Travel Back in Time at This One-of-a-Kind Holiday Concert

Guest artist Jessica Beebe will join Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, on Dec. 17 at Immanuel Church Highlands in Wilmington.

Jessica Beebe//Photo by Andrew Bogard


Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, will present its holiday concert "Es Ist Ein Ros," with guest artist Jessica Beebe, on Dec. 17 at Immanuel Church Highlands in Wilmington. Beebe will add her voice to Piffaro’s diverse array of over 40 Renaissance-period instruments.

Ms. Beebe earned her bachelor of music degree from the University of Delaware, where she studied with Melanie Dement. She went on to earn her master of music from Indiana University and performance certificate from London’s Royal College of Music. She returns often to Delaware as a soloist with the Delaware Choral Society and looks forward to singing Delilah in Delaware Choral Arts' “Samson and Delilah” in spring 2018. In September, Beebe made her solo debut with Opera Philadelphia in “Wake World,” which premiered as part of the O17 festival. Opera News declared, “The most radiant solo singing came from soprano Jessica Beebe as Luna/Hecate.” With Piffaro, Beebe turns from cutting-edge repertoire to music that has stood the test of four centuries. The traditional German Christmas has ancient roots in home, family and communal music making. “The famous holiday hymn ‘Vom Himmel Hoch da komm ich her’ (‘From Heaven on High I Come’) was written and composed by Martin Luther himself for his own family’s Christmas Eve devotions,” according to Joan Kimball, artistic co-director of Piffaro. “In that spirit, Piffaro’s holiday program will revolve around ‘Von Himmel Hoch’ and two even more ancient hymns: ‘Resonet in laudibus” (‘Let Praises Resound’) and ‘In dulci jubilo’ (in quiet joy). It will also include one of the most beloved German carols, “Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen” (“Lo How a Rose E’r Blooming’), in a simple part-part setting by the masterful Michael Praetorius.” Audiences will be invited to join in the singing. “Es ist ein Ros” marks the second concert in Piffaro’s series that explores Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Germany and Eastern Europe. 

Piffaro, the Renaissance Band, has delighted audiences around the world for more three decades with highly polished recreations of the rustic music of the peasantry and the elegant sounds of the official wind bands of the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. It brings the sounds of the Renaissance to life with its ever-expanding instrumentarium of shawms, dulcians, sackbuts, recorders, krumhorns, bagpipes, lutes, guitars, harps and a variety of percussion—all careful reconstructions of instruments from the period and the only professional collection of its kind in North America. Piffaro released its 19th recording, “Back Before Bach,” in July. Beebe, lauded by Opera News as an “expressive, rich soprano who performs with heart-rending passion” and as having a “honey-colored tone,” is steadily gaining international attention as an affecting interpreter of repertoire spanning over four centuries, ranging from Renaissance music to contemporary American opera. In recent seasons, she has appeared in concert with The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, The Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, The Delaware Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra and several other ensembles. Most recently, she made her Carnegie Hall solo debut singing Mozart's Coronation Mass with The New York City Chamber Orchestra and her Kimmel Center Verizon Hall solo debut singing music of Gershwin and Puccini. Beebe looks forward to her role debut as Delilah in Handel's “Samson” with the Delaware Choral Society next year. A native of Landenberg, Beebe earned her bachelor of music degree from the University of Delaware, her master of music from Indiana University and a performance certificate from London's Royal College of Music. You can see her talk about her family’s Christmas traditions and sing Es ist ein Ros on YouTube.

For tickets and information about the Piffaro concert, visit, or call (215) 235-8469.

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