In 1971, the longest running Revels, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, began. The Revels, an eclectic mix of medieval and modern music and dance (primarily English in basis), involves the audience and the community in a continuation of pagan and older Christian traditions. Revels shows, now spread over the Northeast and the world, draw on local talent. Morris dancing, mummers, bagpipers and large choruses of men, women and children celebrate the turning of the Winter Solstice in a cheerful fashion. Throughout his adult life, Langstaff was a dedicated music educator.
In 1955, he became the music director at The Potomac School, in Washington, DC, and later taught at Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He wrote twenty-five books, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Frog Went A-Courtin'. He hosted the BBC-TV children's program "Making Music" for five years, and produced a series of videos called "Making Music with John Langstaff" for parents and teachers. He also published songbooks, teacher's guides, and production guides for the Revels. Langstaff's recording career was varied and long.
Beginning with English traditional music in the 1950s, he continued with the founding of Revels Records, recording primarily children's and traditional music. Several of his early recordings were made in London, with noted producer George Martin. On May 17, 2006, David Nath's documentary film To Drive The Dark Away, which chronicles Langstaff's life and work with the Christmas Revels, had its world premiere in Arlington, MA. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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