☼ ☼ ☼ Nowell Sing We Clear | Dublin Community Church

Nowell Sing We Clear
Fri, Dec 7th, 2012 – 8:00 PM – Dublin Community Church

One of our Annual Seasonal Extravaganzas!


Friday, December 7 at 8:00 PM



This will be the thirty-eighth touring season of Nowell Sing We Clear with its unusual songs, carols, stories, and customs. Drawn mostly from English-language folk traditions, the songs tell both a version of the events and characters involved in the Christmas story and detail the customs which make up the twelve magical days following the return of the light at the winter solstice. Many of these ancient customs are the basis of the today’s holiday traditions, such as visiting and feasting, gift-giving, carol singing from door-to-door and the adorning of houses and churches with garlands of evergreen.

Nowell Sing We Clear celebrates Christmas as it was known for centuries in Britain and North America and as it continues in many places to the present. The songs come from an age when the midwinter season was a time for joyous celebration and vigorous expression of older, perhaps pagan, religious ideas. There is not always a clear line between these and the rejoicing at the birth of Jesus bringing a fresh light into the world at this dark midwinter time. A special and unusual treat is the enactment of a Mummers Play from Kentucky. Performed in the traditional manner, the play is typical of folk dramas which survive to this day throughout Britain and North America symbolizing and portraying the death of the land at midwinter and its subsequent rebirth in the spring.

While much of the singing is done in unaccompanied style, the pageant is also stamped with the energetic dance band sound of fiddle, button accordion, electric piano, drums, and concertina. The audience will be supplied with songsheets and encouraged to sing along, though after three decades of touring in New England, a whole generation of young people have grown up with these songs and carols and sing along with as much as they can. Some “new”, that is “different”, songs and carols are introduced every year. Performers are John Roberts and Tony Barrand, widely known for their lively presentations of English folk songs, and Fred Breunig and Andy Davis, well known in New England as dance callers and musicians.

Nowell Sing We Clear has become a regular part of some communities on the Eastern seaboard. The group has several recordings of songs from the show which have been popular items in many households at this time of year. Their CDs are drawn from songs learned for their concerts: The newest is Just Say Nowell, Hail Smiling Morn has a cover designed by famous Vermont artist, Mary Azarian, and Nowell Sing We Four.The first three LP recordings are all well represented on a compact disk, The Best of Nowell: 1976 – 1985 All recordings are available from Golden Hind Records.

Windborne Quartet | Peterborough

windborne trio

Music in Bass Hall  presents Windborne, a group well known as a trio, but now touring as a quartet. A group of vocal chameleons, they first became enamored with world folk traditions as teens at Village Harmony singing camps.  They have continued to pursue music and dance as performers and teachers. Their program spans several centuries, including music from Corsica, the Republic of Georgia, the Basque region, Bulgaria, and the United States.  They switch effortlessly between drastically different styles of singing within the same concert, all the while regaling the audience with their vocal energy and carefully crafted arrangements.

Tickets available at http://peterboroughhistory.org/content/music-bass-hall-windborne-quartet

Winborne is Lynn Mahoney Rowan, Will Thomas Rowan and Lauren Breunig, who have sung together for years as Windborne Trio.  They are joined this winter by fellow Renewal Chorus singer Jeremy Carter-Gordon.  All four have traveled extensively in the US and throughout the world with Village Harmony, Northern Harmony, and Renewal, leading workshops and giving concerts.

Specializing in close harmony singing, Windborne moves with ease between the soaring polyphony of Corsica, the striking chords of the Republic of Georgia, the close dissonances of Bulgaria, and the haunting blends of contemporary and traditional American tunes.  They have had the distinct pleasure of studying under a variety of music masters, including Corsican music scholar and composer Jean-Etienne Langianni; Georgian singers and members of Zedashe, Shergil Pirtskhelani and Ketevan Mindorashvili; director of the London Bulgarian Choir Dessislava Stefanova; and Matlakala Bopape, who leads the Polokwane Choir in South Africa.  Closer to home, they count folk music legends Tony Barrand, the Amidon family, Don Jamison, Neely Bruce, and Suzannah Park among their friends and mentors.

As a quartet, the singers have a vibrant energy and a strong connection, which is evident in their engaging performance. Their current program juxtaposes their clever settings of traditional and original American music (including Will’s own compositions) with traditional vocal music from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.  They educate as they perform, telling stories about the music and explaining the characteristics and stylistic elements of the traditions in which they sing.  Mary DesRosiers, folk musicologist for the Monadnock Folklore Society, acclaims Windborne for “the purity of their voices, strength of their material, and attention to detail in their arrangements.”

“The singers of the Windborne… have a deep understanding, both musically and culturally, of the traditions from which they draw much of their repertoire. Their singing is a feast of a cappella harmony.”
-Peter Amidon