The Colonial Williamsburg Musical Performers | A Grand Entertainment: Colonial Williamsburg Celebrates Christmas

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A Grand Entertainment: Colonial Williamsburg Celebrates Christmas

by The Colonial Williamsburg Musical Performers

A Grand Entertainment brings the magic sounds of Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg to life. From the refined notes of classical pieces played on period instruments to the rich voices raised in songs remembered from Christmases long ago.
Genre: Holiday: Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion
4:51 $0.99
clip
2. He Shall Feed His Flock Like a Shepherd
5:01 $0.99
clip
3. Noel Nouvelet
2:19 $0.99
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4. When Christ Was Born On Earth
4:41 $0.99
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5. There Was a Pig Went Out to Dig
1:31 $0.99
clip
6. All Hayle to the Days (To Drive the Cold Winter Away)
1:56 $0.99
clip
7. The Old Year Now Away Is Fled (Greensleeves)
1:59 $0.99
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8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
1:46 $0.99
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9. Deck the Halls
0:45 $0.99
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10. Good King Wenceslas
0:47 $0.99
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11. Joy to the World
1:17 $0.99
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12. Christmas Medley: I Saw Three Ships / A Virgin Unspotted / Good King Wenceslas / Adeste Fidelis
5:09 $0.99
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13. What Cheer?
1:29 $0.99
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14. Wassail
2:26 $0.99
clip
15. I Wonder as I Wander
2:12 $0.99
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16. Quartetto in F Major, Wk 225, Allegro
3:30 $0.99
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17. Quartetto in F Major, Wk 225, Tempo Di Minuetto
4:14 $0.99
clip
18. Shepherds Shake Off Your Drowsy Sleep
1:38 $0.99
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19. All You That Are Good Fellows
1:59 $0.99
clip
20. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
1:32 $0.99
clip
21. Mault's Come Downe
1:10 $0.99
clip
22. Come Follow, Follow Me
1:39 $0.99
clip
23. Hark! the Bonny Christ Church Bells
1:19 $0.99
clip
24. Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming
2:01 $0.99
clip
25. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
1:31 $0.99
clip
26. Oh Come All Ye Faithful
0:45 $0.99
clip
27. Silent Night
2:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
A COLLECTION OF MERRY NOTES AND MOVING LYRICS THAT CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY SEASON FROM THANKSGIVING TO NEW YEAR’S DAY IN COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG.

The Christmas season in colonial Virginia may not have been celebrated with quite the length and exuberance as it is in America today, but we do know Thomas Jefferson wrote in his diary on December 25, 1762 that Christmas was a “day of greatest mirth and jollity.”

Since the first organized Christmas celebration drew visitors to Colonial Williamsburg in 1936, nothing quite matches the beauty, imagination, excitement, pageantry, sights, smells, sounds, and grandeur of the Christmas season in Colonial Williamsburg.

At first, Colonial Williamsburg strictly adhered to the tradition of celebrating the season from Christmas Eve to Twelfth Night. But as word spread of the exquisite decorations, sumptuous food, soft candlelight, jovial music, and lively dancing in Colonial Williamsburg, the community and visitors began to demand the season be expanded. The holiday season in Colonial Williamsburg is now a blend of English tradition, colonial practices, and modern expectations. The result is not a replication but an interpretation—and a grand one it is!

Today, Colonial Williamsburg’s much—anticipated Christmas season begins just before Thanksgiving, when truckloads of fresh greenery, hundreds of wreaths, bushels of fruit, and miles of pine rope begin to appear throughout the Historic Area. The season is officially ushered in with “Grand Illumination,” an unforgettable day of mirth, when candles are lit in the windows of the Historic Area at dusk, and a magnificent display of fireworks begins simultaneously at the Governor’s Palace, the Magazine, and the Capitol as night falls over the crowd of revelers gathered to celebrate.

The
Musical
ENTERTAINERS

A GRAND ENTERTAINMENT BRINGS THE MAGIC SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS IN COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG TO LIFE. FROM THE REFINED NOTES OF CLASSICAL PIECES PLAYED ON PERIOD INSTRUMENTS TO THE RICH VOICES RAISED IN SONGS REMEMBERED FROM CHRISTMASES LONG AGO, LISTENERS ARE CARRIED AWAY TO A SEASON OF GRAND ENTERTAINMENT IN COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG.

The Governor’s Musick
Colonial Williamsburg’s resident early music ensemble has studied period treatises on performance and is known for its elegant chamber music and splendid vocal performances representative of 18th-century music. The ensemble can be heard during the Christmas season and throughout the year performing on antique or reproduction instruments in the Governor’s Palace.

The Fifes and Drums of
Colonial Williamsburg
Fifers and drummers were an important part of Virginia’s 18th-century military and were trained to work with soldiers in the field. Since 1958, visitors to Colonial Williamsburg have enjoyed the musical performances of the Fifes and Drums. Colonial Williamsburg is justifiably proud of this remarkable group of young performers. They have come to symbolize what is best about our community, our history, and our museum. The Fifes and Drums perform under the musical direction of Tim Sutphin and Lance Pedigo.
The Choir of the College of
William & Mary
Under the direction of Dr. James Armstrong, the Choir of the College of William & Mary numbers about 70 students who specialize in a broad range of academic disciplines. The choir performs regularly both in the United States and abroad, including concerts before Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and on the Capitol steps at the 1997 presidential inauguration with the United States Marine Band. For this recording, the choir was directed by Dr. Constance DeFotis.

