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John Langstaff


As a instructor and singer alone, John Langstaff has already established a wealthy and varied profession. But because the founder from the Xmas Revels in the 1950s, he in addition has been in charge of probably one of the most invigorating present day vacation celebrations. It appears appropriate, after that, that Langstaff was created on Xmas Eve in 1920. He was raised in Brooklyn Heights, with age eight became a member of the Grace Chapel Choir where he sang soprano. His parents, who frequently invited close friends over for spontaneous shows of Bach chorales and Xmas carols, also affected his musical education. As Langstaff grew old, he became a baritone, and he analyzed at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Julliard in NY. Following university, he completed an effective tour of america and European countries. Langstaff also created an gratitude of folk music while going to a concert by track collector Douglas Kennedy, resulting in some recordings of folk materials in Britain. Langstaff concurrently embarked on a teaching profession, serving at the top from the music division in the Potomac College in Virginia for 13 years with the Shady Hill College in Cambridge, Massachusetts for six. He also hosted tv applications, including “Producing Music” for the BBC and “Kids Explore Books” for NBC. Within the middle-1950s, Langstaff brought collectively his multiple skills to generate the Xmas Revels, a theatrical event that mixed dance, track, and episode. For motivation, he drew from pre-Christian festivities from the solstice, incorporating the loss of life and re-birth styles, and adding a carnival-like atmosphere. But while Langstaff’s Revels reminded viewers from the season’s roots, he also added a distinctive twist. Christ, whose loss of life and rebirth mirrored many pagan misconceptions, would also become woven in to the Revels because the Lord from the Dance. The very first performance from the Xmas Revels occurred at NY City’s City Hall on Dec 29, 1957. As the event dropped cash, Langstaff’s second efficiency on the Lisner Auditorium in Washington, D.C. occurred before a sold-out group. In 1971 Langstaff and his girl revived the Xmas Revels at Sanders Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, building the creation as an annual affair. As time passes, the Xmas Revels would incorporate brand-new customs and receive simultaneous productions through the entire United States.

Quick Facts

Full Name John Langstaff
Died December 13, 2005, Basel, Switzerland
Profession Singer, Writer, Educator, Conductor
Education Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School
Nationality American
Albums Songs for Singing Children, Christmas Day in the Morning: a Revels Celebration of the Winter Solstice, The Jackfish and More Songs for Singing Children, Mayer: Hello, World! & The Greatest Sound Around (Stereo Version), At the Foot of Yonders Mountain, Songs for Singing Children with John Langstaff, Let's Make Music, Traditional Folk Songs and Ballads from America and England, The Lark in the Morn and other folksongs and ballads, Nottamun Town: British and American Folksongs and Ballads, John Langstaff Sings American and English Folk Songs and Ballads, The Water Is Wide - American and British Ballads and Folksongs

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1 He studied music at Juilliard and launched a career as a concert baritone. After serving in the US Army in WWII, he made several recordings for EMI records with George Martin (who later became the Beatles' producer).
2 He founded the musical/theatrical celebrations known as the "Christmas Revels". He first staged "A Christmas Masque of Traditional Revels" at New York City's Town Hall in 1957. NBC asked him to direct a similar production for a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV special in 1966. In the 1970s, it became an annual event. The Revels showcase the traditional music, song, and dance of various cultures, from medieval Europe to Appalachian America, and incorporate audience participation.



A Christmas Masque 1966 TV Movie Host

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