Articles

  

2013 Musicians & Dancers List

All musicians may not be performing on all festival days. Please check with Customer Service for daily performance schedule.  Schedule is subject to change.

 

Ballet Theatre of Maryland

 

Spies! Swashbucking! Stowaways!

Enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean? This is a must see! Inspired by the first documented acts of piracy on the Chesapeake Bay, Pirates brings to life an array of pirates, settlers and natives, who lived, loved, fought and died in the 17th Century Colonial America.  Intrigue, swordfights, and lost treasure come together through the power of dance to tell a comedic tale the whole family will enjoy! www.balletmaryland.org

 The Maryland Renaissance Festival is pleased to host The Ballet Theatre of Maryland in a special performance for Festival audiences.  Don't miss this amazing dance performance on Labor Day Weekend only - August 31, September 1,2 at 11:30am at the Globe Theatre

 

Barleyjuice

 With five studio albums and a double CD collection to date, these five kilted yanks are currently one of the most beloved Celtic bands in the USA.  Kyf Brewer’s signature whiskey-soaked vocals perfectly trademark the group’s quick-witted and catchy originals, and partner Keith “Swanny” Swanson is no slouch, lithely covering additional lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, whistle, bouzouki and bagpipes.   While Swanson was once a member of New York’s legendary Flailin’ Shilaleighs,  Kyf’s been a pro performer since his first band, The Ravyns, produced the hit ‘Raised on the Radio’ for the film Fast Times At Ridgemont High. His lead vocals and writing skills soon after earned Company of Wolves high accolades for their eponymous Mercury/Polygrtam debut.

Backing Brewer & Swanson are a mad trio: captivating Shelley Weiss, whose training swings from classical to bluegrass within the most authentic jigs & hornpipes; drummer Gregor Schroeder, a powerhouse of driving decadence; and hopping bassist Eric Worthington, musical snake-charmer of the deep and dulcet.

The ayes have it – Barleyjuice is a grand group of talented tunesmiths and prodigious performers, and the absolute best time you can have at a concert without removing your kilt.   See them Irish Weekend, October 5th & 6th at the Market Stage.

 

Bayfield Brass

Anthony Valerio, director. Fantastic brass music masterly played. www.bayfieldbrass.com
Performing Sundays from 9/ 8 - 10/20. (excluding 9/22)

 

Roxanne Bruscha

New performance at the Festival

 This season we welcome Roxanne Bruscha as a solo performer. Festival audiences may know Roxanne as the co-founder and creative director of the band Wine & Alchemy.  A multi-talented performer, Roxanne is a songwriter, singer, instrumentalist and dancer. For her solo performances Roxanne will present her music with vocals, harmonium and hurdy gurdy. She can be found the pathways and pubs from August 24th to September 29th.

 

Camerata Musica, singers of madrigals

 

Dan Brandt,  Ashley Bond, Christine Carey, April Curnow, Laura Denz, Bruce Hampton, Stan Hopkins, Beth Hopper - director, Buckley Hopper, Katherine Lee,  Harry Olson, Lynn Reggia
Camerata Musica is an energetic a capella madrigals troupe, performing in myriad languages and styles from sacred to silly and from medieval chants to love ballads.  Performing: 915, 29; 10/12,13.

 

Cat and the Fiddle Morris

Joseph Shelby and Cyd Shelby as William Larkin & Cydony Bowman
Fiddle and dancing on the pathways of Revel Grove.   

Consort Anon.

 

Marketa Ebert, Mary Anne Espenshade,  Eric Schwartz, Helen-Jean Talbott

For 30 seasons Consort Anon. has recreated the music of the Medieval and Renaissance periods to help Festival-goers better understand the music that might have surrounded Henry VIII's royal court as well as the peasants.  The Consort, named after that most prolific early music composer Anonymous, was formed in 1979 and played their first Renaissance Festival in the autumn of 1980.  When not in Revel Grove, the Consort performs at schools and church services.   http://home.earthlink.net/~consort_anon/index.htm    Performing: 8/24,25; 9/14, 15, 21, 22.

Céol Anam Cara

Bob Dougherty, Toni Dougherty, Tom Scanlan, and Dorothy Scanlan

Four musicians with a passion for traditional folk music from Ireland and the British Isles.  Playing mainly dance music, Céol Anam Cara is known for their playing of jousting jigs, rousing reels, pulsating polkas, and haunting sweet airs.  These "soul friends of music" will have your toes tapping with their uplifting tunes.     www.ceolanamcara.com  Performing: 8/31; 9/1, 14, 15; 10/12, 13.

