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Tina Chancey & Brian Kay team up for Renaissance Christmas

Tina Chancey & Brian Kay team up for Renaissance Christmas

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — In a candlelit atmosphere, two musicians will help bring in the new year with their sounds from the Renaissance era.

Shepherdstown Music and Dance will the present holiday concert event, A Renaissance Christmas with Tina Chancey and Brian Kay. The show will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Shepherdstown.

“The concert that we’re doing is going to be getting people in the mood when it’s not going to be ‘Little Drummer Boy’ because we just think that there’s a lot of things involved in a Christmas mood, there’s hope and joy, and there’s a little trepidation,” Chancey said.

The duo are multi-instrumentalists and between them, they have 56 strings, and at least six drums.

Chancey, 68, of Arlington, Va., attended Oberlin College and received a Master of Arts in performance from Queens College, a Master in Arts in musicology from NYU, and a doctorate in musicology, music technology and women’s studies from Union Institute.

She plays viola da gamba and renaissance violin in this ensemble.

Chancey is also the director of the early/traditional music group, HESPERUS, and their fiddle specialist who plays Irish and old-time violin; kamenj, lyra, rebec and vièle; viola da gamba and pardessus de viole, all of which she plays on Sephardic music, early music, blues, and jazz standards.

In addition to playing several musical instruments, she also teaches, performs, improvises, produces recordings, composes and arranges for the National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble, the Washington Revels, and Rondo Publishing’s Celtic Gold series.

“There is a lot of people who read the music, classical people especially, but to me, the music is just a starting point. I really like to play things by ear so the thing that inspires me the most is the crossover of different styles of music,” Chancey said.

The Versatile Viol is her three-album series featuring the violin Scots-Irish music, French Baroque music, and American traditional music.

She has been given a Special Education Achievement Award by Early Music America and four Wammies for best classical instrumentalist by the Washington Area Music Association.

Moreover, she is a member of Ensemble Toss the Feathers (based in France), Sol y Sal and Trio Sefardi and a former member of the Folger Consort, the Ensemble for Early Music, New York Renaissance Band, Blackmore’s Night and more.

Recent artist residencies took her to Berlin, Germany, and the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts; as well as the Oberlin College Conservatory, the Morgan County (W.Va.) Arts Council, Washington, D.C’s World on a String, the Indy Convergence, the city of Long Beach, Calif., and the Smithsonian Resident Associates.

Her album of pardessus trios by Boismortier was released in July 2014.

Like Chancey, Brian Kay shares the same style of crossover music.

As an acclaimed singer and multi-instrumentalist, Brian has performed throughout the United States and beyond.

He is a songwriter and an arranger of ancient songs in which he specializes in plucked instruments and percussion.

Kay is the only two-time winner of The LSA national lute competition and the 2013 recipient of Peabody Conservatory’s “Excellence in Early Music Award.”

His recent projects include “Play, Music!” a one-man show featuring music and songs from the plays of Shakespeare, co-direction of a Mediterranean music program with Cleveland’s baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire, and his latest original music release, Moonsong.

There will be a balance of music that is meant to evoke different emotions at the holiday concert.

“We’re looking forward to coming out and seeing what we can do better. We know that there will be some Renaissance music and carols that’ll make everyone cry and some songs that’ll make everyone laugh,” Chancey said.

If you go …

WHAT: A Renaissance Christmas with Tina Chancey and Brian Kay
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23
WHERE: St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 112 N. King St., Shepherdstown
COST: Advance tickets cost $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 members and $10 students; and $22 adults, $20 seniors, $18 members and $10 students at the door. Advance tickets are available online from Brown Paper Tickets.
CONTACT: Go to or call Joanie Blanton at 304-263-2531 or email for more details.

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