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Winter Holiday Programs

Old-Fashioned Christmas Carols

To Drive the Cold Winter Away: Music of Shakespeare's Time, with A Pageant of Christmas Pastimes

Holiday Renaissance Revels

Medieval and Renaissance Carols

Wassail Music

Church and Wedding Music

 

Between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day celebrate the Winter Solstice, Christmas, New Year's, Twelfth Night and other occasions with special music.

Old-Fashioned Christmas Carols

As the duo The Little Dickens Band, Anne and Rob play winter holiday music of the British Isles from the time of Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria, as well as old standard holiday fare. They enjoy presenting these beloved songs in unusual and older settings with flute, guitar, pennywhistle, concertina, dulcimer and voices. Their concerts of old-fashioned Christmas music have been enjoyed by multi-generational audiences. The Little Dickens Band has appeared at the Detroit’s Noël Night, Troy Historical Museum, the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm, Borders Book Shop, Highland Township Library, Midland Public Library, Brandon Township Public Library, at malls, galleries and at private functions.

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To Drive the Cold Winter Away: Music of Shakespeare's Time, with A Pageant of Christmas Pastimes

“To Drive the Cold Winter Away: Music of Shakespeare's Time" is performed by Anne and Rob Burns, A Reasonable Facsimile. This concert of jolly music from Merrie Olde England and Europe is accompanied with replicas of period instruments including recorder, viola da gamba, shawm, flute and drum. “To Drive the Cold Winter Away” features Renaissance songs and tunes for the winter holidays. An extended section, "A Pageant of Christmas Pastimes," salutes the traditional Lord of Misrule and the custom of wassailing, topped off with action for the audience's amusement. The music by John Dowland, Thomas Morley, Michael Praetorius and others will serve as an entertaining introduction to those new to early music, or as a welcome return for Renaissance music and Shakespeare lovers.

To Drive the Cold Winter Away flier

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Holiday Renaissance Revels

Join the revels, as ancient sounds usher in the modern winter holiday season!

Renaissance music is often associated with the holiday season, since the merry tunes and dance selections are evocative of times gone by. Anne and Rob, as A Reasonable Facsimile, embody the spirit of the season with their lively interpretations of old music on replica Renaissance instruments. A Reasonable Facsimile's holiday music has been heard at Noël Night (Detroit), New Year's Fest (Kalamazoo), First Night (Toledo and Birmingham, Michigan), the Troy Historical Museum, Twelfth Night Celebration (Flint Michigan), The Henry Ford, Midnight at the Creek (Battle Creek), the Detroit Institute of Arts, Southgate Public Library, Grand Rapids Community College, as well as at churches, madrigal dinners, malls and private parties.

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Medieval and Renaissance Carols

"Gaude! Freut euch! Rejoice!"
A selection of early carols in Latin, German and English presented by Canzonet in arrangements for three women's voices.The program features music from the 15th-century English Selden Manuscript and from the early 17th-century collections by the German composer/arranger, Michael Praetorius. Also represented are tunes from the Renaissance that were later adapted as Christmas songs: "Greensleeves"="What Child is This?" "Bransle Official" = "Ding, Dong, Merrily on High!"

Gaude! Freut euch! Rejoice! flier

Audio excerpts from program:
Nowell sing we both all and some
Lo how a rose e'er blooming
Gaudete
What child is this?
Green grow'th the holly


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Wassail Music

In the concert program "A Jolly Wassail Bowl," A Reasonable Facsimile and Friends perform music selected from years of entertaining at Renaissance-themed events, most notably the Detroit Institute of Arts Wassail Feasts. The ensemble, under the name Good Company (now known as the Old Oaks Renaissance Consort) was the "house band" for the DIA Wassail Feasts for 18 years, for the Wassail Feasts at other locations, and performed 10 years for the "Holiday Feast in Old Krakow" presented by the American Polish Cultural Society.

"A Jolly Wassail Bowl" concert features festive Renaissance music played on recorders, flutes, shawms, violas da gamba and percussion. The group sings as well as plays instruments, and a few selections of later traditional wassailing music are included for good measure. The program can also go back to its roots and be presented as part of a dinner theatre. In addition, Renaissance dancers can join the musicians to enhance the presentation.

 

"Wassailing is the practice of going door-to-door singing Christmas carols and requesting in return wassail or some other form of refreshment." Wikipedia

"Wassail is a hot, spiced punch often associated with winter celebrations of northern Europe, usually those connected with the Christmas holiday such as Christmas, New Year's and Twelfth Night. Particularly popular in Germanic countries, the term itself is a contraction of the Old English toast wæs thu hæl, or "be thou hale!" (i.e., "be in good health"). Alternate expressions predating the term, with approximately the same meaning, include both the Old Norse ves heill and Old English wes hál." Wikipedia

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