 

Crannog

New this season

 

 We are pleased to welcome Crannog to the Festival. Crannog plays Irish, Scottish and English songs. Founding members Gabriele Decker (lead vocals, English concertina, bodhran) and Frank O'Gara (violin/fiddle), guitar, mandolin & vocals) performed in the group 'Double Indemnity' in the 1990's and played many Renaissance Festivals and venues around the country.  They are joined by Owl Morrison (viola/vocals) and James Murphree (guitar).  Performing Irish Weekend only - 10/5,6. Don't miss them!

 

 The Crimson Pirates

 

Anne Alford, Dan O'Driscoll, Robin Flanagan,  Don Kilcoyne, Kelly Kilcoyne.

Prepare to be boarded!  Revel Grove's favorite out-of-town singing pirates sail in from New York.  They bring songs of lost love, spilt beer and cabin boys!  Performing: October 12th & 13th

 

Cu Dubh

 

Cu Dubh consists of musicians who have dedicated their lives to the study and performance of ancient music. David Macejka (2012 Grammy nominee), Mike McNutt and Elijah Woolcott have brought together their personal influences to creat dark, orginal compositions played on the Great Highland Bagpipes and a barrage of drums from around the world. With influences from Scotland, Gaul, Galicia, Normway, Brittney, Ireland, Wales, German, India, Aradia, Africa and beyond, they call back to the ancient tribes in all of us.

It is music for the warrior in all of us. The long boat is here. The wolves are loose. The Ould Ways are back! PERFORMING:  September 7th to October 20th.

 

Dileab Phriseil

Dileab Phriseil (Gaelic for "Precious Heritage"), is an ensemble of friends that formed from a church group. Featuring traditional songs of Scotland and Ireland, in English and Gaelic, along with fiddle, whistle, bodhran, and other instruments, Dileab Phriseil endeavours to preserve the bequest for which it is named.     

 

Drum Runners

  Steve Wannall, James Gummer, Abigail Palmer

Drum Runners is a dynamic percussion troupe exploring the world of rhythm.  With cool beats from every corner of the globe, we dare you to sit still for this one! At the Gatehouse Stage.

 

Bob and Sue Esty- Harp and Voice

 Bob Esty - harp, voice, pennywhistle. Sue Esty- harp, voice, bowed psaltry, drum.

Bob and Sue perform Renaissance, Celtic, and folk music on harp, bowed psaltery, drum, voice, and whatever other instrument comes close to hand!  Performing 8/31; 9/7, 14, 21, 28; 10/12, 19. 

 

Begorra Ditty, Celtic Harper

renfest

 Abigail Palmer, an award-winning Celtic harper, can be heard performing Irish, Scottish, and English music from heart-felt airs to amazingly high speed reels.  She will be performing at Musical Merrymaking, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and she can also be seen playing djembe in the Drum Runners. 

Faith Ditty, Mistress of the Dance

renfest

 Christa Palmer will delight the young and young at heart leading the maypole and peasant dances and she invites you to join the dance!  Also a prize-winning Irish stepdancer, Christa can be seen amazing audiences dancing to jaunty jigs and fast-paced reels.

 

Melodius Ditty & Harmonius Ditty

    renfest 

Cathy and Bill Palmer, playing fiddle, guitar, and bodhran, will make your toes tap and your heart sing playing merry tunes from Ireland, England, and Scotland.

 

  Fol-de-Rol
folk songs and madrigals

renfest

April Curnow, Sharon McKinley, Ellen Waff
The family-friendly vocal trio encourages audience participation, especially by children. Find them in the pathways. Peforming 8/24, 25;  9/7, 8.

  

  Gregory of Carrolton, guitarist extraordinaire

Greg Freyman
Virtuoso solo guitarist playing a large repertoire spanning many centuries. Versatile enough to play anything from “Bach to Rock”. www.gregfreyman.com    Performing August 24th to September 29th.  

  
 James of Perry Hall, drummer & percussionist

renfest 

James Gummer
James has been part of the “soundtrack” of the festival since 1997. Visit him online at www.jamesgummer.com 
 

Key School Consort

Rick Layton, director.

