10th Annual RiverSing on the Charles

10th Annual RiverSing on the Charles

Special guest Noel Paul Stookey, right, leads "This Land is Your Land"

  • Posted on: 23 September 2013
  • By: mholbrow

A cast from the Sanders Theatre's Christmas Revels with special guest Noel Paul Stookey led several hundred local folk-music aficionados in a songfest of time-honored tunes Sunday evening beside the Charles River. Stookey, known to many as Paul of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, evoked echoes of the past as he took the crowd with him on the Revels RiverSing, a nostalgia trip featuring iconic songs like Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" (video, below).

At Stookey's side in the video, urging the crowd along, is George Emlen, Music Director of the Revels. Stookey is at center left in black; Emlen, in white jacket, is beside him to the right. The RiverSing Children's Chorus is in front of them in white.








More Revels regulars and local musical personalities in the line-up included David Coffin, Jamie Jaffee, Stan Strickland, Louise Grasmere, Milton Wright, and guests Marytha Paffrath and Sue Robbins. Most of the songs floating across the Charles were oldies like "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore," "I'll Fly Away," and "Wade in the Water," but there were also a few newer items such as "So Sang the River" by Bill Staines and a pair of verses for "America, the Beautiful" written by Stookey.

IMG_1803Vice Mayor and Cambridge City Councillor Denise Simmons (right) read the official proclamation of welcome from the city.

Between songs, Cambridge Poet Populist Lo Galluccio read her poem, "Dear World You Are Courted to Death." Paula Plum and Richard Snee of the Actors' Shakespeare Project gave readings from Keats, Frost, and Shakespeare.

Giant PuppetThe event, a celebration of the autumn solstice, started out at 5 p.m. with festivities at Winthrop Park in Harvard Square. Acrobats and street performers, giant puppets and blinking butterflies led the crowd down DeWolfe Street an hour later to the stage by the Weeks Footbridge for the singing.