Meet Tina Chancey

Tina Chancey with Rachid Halihal and Daphna Mor. Photo by Elizabeth Fulford Miller.
Tina Chancey (right) with Rachid Halihal and Daphna Mor. Photo by Elizabeth Fulford Miller.

Actually, I met Tina Chancey back in 1983, when she played viola da gamba with the Washington Bach Consort (a group that I sang in at the time).¬† Who would have thought that all of these year’s later, we would be making music together again?

Tina is the “bowed string” musician in Trio Sefardi (along with Howard Bass and Susan Gaeta) — they are featured in this year’s Christmas Revels.¬† While Trio Sefardi is a fairly new group, Tina also directs HESPERUS, the world-traveled early/traditional music ensemble dedicated to bringing the past alive through collaborations between early music and film, theater, dance and world music–sounds a bit like Revels doesn’t it?

So… what does Tina play? She plays early and traditional bowed strings from rebec, Pontic lyra and vielle to viola da gamba and Old Time and Irish fiddle. And, on these instruments she plays roots music from Sephardic and blues to early music and jazz standards.

In this year’s show, Tina is not only playing… she has also arranged “Ocho Kandelikas,” (written by Sephardic singer, Flory Jagoda) for our chorus and brass (and, it has audience participation too), and wrote the fabulous brass arrangement for our “Eggplant” song (this one, you really have to experience in person!).

It has been a real joy for us to collaborate with Tina again this year during the development of this wonderful show (she last appeared with the Washington Revels in 1999 as part of our “Celestial Fools” show), and it will be a joy for all of you to experience¬† her musical arrangements and to hear her play.

To learn more about Tina, visit:

Seven Ways to Prepare Eggplant

Eggplant! Photo: David Monniaux

Last night I was chatting with John Pomeranz, the Washington Revels board member and sometime chorus member who is making the food for the cast party in a couple of weeks. He chastised me for not having previously mentioned that we’re singing a whole song about food. It’s called “Siete modos de guisar las barenjenas”–Seven Ways to Prepare Eggplant–and, well, that’s what it is. I promised I’d send him the recipes, so here they are, just in time for Thanksgiving.

1. Vava – Cut it into bite-sized pieces and serve it for supper.

2. Dolma – Hollow it out and fill it with herbs.

3. Almondrote – Hollow it out and fill it with rice.

4. Alburnia – Ok, the song doesn’t actually give this recipe, but I can tell you that it’s tasty and you should eat it before the worm gets to it.

5. Jandrajo – Little pastries of eggplant, served with hard-boiled eggs.

6. Maljasina salad – Make it with a lot of olive oil and serve it with leftover hen.

7. Meyina – In the oven with an open dish with oil and pepper.

Ok, I didn’t say they were detailed recipes. If you don’t feel up to the recipes, maybe you’ll take inspiration from the chorus: “My uncle Cerasi likes to drink wine. Lots of it. He feels fine.”

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