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Renaissance Christmas music

By Staff | Dec 22, 2017

Bring in the holidays with hauntingly beautiful music spanning centuries and continents in the lovely candlelit atmosphere of the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. Tina Chancey, longtime director of Hesperus, joins with Brian Kay from Divisio, a Baltimore-based group mixing early music and early magic designed to drive the cold winter away.

The concert will be held in St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, on the corner of King and High Streets in Shepherdstown, on Saturday at 8 p.m. Advance tickets will be $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, $15 for members and $10 for students. Tickets will cost $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $18 for members and $10 for students at the door. Advance tickets will be available online from Brown Paper Tickets. For more information see the web page at smad.us, call Joanie Blanton at (304) 263-2531 or email upperpotomac@gmail.com for more details.

Divisio’s musical influences cut a broad swath – from Spain, Italy and Greece to Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and Northern Africa. Grounded in these living traditions, Divisio sends roots into cultures long gone and wide branches into cultures still in development, believing that world music has more elements in common than it has differences, and that when fused together these differences dissolve, exposing the true humanity of music: its power to make listeners want to dance or cry, to question or believe.

What better partner for Hesperus, dedicated to making connections between the rich musical past and curious 21st century audiences through its collaboration with world music, film and theater? Together, the three musicians play more than a dozen early and traditional instruments from oud to viol, and kamenj to tar, in a program that will energize and delight audiences.

The duo are multi-instrumentalists: between them, they have 56 strings, at least 6 drums and two unique voices. Brian Kay can play many instruments and transfixes audiences with his emotional singing. The duo combines the lively, virtuosic playing of Tina Chancey on fiddle, viola da gamba and other renaissance bowed strings with the sensitive accompaniment of Brian on theorbo, renaissance guitar and cittern.

The 8 p.m. concert is late enough to allow a family dinner.