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A Very Merry Midwinter


Woods Hole Community Hall

68 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA

Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 4:00 PM
Sunday, December 20, 2015 at 4:00 PM

The Solstice Singers and guest artists will perform A Very Merry Midwinter – a pageantry of songs, instrumental music, drama, and dance in the style of the Renaissance – on Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20 in Woods Hole.

Performed in colorful costumes, some pieces are sung a cappella, such as the soothing Celtic Lullaby Irish air performed by the women of Solstice Singers. Many of the songs are accompanied by Ensemble Passacaglia, including 16th century Gaudete where costumed singers stride boldly across the stage, singing and waving colorful scarves in celebration. Selections include old favorites such as The Boar’s Head Carol and Lord of the Dance.

In addition to accompanying the 14 singers, Ensemble Passacaglia will perform several of its own traditional Renaissance carols and Medieval Spanish cantigas. The instrumentalists are Jan Elliott of Woods Hole on recorder, Lisa Esperson of Falmouth on percussion, Tom Hanna of Sandwich on lute, and Molly Johnston of Boston on viola da gamba. Passacaglia will also introduce the audience to unique sounds of lesser known instruments such as the crumhorn, cornamuse, and bouzouki.

A feature of this year’s program is the children’s chorus, Les Enfants du Soleil, which has grown to 14 singers ranging in age from 6 to 14. In addition to joining the adult chorus on several seasonal favorites, the children will perform a few of their own delightful songs, such as The Friendly Beasts and Jolly Old Hawk.

Always a highlight of the winter shows, the Vineyard Swordfish dance team will perform a sword dance called “Woods’le.” While fully embracing the English longsword tradition, Woods’le is one of several original dances created to showcase the dance team’s signature style. Led by Jan Elliott, Vineyard Swordfish is accompanied by Ron Geering of Woods Hole on hurdy gurdy and Jacek Sulanowski of Falmouth on drum.

The singers also take their turn at dance. Five couples perform Branle des Chevaux – a sprightly yet elegant traditional piece choreographed around the theme of horses. The tune Three Country Dances is sung by the men of Solstice Singers while pairs of women exemplify each of the dances.

“The passion, dedication, diligence, and plain old hard work of all singers, dancers, and players come together to create magical, ephemeral moments that transport the audience to a bygone time and place,” advises Lore Loftfield De Bower, the show’s artistic director. “Come, enjoy a very merry midwinter afternoon.”

Both shows on December 19 and 20 are at 4 pm at the Community Hall located at 68 Water Street in Woods Hole. The hall is accessible to people with disabilities. Free parking is available.

Admission is $20 for adults ($17 when purchased in advance) and $10 for students. Children under 12 are admitted free of charge. Advance tickets are available at Eight Cousins Books on Main Street in Falmouth and Market Street Bookshop located in Mashpee Commons.

For more information, email get-info@solsticesingers.org .

The Solstice Singers is grateful for the generous support received from The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod , the Falmouth Cultural Council , and the Woods Hole Foundation.
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