The William & Mary
Botetourt Chamber Singers
The Botetourt Chamber Singers is a highly select mixed ensemble devoted to the performance of outstanding a cappella repertoire for chamber chorus. The Botetourts take their name from Lord Botetourt, Governor of Virginia Colony from 1768 to 1770—and a great friend to the College of William & Mary. Their repertory extends from plainchant to commissioned works. For this recording, the Botetourts are under the direction of Dr. Constance DeFotis.


Lee Welch
Lee Welch’s interest in period music has led him from medieval times to the 18th century. He performs as a balladeer in Colonial Williamsburg and as a percussionist with other period musicians in local and national venues. He holds graduate degrees in music and education and can often be seen on Duke of Gloucester Street carrying 18th-century guitars and assorted percussion instruments on his way to performing in the taverns of Colonial Williamsburg. Lee Welch performs under his own direction.

The Colonial Williamsburg Carolers
The Christmas Carolers are all members of Colonial Williamsburg’s theatrical interpretation staff. They can be seen walking about Duke of Gloucester Street in period dress throughout the Christmas season, stopping to raise their voices in spontaneous song and adding to the festive holiday atmosphere in the Historic Area.


Rex Ellis
Dr. Rex Ellis has been a storyteller for more than 20 years and has performed his craft in diverse locations from South Africa to Quebec. For this recording of two of the most traditional of all Christmas songs, he accompanies himself on the kalimba, a “thumb piano” with origins in South Africa. He finds that audiences enjoy the unique, soothing sound of the instrument and appreciate its connection with Africa. Dr. Ellis is currently vice president, Historic Area, for Colonial Williamsburg.


The Playlist
The Governor’s Music
1. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion,” from Messiah, George Frideric Handel 4:51
2. “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd,” from Messiah, George Frideric Handel 5:00
3. Noel Nouvelet, French traditional carol 2:18
4. When Christ Was Born on Earth, Neapolitan carol 4:40

Lee Welch
5. There Was a Pig Went Out to Dig, traditional 1:31
6. All Hayle to the Days (To Drive the Cold Winter Away), traditional 1:56
7. The Old Year Now Away is Fled (Greensleeves), traditional 1:58
8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, traditional, arr. Lee Welch 1:45

The Colonial Williamsburg Carolers
9. Deck the Halls, traditional :45
10. Good King Wenceslas, traditional :47
11. Joy to the World, traditional 1:16

The Fifes and Drums of Colonial Williamsburg
12. Christmas Medley:
I Saw Three Ships, trans. Amy Miller/Lance Pedigo
A Virgin Unspotted, trans. Amy Miller/Lance Pedigo
Good King Wenceslas, trans. Amy Miller/Lance Pedigo
Adeste Fidelis, trans. Amy Miller/Lance Pedigo 5:09

The Choir of the College of William & Mary
13. What Cheer? William Walton 1:29
14. Wassail, arr. Ralph Vaughn Williams 2:25
15. I Wonder as I Wander, arr. Emerson Odango, William & Mary class of 2005 2:12

The Governor’s Musick
Quartetto II in F major, by Carl Friedrich Abel, from Six Quartettos for a German Flute, Violin, Tenor and Bass or Two Violins, a Tenor and Bass, by Messrs. Bach, Abel and Giardini
16. Allegro 3:30
17. Tempo di Minuetto 4:13
18. Shepherds Shake Off Your Drowsy Sleep, old Besançon carol 1:37
19. “All you that are good fellows,” from Good and True, Fresh and New Christmas Carols, 1642 1:59
20. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks, Estes Psalter, words by Nahum Tate 1:32
21. “Mault’s come downe,” from Deuteromelia, Thomas Ravenscroft 1:09
22. Come Follow, Follow Me, John Hilton 1:39
23. “Hark! The Bonny Christ Church Bells, Henry Aldrich 1:18

The William & Mary Botetourt Chamber Singers
24. Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming, Michael Praetorious 2:00
25. We Wish You a Merry Christmas, arr. Arthur Warrell 1:31

Rex Ellis
26. Oh Come All Ye Faithful, traditional 0:44
27. Silent Night, traditional 2:02


All income from the sale of this recording is used for the purposes of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which operates the Historic Area, and to carry forward its educational programs. Colonial Williamsburg welcomes private contributions. Friends interested in discussing gifts to the foundation are invited to contact the Director of Development, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Post Office Box 1776, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-1776.


Senior Executive Producer
Richard L. McCluney Jr.

Executive Producers
Michael J. Lombardi
William G. Wagner

Audio Producer & Engineer
Todd A. Judge, MPSE

Assistant Engineers
Chuck Smith, C.A.S.
Chris S. P. Jones

Art Director
Elizabeth Eaton

Principal Photographer
Tom Green
Additional Photography
Barbara T. Lombardi and
Colonial Williamsburg Staff

Liner Notes
Barbara Rust Brown

Mastering by
Benny Quinn, Masterfonics

Produced by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
©2003 The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

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