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October 14, 2008

CW museums delight guests with holiday music programs

See what holiday music programs have spread good tidings throughout Colonial Williamsburg’s museums. The holiday season comes to life this winter with beautiful carols, instrumental concerts and interactive activities sure to entertain, educate and fill your heart with joy.

The following holiday musical programs are being offered in Colonial Williamsburg this season:

  • Raise a Ruckus. Carson Hudson and his friends explore American folk music and the instruments that Americans have played over the last 400 years. Presented in conjunction with the “Cross Rhythms” exhibition, various folk instruments will be demonstrated with anecdotes and stories. 1:30 and 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 28 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Tickets are $6.
  • Christmas Hymns You Thought You Knew. Join John Turner and Michael Monaco in a festive beginning to the holiday season, as they take a fresh look at familiar carols and hymns from Christmases past. Sing familiar words and sometimes unfamiliar tunes accompanied by a variety of instruments including the harpsichord. The concert begins at 4 p.m. on Thursdays, Dec. 4, 11 and 18 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Tickets are $6.
  • Profound Joy. Multi-instrumentalist Timothy Seaman celebrates the great wonder of the holiday season with early American, old European and new compositions from his recording of the same name. Winter, Christmas and Hanukkah themes are heard in the glowing drama of the extended-range hammer dulcimer and the awe-filled sounds of the low whistle, bamboo flute, mountain dulcimer and psaltery. This hour-long program is held at 4 p.m. on Fridays, Dec. 5, 12 and 19 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $6.
  • A Grand Illumination Celebration. Timothy Seaman’s Virginia Sky joins The Three Jolly Coachmen for a stupendous serving of upbeat seasonal musical fare. Together they blend striking Celtic melodies on harp, whistles and hammered dulcimer with guitar, banjo, bass and singing in the lively tradition of The Kingston Trio. The unprecedented and colorful family event kicks off Grand Illumination at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Tickets are $10.
  • A String Band Christmas. The Runaway String Band plays a mix of holiday songs and instrumentals from the hills of Appalachia to the sidewalks of New York. String bands in the 1920s-30s played a wide variety of popular songs and tunes. The Runaway String Band continues the tradition of the Virginia string bands, presenting hot instrumentals, three and four-part harmonies and a selection of traditional holiday music and stories from the early 20th century. 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 28 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $8.
  • Sticks, Strings and Songs. Join Lee Welch, Lance Pedigo and Wayne Hill for holiday music performed on a variety of percussion and string instruments. Enjoy contemporary and traditional settings of holiday favorites in this unique musical offering. 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 13 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $6.
  • A Baroque Christmas. A student ensemble from the College of William and Mary performs Christmas and chamber works of Bach, Handel, Corelli, Vivaldi and others. The ensemble consists of Nick Fitzgerald on baroque violin, Rachael Blake on baroque flute, Jon Brvenik on cello and Alice Real on harpsichord. This hour-long concert begins at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $7.
  • A Williamsburg Christmas. Join Trio String Wind—Ardie Boggs, Tim Seaman and Phillip Skeens—for a heartfelt and compelling blend of seasonal music ranging from Celtic through classical with hammered dulcimer, flutes, Celtic harp, guitar, whistles and bodhran. 1:30 and 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 21 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $9.
  • An Acoustic Christmas. Beautiful instrumental arrangements of your favorite Christmas tunes performed on hammered dulcimer and classical guitar by the Miller Rowe Consort from South Carolina. The hour-long program begins at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 29 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $10.