 

Larksong,
a capella ensemble

renfest  Drew Carlson, tenor; Martha Connolly, alto; Andrea DeSanti, soprano; David Pumplin, baritone/bass; James Raistrick, tenor, Janet Simons, soprano

Larksong is a close troupe of six harmonious voices who love the sound and the performance of beautiful a capella music. www.larksongsings.com    Performing 8/31; 9/2, 8, 28; 10/6, 19, 20.

 

 The Mediaeval Baebes

 

 

The allure is undeniable.   Six talented, intelligent and attractive women breathe renewed life into the rich texts of medieval songs and poetry. Their hauntingly beautiful music captures the imagination and devotion of modern audiences.  They are the Mediaeval Baebes, and over the last fifteen years they have placed three studio albums into the top of the UK classical charts and performed before enthusiastic audiences in the UK, United States, Canada, and Europe. www.mediaevalbaebes.com

The London-based vocal ensemble will return to Revel Grove on September 28th & 29th at the Blackfriars Theatre.

 

Darcy Nair, 
hammered dulcimer music.
renfest
Photo by James B. Gardner

Darcy specializes in traditonal Celtic music played on the magical sounding hammered dulcimer.  www.darcynair.com  Performing 8/31; 9/1, 21, 22; 10/5, 6.

 

North Sea Gas

 

Ronnie MacDonald , Grant Simpson, and Dave Gilfillan

Special Guests for our Scottish Weekend - September 21st & 22nd!  Last season North Sea Gas made a rather last minute performance at the Festival for one day only. With little advanced notice, they had wonderful crowds and an amazing response! Patrons were instant fans of this Scottish trio and immediately asked for them to return. So, they are!

Thirty years and stronger than ever!! One of Scotland's most popular folk bands with great vocals and tremendous three part harmonies. Guitars, Mandolin, Fiddle, Bouzouki, Whistles, Bodhrans, Banjo and good humour are all part of the entertainment. They have received Gold and Silver disc awards from the Scottish Music Industry Association and regularly have sell out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe!!  http://nsg.gplrank.info/

 The O'Danny Duo

Lisa Oberg, Liz Demery Bragg

Two very nice girls who sing very naughty songs.

The O'Dannys have had a number of "sisters" over the years. Are they the Ren Faire version of Destiny's Child, or are they more like some strange cicada with a new brood every 2 to 3 years? Whatever the answer, you are sure to love Trinket and Daisy as they push the boundries of good taste, good music, and good sense two times daily for the fun run of the Festival.  Rated PG.

 

 Painted Trillium

renfest

 

Kristin Rebecca - voice, harp, guitar; Susan Meyer - hammered dulcimer, Irish whistle; Rob Meyer - octave mandolin, guitar, bodhran.

 

Painted Trillium is a family-friendly trio performing songs and tunes with an emphasis on Celtic repertoire.  Find them performing on the pathways. See their website atwww.paintedtrillium.comPerforming:  Sept. 7th - Oct. 20th

 

 

       

Pipe Organist

renfest

Gary Schwartz

Renaissance organ music played at 10am & 6:30pm daily at the Lyric Stage. www.musicbythemaster.com

 

Piperjones

Piperjones (EJ Jones), is an award-winning piper and teacher at piping workshops across the USA.   Piperjones plays the best tunes of the past 700 years on both Highland and Renaissance bagpipes, with friends on percussion and bouzouki, creating a beautifully tuneful, danceable show.   www.piperjones.com

Revel Grove is very pleased to welcome Piperjones on the weekends: 8/24,25 & 9/14,15.

  

The Pyrates Royale

 renfest
photo by John Kudlich, Pyrates at MDRF 2010 

Brad Howard, Darcy Nair, Craig Williams, Damon Hersh, Ellie Cattle 

Since 1987, The Pyrates Royale has set the standard for comic singing pirate acts at festivals and events around the country. They play a mix of traditional and modern acoustic maritime music that rocks without being electric, sings without a string section and humors without a laugh track.   www.pyrates.com

 

The Rambling Sailors 

renfest

Greg and Susan Csikos

Both successful soloists, Greg and Susan have joined forces to present a show full of harmonies that please the ear and lift the spirits.  Greg was a founding member of the piratical sextet, The Corsairs before launching his solo career.  Susan has been performing as Rosie Peaseblossom at Renaissance Faires and on Tall Ships since 1992.  www.ramblingsailors.com   Performing September 7th to the 29th. 

