Christmas comes to folk guild

Nancy Hundal, Kirk Holland and Karen Holland will help Steveston get in the Christmas spirit with at the Steveston Folk Guild’s annual Christmas show, Thursday, Dec. 20.  -
Nancy Hundal, Kirk Holland and Karen Holland will help Steveston get in the Christmas spirit with at the Steveston Folk Guild’s annual Christmas show, Thursday, Dec. 20.
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It’s a Steveston Christmas tradition of sorts. The Steveston Folk Guild hosts its final concert of the year next week, and it promises to be a musical show trimmed with tinsel and sparkling with snowflakes.

Performing in the intimate bunkhouse at Britannia Heritage Shipyard will be the Westwynds—a local trio of folk musicians known to audiences at folk clubs, fundraisers and community events.

Nancy Hundal, Kirk Holland and Karen Holland comprise the group, which focuses on vocal harmony, but also play a range of instruments, including the guitar, concertina, banjo, bodhran and djembe.

The concert will feature plenty of yuletide carols and a few lively gospel numbers to add to the holiday atmosphere.

The Dec. 20 show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $10, at the door.

Contact Dave McArthur to reserve a seat: dave@stevestonfolk.net, 604-272-9294 or text 604-715-9294. Coffee and nibbles served; snack contributions appreciated.

Donations to the Richmond Food Bank are also encouraged.

This week the Westwynds’ Karen Holland told The Review about her history in music and why “Sleigh Ride” is one of her favourite Christmas songs.

Who are the Westwynds?

“We are three musicians who met in an early music group specializing in madrigals. The group was formed by a retired music and drama teacher Frances Norman. We love a broad range of music, and so decided to branch out into a smaller group to explore the folk and world music genres.”

What’s your own history with music?

“Music has always been a significant part of my life—whether singing in choirs that rejoiced in rich harmony, playing the piano, performing musicals in high school or Rainbow Stage (theatre in Winnipeg, Man.), or studying music and singing madrigals and art songs whilst at university. We all have a passion for music that stems from early childhood. We all appreciate the inspiration received from special music teachers and conductors along the way.”

If you were to go carolling in the streets, what are three Christmas songs you’d be singing?

“So hard to choose only three carols, but ‘Christmas is Coming,’ ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ and ‘Silent Night’ would definitely make the list.”

A busy December can leave some people feeling blue. What Christmas song would you prescribe?

“For me, ‘Sleigh Ride’ conjures up the all the nostalgia, warmth and shared merriment of the holiday season—’Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling’—but it is also hard to listen to ‘Carol of the Bells’ or ‘Old King Cole’ without grinning from ear to ear. From the more traditional repertoire, the rich harmony of ‘The Coventry Carol’ leaves me feeling inspired and deeply moved.

What will you be performing at the Dec. 20 Steveston Folk Guild show?

“An important part of the evening will be singalong numbers, as we know many people will want to join in. Lyric sheets will be handed out for those who need a little help remembering the words. Apart from the songs already mentioned, we will perform a whole range of standards… We will also sing some rousing spirituals… We cannot help venturing into the folk genre a little, with the very fitting Gordon Lightfoot number, ‘Song for a Winter’s Night.’”

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