When one door closes, another opens! This past fall, instead of touring our Shakespeare concert to DC, Virginia and Maryland in November, as we’d planned, Garald found himself rehearsing two different versions of our annual celebration of carols and wassail songs, A Pennyworth of Christmas, with two different sets of singers — one for a four-concert tour to the Midwest, and one for our NYC performance! (As fate would have it, none of the singers who went on the tour could sing the New York City concert on December 17th, and none of the singers who could do the NYC concert were available for the tour! Our singers are in demand!) The silver lining: We got an opportunity to work with a number of wonderful new singers and shaped each concert according to their individual talents.
In early December, we took the 2011 edition of “A Pennyworth of Christmas” to Ohio and Michigan! It’s our first time touring this program, even though we’ve presented it in NYC annually since 2008. Singing on this tour were Erika Buchholz (soprano), Kirsten Kane (mezzo), Timothy Joyce (tenor) and Garald Farnham (baritone, lutes).
Touring “A Pennyworth of Christmas” was a blast, and so rewarding in countless ways. Our joyful, enthusiastic audiences were eager to share their reactions to the music. It was particularly thrilling when audience members would know some of the more obscure carols, or when the intensity of their listening came from very personal histories with certain songs.
In Ohio, we visited St Stephen Martyr Lutheran Church in Canton, Trinity Lutheran Church in Ashland, and returned to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Toledo (where we performed our Shakespeare concert in 2010). The baked goods alone were worth the long drive to Ohio — oh my! Our venue hosts served post-concert punch receptions and made hearty breakfasts for us, and filled whole church kitchens with food! On top of that, we received warm welcomes from the homestay families who opened their homes to us and gave us places to stay.
Then it was on to St. Philip Lutheran Church in Trenton, Michigan, where the art of hospitality came in the form of wonderful impromptu dinners with newly-met hosts who felt like old friends. Thank you to our audiences, venue hosts and volunteers, and homestay families (especially Diane, Marie and Keri). What a treat to meet you all!
Meeting fabulous people everywhere we go really is the best part of touring. And now, please read the recap of our NYC version of the concert, featuring a debut performance by one of our regular performers.
With all good wishes,
Garald Farnham, Kirsten Kane and Alane Marco
P.S. Thank you also to Alane Marco for editing these recaps and getting them posted for all to read!
Tags: Christmas carols, Early Music, Erika Buchholz, Garald Farnham, Good Pennyworths Holiday concert, Kirsten Kane, Lute Songs, Medieval carols, Renaissance Music, The Good Pennyworths, Tim Joyce, vocal ensemble, Vocal Quartet