 

Renaissance Revelers,
madrigal ensemble

renfest

 Monica Boruch, Karen Cain, Van Corey, David Jackson, Laura Kawa, Margo Lehman,  Michael Pierson, Matt Roberts, Randy Rogers, Rebecca Rogers, Meredith Stewart, Katie Wanschura, Viola Whieldon, Theresa Younger. 

The Renaissance Revelers is an ensemble performing Medieval and Renaissance music from several European nations.  They recently celebrated their 25th anniversary with a concert at St.John's Lutheran Church in Rockville, MD. They have performed at the MD Renaissance Festival since 1987. Other venues include the National Cathedral, White House Christmas celebrations, Walter's Art Museum Brookside Gardens and First Night celebrations in addition to government, corporate and private events.   Performing: 8/ 24, 25; 9/21, 22.

 

 The Rogues

 The Rogues began entertaining crowds in 1994 at the Texas Renaissance Festival.  Formed by members of Clandestine, founded by Lars Sloan, The Rogues performed high energy music not typically heard on bagpipes at that time.  They released their first recording in 1994. Being worried about the risk of selling a recording for the first time, the band figured if they could sell one tape during each show that season they would break even. Imagine their surprise when they sold over 140 on the first day. This sparked a period of success for the band that continues today.

There have been several membership line-ups within the band through the years, with Randy Wothke being the thread that tied them all together.  In 2012 the band underwent a major shift and returned to its roots, reuniting Randy and Lars with Jimmy Mitchell, Bryan Blaylock, and Ewan Brown.

The Festival welcomes The Rogues on the weekends of:  August 24th - September 2nd, then they will return to help us close the season on the final weekend of October 19th & 20th. 

 

Deborah Rose

New to the festival

We are very pleased that Deborah Rose makes her US debut here at the Renaissance Festival this autumn.  Deborah Rose is a Welsh singer/songwriter whose emotive, timeless voice has been described by folk legend Judy Collins as “one of the finest I’ve ever heard”.  Deborah supported Judy Collins on the UK leg of her world tour in 2011. Her recent career has also seen her perform with Ralph Mctell, Julie Felix, Boo Hewerdine, Dan Cassidy, Kenny White, 10CC, Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone, Raghu Dixit and Thea Gilmore.

Deborah's debut album, "Song Be My Soul" will be released this autumn. The title track fuses self-penned words with Welsh folk song Calon Lan.  Deborah’s album will also include an unrecorded poem, “Springtime” written by Deborah’s greatest inspiration, Eva Cassidy, set to original music. Deborah describes the moment she heard Eva’s voice as an “epiphany when suddenly the world made sense”. It's maybe no wonder then that the universe conspired to bring her together with Eva’s brother Dan Cassidy in 2010, who has now become a dear friend, mentor, and plays violin on the album.

Deborah will be performing for two weekends only.  On 9/28,29 she will be at the Blackfriars Theatre, accompanied by the amazing musician, Rickie Simpkins.  On 10/5,6 she will be found in more intimate settings in Revel Grove.

 

Maggie Sansone - Hammered dulcimer extraordinaire

renfest 

Maggie Sansone
America’s premier hammered dulcimer player and recording artist. Maggie Sansone’s pioneering artistry has brought the ringing beauty of her music to hundreds of thousands of music lovers around the world. Maggie is the recipient of numerous WAMMIE awards from the Washington area Music Association for Irish/Celtic instrumentalist. Maggie’s music has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, Performance Today and The Thistle & Shamrock. For bookings, tour schedule, and recording information, visit her website at www.maggiesmusic.com.  Performing all dates EXCEPT: 8/24, 25; 9/2; 10/13.

Seraphim,
women’s quartet

renfest    

Martha Lawrence, Charlotte Knapp, Phyllis Fong, Kathleen Peery

Seraphim's four graceful ladies sing of life and love in Tudor England. The specialize in dances that evoke the spirit of the times, and offer humorous observations of the Court and its customs. Their songs of merry revels, animals, gypsies and pirates delight both the young and young at heart.  Seraphim also appears in other eras and seasons. Please see www.seraphimquartet.org.   Performing: 9/2, 8, 29; 10/12.

