Posts Tagged blog

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

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

A post by Elizabeth Fulford, Music Director
How will you celebrate May Day?  Washington Revels Gallery Voices got an early start this past weekend at the National Arboretum with madrigals, maypole dancing and lots and lots of beautiful plants and flowers.  We sang about sport and play, branches of May, country life, and many other Spring and Summer themes.  Dressed in May “whites” with colorful sashes and flowery wreathes, it began to feel like warm and sunny weather is finally here to stay!

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New Revels (Staff) Roles

New Revels (Staff) Roles

A post by Greg Lewis, Executive Director
Let Revels introduce you to the newest member of our staff: Volunteer & Education Manager Grace VanderVeer, who first joined our community as a Teen Chorus member in 2005. Learn more about Grace and read about all the latest developments within the office team: the Ritchie Building is buzzing with activity as Grace, Jo Rasi and Ross Wixon settle into new roles.

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The Adventures of Reveler Mike Matheson!

The Adventures of Reveler Mike Matheson!

Posted by Washington Revels
Mike Matheson is no stranger to the Revels stage. You’ve seen him perform in many Christmas Revels productions, sung along with him (and his trusty concertina) during Pub Sing, and heard him direct and perform with Maritime Voices. Mike has been closely involved with Washington Revels since 1987 and has directed Maritime Voices since it formed in 2008. And wow, does he have some great stories to share with our “Washington Revels at 35” Retrospective — so many, in fact, that we thought we’d devote a whole blog post — in Mike’s own words — to these memorable vignettes from years past.

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Spring

Spring

A post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director
Hello from (hopefully) the last snowstorm of the season. I am writing this on the Spring Equinox and know that by the time you read it, the snow will have melted and the cherry blossoms will have shown their blushing faces to the sky. A wonderful chorus of kids, tweens, teens and adults will be starting to rehearse the old songs that will bring in the May at the National Cathedral — soon we will sing Rattlin’ Bog and dance around the May Pole once more!

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Growing the Circle

Growing the Circle

A post by Jo Rasi, Marketing & Programs Director
Anyone who has reveled with us knows that we are all about circles here at Washington Revels. The members of Jubilee Voices, one of our year-round performing ensembles, hold hands in a circle to share a moment of peace and togetherness before a performance. We sing a goodnight song in three concentric circles at the end of many Community Sings. The very idea of circling is foundational to Revels—since the first Christmas Revels in 1983, every rehearsal and performance has begun with a circle. In more recent years, the cast has even been organized into many different overlapping circles: Stage Families, Children’s Chorus, Teen Chorus, Adult Chorus and the full ensemble. At the end of every show, our backstage and

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Introducing Our Directors’ Blog Series

Introducing Our Directors’ Blog Series

Posted by Washington Revels
In 2018, Washington Revels celebrates 35 years of reveling in the DC-area. This gala year will be marked by many special events, and we’re kicking things off right away with a brand-new series of blog posts for the New Year! Each month, you can look forward to hearing from one of Revels’ artistic or office staff directors, plus occasional guest posts from Revels cities around the country. These ruminations may take the form of a heartwarming letter, a thoughtful essay, or a brief note as our directors reflect on past productions, upcoming performances, inspiring rehearsals, and the magical, exuberant, and poignant intersection of Revels and modern life.

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Cautionary Tales From Canada

Cautionary Tales From Canada

A guest post by Patrick Swanson (Artistic Director, Revels, Inc.) and Stephen D. Winick, Ph.D.
Folktales have a predictable, familiar structure: beginnings and endings are ritualized in order to give a clear signal that we are entering and leaving another world, while middles often contain important lessons that are part of a perceived “common sense.” The lessons in French-Canadian culture come from a fascinating mixture of English, Scottish, Irish, and French tradition shaped by the dominant religion, Catholicism. Many folktales feature the village priest and his enemy, the Devil. A favorite cautionary tale about the Loup-Garou, or Werewolf, includes important information about the reason for the beast’s condition: neglecting to go to confession for seven years.

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Song and Music in Québec: A Brief Introduction

Song and Music in Québec: A Brief Introduction

A guest post by Stephen Winick, Ph.D.
This French-Canadian Revels includes a selection of ancienne musique and nouvelle musique Québécoise, blending old French tradition and New World ingenuity with a modern flair. On his first trip to the New World, in 1534, explorer Jacques Cartier found a rich land inhabited by Huron and Iroquois Indians. He promptly claimed it for France. After permanent settlement began in 1608, immigrants to Québec came from all over France, but especially from several provinces in the north and west: Normandy, Picardy, Anjou, Poitou, and Brittany. Not surprisingly, many of the traditional French songs we now find in Québec are common in those provinces as well. “Dans les prisons de Nantes,” for example, is set in Nantes, an important city that was historically the capital of Brittany. Located at the confluence of the Loire, the Sevre, and the Erdre, Nantes may be remembered fondly by many of our villagers as a model for their own Trois-Rivières.

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The Origin of the Gigue (Québécois Step Dancing)

The Origin of the Gigue (Québécois Step Dancing)

A guest post by Pierre Chartrand
In Québec, step dancing is known as the gigue. The step dancing in this show is a style from the eastern part of Canada. It is one of a number of varieties of step dancing found throughout Canada. Step dancing originated in the British Isles. Its path to Canada began with the large Irish immigration between 1832 and 1847. As a port of entry, Québec City was first to feel the Irish influence. As French-speaking Canadians adopted the dance, colonists moving northward carried the gigue with them.

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