulously costumed butterflies in our 2019 May Revels) will lead us in a rousing “Hal an Tow” and draw back the curtain on the origins of this May Revels favorite. Jennifer and Steve will also perform some songs related to morris dancing, and individual members of our Tween Chorus will show off the morris dance steps they’ve been practicing at home!


Saturday, May 2

Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandell (most recently of the 2018 Elizabethan Christmas Revels) will offer a short verse and song in celebration of Spring, Washington Revels Music Director Betsy Fulford will lead us all in “The May Carol,” and we’ll watch the crowning of the May Queen. Finally, Christmas Revels song leader Greg Lewis and his family will help us all with the hand motions to an energetic rendition of the musical memory challenge Rattlin’ Bog!


Sunday, May 3

Joining us all the way from Ireland, Elvie Miller (piano) and Dennis Liddy (fiddle) will teach us a song in both English and Irish! And stay on after the Daily Song for a virtual volunteer event (see more below).

Click below to join the video calls or watch on Facebook Live.

“Month of Service” Crafting Session

Sunday, May 3, 12:15-1 PM

Immediately following Sunday’s “Daily Antidote of Song,” join or stay on the call to share Springtime fellowship as we connect and make homemade “Thank You” cards for local healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Our goal is to reach 1500+ cards by May 21, and the first recipient will be Howard University Hospital.

Join us around the virtual crafting table to connect, share your isolation experience, and (since it’s Revels) sing along if you’d like with more Washington Revels song leaders!

Sunday’s crafting event is in partnership with the Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington’s “Day of Unity.”

Learn More About May!

Enjoy these blog posts that explain many of the May Day traditions we celebrate:

Hi Ho, the Rattlin’ “Blog”

Adapted from an article by Terry Winslow, longtime May Revels Producer
June 1, 2019

A summary of the May traditions that have appeared in May Revels over the years. Click here to read.

May Day! May Day! — How Will You Celebrate?

A post by Elizabeth Fulford, Music Director
April 30, 2018

Includes links to great May Day articles by Steve Winick and a May Day video by Jennifer Cutting — both of whom you can hear LIVE on Friday! Click here to read.

Photo of Jennifer Cutting and Steve Winick in May Revels 2019 by Dave Fimbres / SemiCharmedLife Photography

Photo of Sabrina Mandell and Mark Jaster in the 2018 Christmas Revels by Ryan Maxwell Photography