 

The ShamRogues

New to the festival

Created by banjo player Jim Phelan from Stradbally in County Laois, The ShamRogues have built up a large following throughout the Mid Atlantic region, with an ever-growing group of supporters from Baltimore to New York City.  Jim is joined by Adam Wyatt on bodhran and vocals, Johnny Benson on fiddle, Chris Marsheck on guitar and vocals, Gary Peresta on bass, and the breathtaking Irish dancer Katie Fox who stuns the audience with her nonpareil footwork.

Not a band to stand around on stage blasting song after song, The ShamRogues like to involve their audience in a fun, lively performance of songs and stories of Ireland. And God help anyone who forgets to clap along!

The ShamRogues will be performing on Irish Weekend, October 5th & 6th.  www.theshamrogues.net

 

The Singers Madrigale,
madrigals
 

Photo credit: Linc Hallen

Donna Dixon Ervin, director; Robin Bibby, Dan Brandt, Perry Brown, Sheri Calvo, Beth Colley, Susan Dargusch, Dani Diehlmann, Claudia Frantz, Val Hymes, Charlotte Kerns, Michelle Kerr, Kathleen Meckley, Kevin Powers, Rhonda Rose, Richard Seabrook, Larry Tom, Sherrie Ugolini, Jill Whitall, Ann Marie Wilkinson

For over 30 years The Singers Madrigale of Annapolis has been performing sacred and secular music in Renaissance and Colonial costumes, delighting audiences of all ages. www.singersmadrigale.org.   Performing: 9/7, 15, 28; 10/5.

 

      Janet Spahr      

Here from Carlisle, Pennsylvannia, Janet Spahr is happy to introduce her unique instrument, called a Handpan, to new audiences.  People are drawn to its distinct look and tranquil sounds.  Listeners have called her performances mesmerizing, and describe the handpan tones as "tranquil, ancient, and spiritual".  You can hear her CDs on iTunes and CD Baby if you search her by name.  View videos of her performances on her website,  www.spahrstudios.com  Performing: 8/31; 9/1, 2, 14, 15.

Performing: 8/31; 9/1, 2, 14, 15.

The Surly Mermaids

renfest

Darcy Nair, Ellen Cattle, Edie MacKay

This talented trio brings the lady's point of view on the mythical and marvelous alike.  Whether Celtic or seafaring, ancient or modern, vocal or instrumental, The Surly Mermaids will add harmony and spice to your revels. www.surlymermaidsmusic.com  Performing: 8/24,25; 9/2, 7, 8, 28, 29;  10/19,20.

 

Thomas Tallis,
master virginalist

renfest
Gary Schwartz.
A composer of the shire and master virginalist who performs on authentic reproductions of renaissance harpsichords (virginals). www.musicbythemaster.com

 

The Wallace Band   

New to the Festival.  From Moscow, Russia.

 

Did you know the Celtic music scene was booming in Moscow?  We didn’t either, until we discovered the music of The Wallace Band, who will be our special guests on Scottish Celebration weekend, September 21st & 22nd.  Wait until you hear Drunken Sailor in Russian!

The Wallace band was formed in Russia in 2003 by vocalists/multi-instrumentalists Maria and Maxim Nizhegorodov. The band was named after the Scottish historical hero William Wallace.  In 2008 the brilliant fiddler Kirill Raskolenko joined them.  Their fairytale-like songs have rapidly become legendary in the Russian folk-rock scene.  The sound of the band is unique for the type of music – their longing to keep distance from the standard for folk-rock rumbling electric rhythm section has brought to life a tough and fully acoustic drive which hardly anyone else could replicate.  The repertoire of the Wallace band comprises an explosive mix of original and traditional songs arranged in their own unusual way.    www.wband.ru

Want it in two words?  Head banging! Want it in three? No folk equivalent!  

 

The Wayfaring Willows

 Tori Pringle, Greta Curley, Natasha Tokar

This talented trio of young ladies are members of the former Young Musicians Ensemble. They enjoy the Renaissance time period and will entertain in the pathways with rousing music of the fiddle and dancing. Performing Saturdays, 8/31 - 9/22.

 

 

 Wolgemut: Ancient Bagpipes and Bombastic Drums

 

Michael Gartner, director.

 

An ancient germanic word, "wolgemut" simply means, "to be in a good mood".  

 The group Wolgemut lives up to the name by fusing historic and traditional music, dance and comedy with a generous amount of “wolgemutness” turning every Wolgemut show into a high powered event; a Renaissance Rock concert!  For more information please visit the official Wolgemut website at:  www.wolgemut.net