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Three Notch'd Road invites listeners to an international Christmas in 'Sacred Harp'

Three Notch’d Road: The Virginia Baroque Ensemble will offer two local performances of “Sacred Harp: English, Irish and American Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Greenwood and 4 p.m. Sunday at Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick.

It’s an opportunity to hear an exploration of American and Old World roots that focuses on “The Sacred Harp” from 1844, an influential American shape-note masterpiece that was developed from early rural English church music.

The performers will include Fiona Hughes, artistic director of Three Notch’d Road, on Baroque violin; Anne Timberlake on recorders; soprano Sheila Dietrich; tenor Benjamin Geier; bass Jared Swope; Cameron Welke on theorbo and lute; and Ryan Lowe on Baroque cello. Together, they will interweave music of the British Isles and the United States for the holidays.

Three Notch’d Road: The Virginia Baroque Ensemble specializes in performing music from both sides of the Atlantic, taking a vigorous historical approach to the repertoire. The musicians present little-known gems of the Baroque era and favorite pieces as well. They perform in schools across Central Virginia, as well as in the ensemble’s subscription series. The group’s 13th season is sponsored in part by grants from the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, the Community Foundation Central Blue Ridge, Virginia National Bank and the Rea Charitable Trust.

The program was presented Friday evening at Christ Lutheran Church in Staunton.

Tickets are $30 for general admission; youths and students get in for free. Doors will open30 minutes before each performance. For information, go online to, email or call (434) 409-3424.


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