The Rose Ensemble Bringing a Joyful Noise to Bayou City
Houston Early Music series presents “An Early American Christmas”
HOUSTON, TX – November 12, 2013 — The Rose Ensemble returns to the Houston Early Music series on Sunday, December 15 with its “And Glory Shone Around: An Early American Christmas” program of carols, country dances, hymns and spiritual songs. The concert begins at 5 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Ave., with a pre-concert talk with ensemble members beginning at 4:15 p.m.
“This is a beautiful and, dare I say, fun program,” said Jordan Sramek, The Rose Ensemble’s founder and director. “We’ve been performing it all over the U.S. and audiences are having a ball with it.”
Featuring 17th century pieces — demonstrating that “music was a vital part of myriad aspects of Colonial life” — and 19th century Shaker hymns, the program presents selections from “The Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion” shape-note songbook and John Playford’s “The English Dancing Master” as well as Acadian dance tunes.
Sramek calls the program “a wonderful exploration of North American history” that highlights “the fact that early music can be defined in a number of ways.”
Among the earliest productions featured in the program are dances from Playford’s “The English Dancing Master,” published in London in 1651. Tunes such as “Drive the Cold Winter Away” and “Juice of Barley,” serve as a reminder of the Colonialists’ love of country dancing.
“The Southern Harmony” shape-note songbook lends the program such favorites as “Star in the East.” Shaker hymns include “Christmas Eve” and “Peace and Joy,” and lively Acadian dances like “La Bastringue” and “A San Malo a Bord de Mer” are bound to raise spirits and get toes tapping.
For its Houston performance, the ensemble will feature nine vocalists, including tenor Sramek, along with three instrumentalists playing a variety of plucked and bowed-string instruments that include a gourd banjo, guitar, mandolin, harp, fiddle and double bass. The group, whose members are renowned for their solo abilities as well as their ensemble skills, has released nine critically acclaimed recordings.
Season subscriptions and individual tickets for the Houston Early Music 2013-2014 season can be purchased at HoustonEarlyMusic.org.
General admission tickets for “And Glory Shone Around: An Early American Christmas” are available for $40; seniors $35; and students with valid student ID cards $20.
For more information, e-mail info@HoustonEarlyMusic.org or call 281-846-4222.
ABOUT THE ROSE ENSEMBLE
Founded in St. Paul, Minn., in 1996, The Rose Ensemble is widely known for music that stirs the emotions, challenges the mind and lifts the spirit. Heard regularly on American Public Media and National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” the group was honored with the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence in 2005, and in 2010 Sramek received Chorus America’s Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal.
ABOUT HOUSTON EARLY MUSIC
As the city’s only organization dedicated to covering the large historical span of early music in all of its forms, Houston Early Music epitomizes a movement that has swept the world of classical music.
Officially incorporated in 1969, the nonprofit, funded in part by grants from the Houston Arts Alliance, the Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts, provides performance opportunities for up-and-coming and major early music artists from around the world in an annual concert series. The organization’s successful and growing educational outreach program introduces future generations to a broad range of music.
SUMMARY OF THE SEASON:
Sunday, December 15, 2013, 5:00 p.m.
THE ROSE ENSEMBLE — And Glory Shone Around: An Early American Christmas Christ Church Cathedral
1117 Texas Ave.
Houston, Texas 77002
Friday, January 17, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
EMERGING ARTISTS SERIES
THE BROKEN CONSORT — Muse, Modes, and Magic (and also Mary)
Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church
4930 West Bellfort
Houston, Texas 77035
Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
THE ORLANDO CONSORT — Forward to the Past: 25 Years of The Orlando Consort
Zilkha Hall, The Hobby Center for Performing Arts
800 Bagby Street
Houston, Texas 77002
Friday, April 11, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
HISPANIC HERITAGE SERIES
ENSEMBLE CAPRICE – Salsa Baroque
Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church
6221 Main Street
Houston, TX 77030
The Rose Ensemble is featured on the Houston Early Music season in “An Early American Christmas,” on Sunday, December 15 at 5 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral. To purchase tickets, visit HoustonEarlyMusic.org or call 281-846-4222.
Photo by Michael Haug Photography.
Susan Love Fitts
Susan Love Fitts Communications Inc.