Time for the second of my 3-part reflections on this Pennsic War: The individuals who earned my admiration and who I wish to praise and honor. There are many, and this is a small sampling of those I remember best. In some cases I may not remember full Scadian names, and I beg your indulgence. In the interest of not slighting anyone, I will omit titles and trust no one takes offense.
- Lorelei Skye: O Captain My Captain! (With gratitude to the late Robin Williams) You wore yourself down to the nub for us all this war, and still managed to sparkle with impish delight on the stage. Thank you for your self-sacrifice, and I’ll do everything I can to help make sure you don’t have to do it like that again. (And for egging me on to do a concert, partnering with me on the Expo, promoting everyone who performed in the PA tent all war…”thank you” seems so inadequate.)
- Widow Kate of Ealdormere: My partner in crime, who made the Collegium seem so easy to do. Thank you too for egging me on to take the job with you. And for your glorious voice and presence everywhere I saw you at circles. You did it fearlessly. (Which is to say, I never saw fear stop you. That’s what courage looks like.)
- Aneleda Falconbridge: My magnificent friend, bringing radiance and joy to both war and peace…your debut concert, the night after mine, was phenomenal. (Snagging Efenwealt…beauty! Guest stars in your concert…I will remember that trick.) And thanks for learning all the hard lessons on how to manufacture and distribute a new CD this year, so my research next year will be that much easier. 😉
- Ana Ximenez de Hume: You know you make us all jealous, right? To know from so young that you love to sing is one thing (many of us had that)…but to figure out how to do it, and how to develop it, and to show up and bring it with such power and passion, even as you dove into a “big pond” at performance school…I know I’m not the only one who wishes I could have figured this out as early as you did. No matter. You keep sharing it with us, so we’re all good.
- Genevieve Robertsdaughter (fka Rose): Your passion for music, and your keen taste for it, shows through everywhere you go. Putting you and Ana into the Exhibition this year was a no-brainer. I’m incredibly grateful that you’ve allowed me to elbow myself onto your radar as a performer you enjoy.
- Robert the Perylous: For your gracious hosting of the Peerless Bardic, for your rich voice, your warmth, and the way you foster both your own growth and your daughter’s as artists, I salute you, sir.
- Yaakov Hamizrachi: I’m so glad I had the chance to get to know you this war, having long remembered your wonderful storytelling at Marian’s concert two years back. I agree with you that there should be more space made for stories from Judaic sources and Jewish culture, and you do it like no one else. (Also, thank you for sharing “Your Group Name Here”. It’s on my must list.)
- David Anthony (aka The Creepy Bard) and Eva: The two of you are wonderfully talented, and I’m delighted to have heard you at circles this war. You sound beautiful together and separately. I’m glad you’re bringing your Ren Faire experience to SCA events, and I hope we’ll see and hear more from you both.
- Gwendolyn the Graceful: I’ve enjoyed hearing you since we crossed paths at the Rose Happy Hour last year. “Magnus’s Song (1,000 Guys Like Me)” was hilarious! The gentle but confident way you draw in an audience is an object lesson for any bard.
- Corwyn ap Nennius: I hope we’ll see more of you at bardic circles! Your performance at the Depressing Song Competition was wonderful. Fighting is demanding, I understand…I hope you get more opportunity to do both.
- Pelayo: Your incredible “Grandfather’s Lullaby” wrenched our hearts at the first Calontir bardic circle. I hope to hear more new pieces from you over time, and I’d love to see your talent achieve the level of recognition that you wish for and which it deserves.
- Kenneth MacQuarrie and Adelaide de Beaumont: Great to finally meet you both, however briefly. What I caught of your concert was phenomenal, and your new album, “Outlaws and Bystanders”, is wearing grooves into my brain from repeated playing. You raise the bar for musicianship, storytelling, and focus on detail.
- Marian of Heatherdale: It was wonderful to see you back in form this war, especially at your concert. Thank you for continuing to model patronage by providing a platform for other artists to be seen and heard. (Thanks, too, for name-checking the Collegium, its hosts, and our mission.)
- John Inchingham: I enjoyed finally seeing you in action this war. Your writing and performance have a snap that drew me and my family in. Your knack for comedy, and depth of understanding of SCA culture, tell me that I need to know you better. We’ll see what we can do about that.
JescaJessa de Hunteleghe: My darling wife, I know the time you take to prepare the 350+ truffles that are your grace note each war. I know the amount you give of yourself to support your friends in their hour of need (including me). I just need to say how grateful I am so others can hear me and be reminded of the treasure you are.
- Spencer Oranwood: My beautiful boy, seeing you spread your wings this war was a joy every father should be blessed with. Learning with Master Billy, choosing to offer wirework tokens to anyone who wanted a bit of “bling”, trying thrown weapons, levitating off the ground with delight at your first dance event, forging bonds with new friends at neighboring camps… This has been the funnest year yet to share the SCA with you.
- Connor MacAuliffe: My family knows you a while now, Connor, but you’re a new friend to me. I’m thrilled you’ve decided to come back into the SCA and share your creativity, your practical know-how with anything that needs crafting or repair, and your endless willingness to work and fix and improve things for us, for our camp, for most anyone I saw you meet. I know a bit of your gifts as a teacher from how they’ve impacted my son, but seeing how your gifts have fostered your daughter Emily’s incredible skills and talent speaks volumes to me. Thank you for opening my eyes to a range of possibilities in the Society that are outside my normal comfort zone.
Yes, as you can see, there’s overlap with the first part. The same will be true with the third, I’m sure.