    The following musical programs being offered celebrate the spirit of the holidays in colonial America:

  • Fiddling Away the Holidays. Master fiddler John Turner keeps a Colonial Williamsburg Christmas tradition by singing, playing and reveling in the lighter side of the holiday season. Included is the not-to-be-missed Twelve Days of Christmas as only John and his eclectic collection of whistles and instruments can provide. The hour-long program begins at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Dec. 2, 9 and 16.
  • Seller of Songs. Stephen Christoff explores early American music both seasonal and year-round, telling the story of Americans and their struggle for freedom from the 18th century and beyond. Guests will experience both familiar and unfamiliar instruments: the musical saw, octave mandolin, comb and paper, hand-flute, Jew’s harp, spoons and hand-bone. The hour-long program begins at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17 the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $6.
  • Here We Come a Wassailing. Join Lee Welch and Barry Trott for traditional tunes and tales that celebrate winter and the spirit of the colonial holiday season. Customs and carols abound in good-humored and high-spirited music, sung and performed on a variety of stringed, wind and percussion instruments. The one-hour program begins at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $6.
  • Christmas with the Colonial Singers. Enjoy a Christmas concert of songs, legends and the memories of the Christmas traditions in colonial America. The hour-long program begins at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $7.
  • Charting the Holidays. Experience seasonal music from the days of Colonial America. Discover the origins of popular traditions as settlers arrived from the British Isles and Europe, bringing their music and customs to the Colonies. Join Lee Welch, Sarah Glosson and Barry Trott in this engaging holiday show at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 22 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $8.
  • Colonial and Traditional Music of the Christmas Season. A lively mixture of carols and old wassailing tunes with colonial songs and dance melodies all performed on appropriate period instruments. Musicians and music historians David and Ginger Hildebrand provide commentary between selections to set the scene and illuminate the cultural context of 18th-century music in America. 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 26 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $8.
  • Christmas Music from the Jefferson Collection. Enjoy sonatas, ballads and songs from the musical collection of Thomas Jefferson sung and performed on violin, cello and guitar and narrated by Thomas Jefferson. Join Bill Barker, Lee Welch and Sarah Glosson for the music that Thomas Jefferson collected, played and enjoyed in his travels here and abroad. The hour-long program begins at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 30 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Tickets are $10.
  • Whoop and Holler. Musical historian and performer Carson Hudson explores the history of the Virginia banjo from the 18th century to today. Hear music played on reproduction banjos. This hour-long program begins at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 2.

    European musical holiday traditions are highlighted in the following Colonial Williamsburg programs:

  • St. Andrew’s Day Museum Social. Scottish fiddling master John Turner teams up with singer-guitarist Cliff Williams and fellow Scottish fiddler David Gardener to create a fitting musical tribute on this day honoring Scotland’s patron saint. After the concert, enjoy Scottish-inspired treats in the museum’s café and music throughout the museum. 6 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 30 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Tickets are $25 by November 22, $20 for Good Neighbors by Nov. 22 and $30 when purchased Nov 23-30.
  • Celtic Whispers and the Nativity. Join Ardie Boggs on the Celtic Harp, as she travels through the misty space of time, from Ireland to the Holy Land, tracing the Pagan conversion to Christianity. The concert begins at 4 p.m. on Mondays, Dec. 1 and 15 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $6.
  • Artisan’s Celtic Wonderland. The trio Artisan—Ardie Boggs, Timothy Seaman and Anne Robinson—brings unique Celtic and seasonal music on two magnificent Celtic harps and virtuosic hammered dulcimers, flutes, whistles and psalteries. Delighting guests with the beautiful holiday sounds of joy and peace, this hour-long program begins at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 23 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $9.
  • A European Yuletide. The Virginia Sky Trio—Timothy Seaman, Ann Robinson and Peter Budnikas—celebrates the Christmas sounds of the Europeans who settled America. Enjoy charming and vibrant interpretations performed on hammered dulcimers, Celtic harp, guitar, Highland bagpipes and flutes. 1:30 and 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 27 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $9.
  • Hogmanay: Scottish New Year’s Celebration. Prepare for the beginning of 2009 with John Turner, Cliff Williams and David Gardner, three of Williamsburg’s most talented musicians, as they celebrate Hogmanay with songs and tunes from Scotland. The hour-long program begins at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Ticket price is $9.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, Good Neighbor Card or museums ticket provides access to enjoy these musical programs. A separate ticket is required where indicated.

    Entrance to the museums is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For information and reservations call (757) 220-7724. Programs and exhibitions at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    For reservations and more information, call 1-800-HISTORY.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at www.history.org.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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