Brookfield Resident Stars

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Arts / Dec. 10, 2009 3:35pm EST


Lindsey Warren of Brookfield not only is director of the Randolph Singers, she is also the assistant music director and one of the vocal stars of this year's Christmas Revels at the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth. This year's perfomance has a Scottish theme and a big cast that draws from top professional musicians  and community members. (Provided / Matt Doyle)Lindsey Warren of Brookfield not only is director of the Randolph Singers, she is also the assistant music director and one of the vocal stars of this year's Christmas Revels at the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth. This year's perfomance has a Scottish theme and a big cast that draws from top professional musicians and community members. (Provided / Matt Doyle)

In Christmas ‘Revels’

By Becky Bailey

Brookfield resident Lindsey Warren covers a lot of territory in her life as a Vermont-based music professional: Tuesday evenings, she directs the Randolph Singers. Sunday mornings, she is at the United Church of Strafford, directing the choir and playing piano and organ for the service. Other days she divides between voice students at Johnson State College and voice and piano students she teaches at the Vermont Independent School for the Arts in Sharon and in a studio in Thetford.

This fall she added a new element to her weekly routine: Monday night rehearsals in Norwich, preparing for "The Christmas Revels 2009: A Scottish Celebration of the Winter Solstice," which will play at Hanover's Hopkins Center for the Arts Dec. 17 through 20.

Set in a remote Highlands village at the time of winter solstice where a laird (the local bigwig) is missing his wandering, prodigal daughter, this full-scale theatrical production mixes exquisite 18th-century court music, lilting ballads and wild reels from the 19th century, joyous dancing, a slapstick "Guisers" play, enchanting folk tales, and the classic poetry of Robert Burns.

Along with serving as assistant music director for this show, Warren—who has degrees in vocal performance and has toured widely as soloist and conductor across North America, UK, Russia, Estonia, and Finland—plays the laird's daughter. Her luminous voice rings out on such standards of traditional Scottish music as “Over the Hills and Far Away” and “Ca' the Ewes.”

Warren is exhilarated by all that goes into a Revels show.

"It's a crossroads of all my loves,” she said—“theater, solo singing, choral singing. The shows are so family-friendly.

“I love the fact that, through these shows, children are exposed to a variety of performing arts. I don't think I've ever been part of a theatrical production that included such a wide range of people, of ages and experience levels, from amateurs to professionals, all coming together for one cause, one artistic goal. I've met a lot of kindred spirits."

Warren credits another person with Randolph connections for helping to make the show what it is: Ann Fiedler, who works with Randolph Restorative Justice, heads up the small, prolific team of costume-makers responsible for borrowing, renting or making costumes for the 80-member cast.

Queen’s Piper

Along with the local chorus, a Revels show always includes guest artists steeped in the traditions represented in that particular show. This year's guests include Scottish piper Gordon Webster, former official "Piper to Queen Elizabeth.” Gordon left the queen's service in 1998 to emigrate to New Hampshire, where he and his wife founded the New Hampshire School of Scottish Arts in Manchester.

Other musical guests are fiddler Laura Risk, singer/fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger, cellist Natalie Haas, and Sharon-based accordionist Jeremiah McLane, who has released nine CDs and has taught and performed throughout North America and Europe.

Returning also is The Heritage Brass Quintet, featuring Randolph’s Charlie Gasque. 

An Upper Valley holiday tradition for more than three decades, the Christmas Revels were brought to Hopkins Center by Sharon, Vt.-based dancer and theater director Carol Langstaff, whose father Jack had created the original Revels in Cambridge, Mass.

Performances will be in the Hop's Spaulding Auditorium on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 17 and 18, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 19, at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 20, at 1 and 5 p.m.

Call 603-646-2422 for tickets.


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