2013 Christmas Concert
36th Annual Festival of Christmas Music
Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 8:00 PM
NOTE: This Event Cancelled Due to Weather
Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Doylestown PA (directions to church)
Shuttle Bus Parking is available for both Christmas concerts. Patrons are encouraged to drop passengers at the entrance to Our Lady of Guadalupe before parking. Shuttle buses will travel between Cold Spring Elementary School (immediately next to the church) and the front of the church.
Tickets: $17 in advance, $22 at the door
In assembling the carols for this piece, it happened that I came across several related to the theme of Christmas being a time when rich and poor come together to celebrate the humble origins of Jesus. It then seemed only natural to close the work with what is perhaps the best known carol associated with that theme, the story of Good King Wenceslas.
As I became more familiar with the melodic modes of the oldest carols such as “All hayle to the dayes” and “Swete was the song the Virgine soong,” it occurred to me that a drone-like folk instrument might be a natural fit. In this way the theme of rich and poor sitting down together could be further supported by contrasting the “regal” sound of the brass with the plainer sound of a stringed folk instrument.
This path led to the hurdy-gurdy, which most people, myself included, might associate with the organ-grinder of Schubert’s “Winterreise” or the streets of Paris. But in fact, the “real” hurdy-gurdy is a mechanical violin equipped with drone strings and melody strings, all bowed with a crank and rosined wheel, and with melodies played by manipulating wooden keys.
The instrument goes back at least to the time of these medieval carols, and developed differently in different countries. The English “wheel-fiddle” or Hungarian “tekerolant” instruments for which this piece was written are mostly folk instruments by design, whereas more elaborately designed instruments, called “vielle à roué” were crafted for the French court. I am grateful to Timothy Urban for introducing me to the capabilities of this fascinating instrument.
Composed at a time when the economic and social divide between rich and poor in our world is wider than ever with little serious attention being paid, it is hoped that this suite will inspire not only comforting feelings of seasonal fellowship, but a broader commitment to building a world where the well-being of all people is a shared concern. - TL
Shirley Kerr Piercy - "Loving the Gift of Live Performance"
Want to know what songs we'll be performing at the concert? Take a look at the Concert Program page that we've put together for you.
Here's a video from our own Tom Lloyd as he sits down with Tim Urban and talks about the hurdy-gurdy. Check out this unique sounding instrument, one that we'll be featuring at this concert.
Stay tuned - we will have more information here as we get closer to the concert.