hero_Cast Member’s Blog

Cast Member’s Blog

Helen Fields is a member of the 2011 Christmas Revels adult chorus.  Her posts will give you an insider’s view into this year’s show.

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Praise to the Moon

by December 5, 2015 » Add the first comment.
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One of the most beautiful moments in this year’s Christmas Revels is a song to the moon, “The Traveller’s Prayer.” It’s by John Renbourn, an English songwriter who died last March at the age of 70. The moon is a wonder. It travels around us slowly, making one circuit Read more »

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The Sounds of an English Spring

by November 30, 2015 » Add the first comment.
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version of this post appeared on The Last Word on Nothing. The English robin and the North American robin share a name, but ours is a large, sturdy bird, while the British one is a sweet, fat little bird with a little less red and a pretty dab Read more »

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Up Flies the Lark

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A version of this post appeared on The Last Word on Nothing. I walked along the edge of a cliff. To my right, a hundred-foot drop to the waters of the English Channel. A strong wind blew off the water and over the cliff. To my left were Read more »

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Revels and the Natural World

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In one of Washington Revels’ most-performed songs, “Country Life,” we sing: “I like to rise when the sun she rises, early in the morning/I like to hear them small birds singing, merrily upon their laylums.” A laylum is probably a bit of fallow land—it doesn’t matter; it’s a place Read more »

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Over Hedges and Stiles

by November 17, 2015 » Add the first comment.
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“We have traveled many miles, over hedges and stiles.” That’s a line from “Please to See the King,” a song in this year’s Christmas Revels. I’ve been singing in the Christmas Revels chorus since 2004. Being involved with Revels has changed a lot about my world. It has brought me Read more »

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A Journey Back to My Revels Roots

by July 29, 2015 » Add the first comment.
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A Guest Post by Patrick Malone. Attending The Christmas Revels each year with my family was probably my very favorite tradition. I remember vividly riding from our home in McLean, over Key Bridge, past the sparkling December lights of M Street, and stepping into the warm glow of Lisner Auditorium. Attending the Revels was more a part of our holiday ritual than anything else, and the final notes of the Sussex Mummers Carol would reverberate within me for the rest of the season. The rest of the year, even.
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Greek and Bulgarian Salon Concerts

by November 20, 2013 » Add the first comment.
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Twice over the last week the performance space at Washington Revels was filled with dance and exciting music. Friday night, the music was Greek; last night, it was music from Bulgaria. The salon concerts are a chance for tradition-bearers in this year’s Christmas Revels to share a bit more of Read more »

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It’s Just So Many Words….

by November 14, 2013 » Add the first comment.
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In December, I’ll be standing on stage singing songs in Greek, Turkish, and Bulgarian like I’ve known them all my life. Today, November 14, I’m staring down a really large pile of words in languages I don’t speak. My memorization system has many parts. Some shorter pieces just stick in Read more »

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Blessed by the Survachka

by October 31, 2013 » Add the first comment.
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Last week Assen Assenov, a leader in the Washington-area Bulgarian community, and his wife Simona Assenova stopped by rehearsal for the Christmas Revels. First they taught our Wednesday Night Work Party volunteers how to make a survachka, a stick that Bulgarian children use to bless their elders on New Year’s Read more »

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Eleven-Sixteen? What?

by October 2, 2013 » Add the first comment.
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Overheard in rehearsal: “Eleven-sixteen? Whaaaat?” One of the challenges for this year’s Christmas Revels chorus is singing in unusual time signatures. If you don’t know what a time signature is, let me take a moment to enlighten. A piece of music written in the standard way has a couple of Read more »

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