The Christmas Revels: In Celebration Of The Winter Solstice 2019

Series produced by HOUSTON PUBLIC MEDIA RADIO PRODUCTIONS

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“THE CHRISTMAS REVELS: IN CELEBRATION OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE 2019" is an all-new, 119-minute or 59-minute musical celebration of the Winter holidays -- Christmas, the Solstice, St. Lucia’s Day, The Feast of St. Stephen, New Year’s and Twelfth Night/Epiphany -- featuring traditional carols, wassails, hymns, villancicos, children’s game-songs, and folk dance-tunes excerpted from live Christmas Revels stage productions presented around the country.

We are billing this as a "Series," but it is not actually what we think of when we hear the term, "Series"; that is to say, it is not, in reality, a collection of thematically-related individual episodes that are meant to be aired in sequence. Our CHRISTMAS REVELS "Series" is, in fact, one single program that is being offered in two versions: there is the complete, full-length, two-hour edition of the show, and -- for those stations that would prefer it -- a half-length, one-hour version, which is identical to the second half of the two-hour edition, but which can be broadcast on its own as a stand-alone, self-contained, 59-minute holiday feature. Radio station programming decision-makers are welcome to license and air whichever version of the program best fits the needs and preferences of their stations, their broadcast schedules and their audiences. The description below generally applies to both versions of THE CHRISTMAS REVELS Holiday Special; however, not all of the cultures, performers, or types, styles or genres of musical selections mentioned in the article appear in the one-hour edition of the show. Please consult the individual Program/Episode Pages for the two versions of the program for specific details as to what's included in each of the editions of the show in the way of musical content.

“THE CHRISTMAS REVELS: IN CELEBRATION OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE 2019" is an all-new compilation of musical excerpts, plus a few short poetry and prose readings, selected from the live Christmas Revels stage productions that took place in December, 2018, in eight cities across the United States. This holiday broadcast special is available in both a two-hour and a one-hour edition.

CHRISTMAS REVELS performances have been described as entertaining collections of “traditional and ritual dances, processionals, carols and drama.” They are made up of sacred and secular folk materials, plus some composed popular and “art” music, from traditional European and American celebrations of Christmas, The Feast of St. Nicholas, Chanukah, St. Lucia’s Day, the Feast of Fools, New Year's, Twelfth Night/Epiphany, and other end-of-the-year festivals, along with various cultures' hereditary observances of the Winter Solstice, some of which date back to pre-Christian times.

The music in this year's CHRISTMAS REVELS radio broadcast is almost entirely traditional, and it comes from several different cultures and eras. In Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England, our Revelers celebrate the Yuletide, both within the confines of the notorious Tower of London prison and castle complex in the middle of the great city of London, and in a small, rural village in Britain’s western Midlands. We travel another one hundred years farther back in time to Spain at the close of its Golden Age, a period of almost 800 years during which the Roman Catholic Spaniards, Sephardic Jews who had settled in Spain as a result of the diaspora, and Muslim “Moors” originally from North Africa and Syria, lived in more-or-less peaceful co-existence and freely interacted and shared with each other many aspects of their cultures and customs, including each of their societies' unique Winter festival traditions. As the first person to cross the threshold of a cottage on Hogmanay (New Year’s Day) in Eighteenth-Century Scotland, we bring good luck to the household for the entire year to come. We accept the invitation of a troupe of commedia del'arte players to join them on the streets of Renaissance-era Venice, Italy, where their lusty singing and dancing recall the raucous spirit of the Saturnalias of Ancient Rome. We climb aboard a Nineteenth-Century transatlantic sailing ship to celebrate Christmas at sea with a boat-load of Irish immigrants on their way to establish a new life in America. And the distinctive sonorities of four different kinds of fiddles and the sweet sound of children’s singing voices usher in our observance of the Jul and other snowy-season holidays in the Nordic lands of Scandinavia.

This program has the widest variety of music of any holiday special available this year from any source: jolly wassails, country dance-tunes and children's game-songs from Elizabethan and Stuart-Era England; a lyrical hymn of the Nativity, a Yuletide folk song associated with the Novena, the tradition of caroling from door-to-door in the village in the days leading up to Christmas, as well as dance music from both the courts and the rural seasonal festivals of Renaissance Italy; lilting Christmas carols and hymns, along with reels, jigs and couples’ dance-tunes from the Celtic lands of Scotland and Ireland; songs and anthems for Christmas, Saint Lucia's Day and the Feast of Saint Stephen from Nineteenth-Century Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland; and a meditative Arabic prelude, a Christmas villancico (carol), and two Sephardic Jewish Chanukah songs from Medieval Spain.

The enthusiastic performers heard in the program include the adult and children's choruses of each of the Revels companies, their professional brass quintets and instrumental folk-music groups and soloists, plus a distinguished line-up of featured guest artists, including the Philadelphia-based early-music ensemble, Piffaro, The Renaissance Band (performing in Washington, D.C.); traditional and early musicians, Douglas Freundlich (voice, lute), Wayne Hankin (voice, bagpipes, recorders, percussion), Laurie Rabut (voice, Renaissance violin, bass viol), and Christine Rua (voice, bagpipes, recorders, percussion) (Hanover, New Hampshire); Rachid Halihal (voice, oud), Mark Bell (Egyptian goblet drum, Arabic tambourine, frame drum), and Shira Kammen (violin, vielle) (Oakland, California); Jacob Breedlove (voice, hurdy-gurdy, bass rebec, viola da gamba), and Ben Neubauer (voice, violin, vielle) (Tacoma, Washington); and Sunniva Brynnel (voice, Swedish accordion), Loretta Kelley (Norwegian Hardanger fiddle), lydia ievins (Swedish nyckelharpa, five-string fiddle), and Andrea Larson (fiddle) (Cambridge, Massachusetts). The program is hosted by Catherine Lu, popular announcer-producer at Houston Public Media in Houston, Texas.

Because all of the Revels music is traditional – and accessible! – the show will fit into almost any radio format: classical, folk, AAA, world beat, eclectic or what-have-you. Last year, 125 public stations and thousands of listeners around the country enjoyed this holiday treat. We hope you'll plan to license the 2019 CHRISTMAS REVELS radio special and include it in your broadcast schedule -- where it is sure to delight your audience! -- this coming Yuletide season.

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We are billing this as a "Series," but it is not actually what we think of when we hear the term, "Series"; that is to say, it is not, in reality, a collection of thematically-related individual episodes that are meant to be aired in sequence. Our CHRISTMAS REVELS "Series" is, in fact, one single program that is being offered in two versions: there is the complete, full-length, two-hour edition of the show, and -- for those stations that would prefer it -- a half-length, one-hour version, which is identical to the second half of the two-hour edition, but which can be broadcast on its own as a stand-alone, self-contained, 59-minute holiday feature. Radio station programming decision-makers are welcome to license and air whichever version of the program best fits the needs and... Show full description


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“THE CHRISTMAS REVELS: IN CELEBRATION OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE 2019” (One-Hour Version) is an all-new, 59-minute musical celebration of the winter ho...

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  • Added: Oct 16, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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“THE CHRISTMAS REVELS: IN CELEBRATION OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE 2019 (Two-Hour Version) is an all-new, 119-minute musical celebration of the winter ho...

Bought by KYUK


  • Added: Oct 16, 2019
  • Length: 01:58:58
  • Purchases: 1