Winter Nights: Reflections and Thanks

Last Saturday, I got to participate in the SCA in a way that I had never done before: running a full-day event. As Concordia’s Baronial Bard, I had the privilege of serving as event steward (or, as some say, “autocrat”) for the Winter Nights competition. The event, which had been a Concordian event for several years, recently changed to a three-year rotation between East Kingdom’s Northern, Southern, and Central regions. This is the first time it has come back to Concordia, and so it was a stroke of luck that it happened during my term as champion. While for many people, running an event is a key part of growing and evolving in the SCA, I have never yearned to have that responsibility. Given my ADHD (and my ego’s exhibitionist streak), the thought has been one I have long shied away from.

With one important exception. I have always dreamed of running Winter Nights.

This all-day bardic competition was my introduction to the bardic community five years ago. Winning it two years back was one of the most delightful surprises I’ve had as a bard. This event taught me about camaraderie, about improvisation, about the breadth of talent and skills and generosity that this kingdom’s bards (and not just this kingdom’s) have to offer. In many ways, it is as much home to me as Pennsic is. (Not for nothing did I slip a name-check into my East Kingdom anthem.)

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Our first donation!

Good Gentles,

This weekend, we mailed our first donation, just over $1,400, to the East Kingdom Royal Travel Fund. This exceeded our fondest hopes. It was made possible by the contributions of dozens of talented artists, and scores of generous patrons, in and out of our kingdom. Without your enthusiastic support and encouragement, this project would never have come to fruition. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

In grateful service,

The bards of Sing for the East

New song: Concordian Soil

I have now posted a song page for “Concordian Soil”, the new piece I debuted a week ago at Wars of the Roses.

My first scroll text

I should, of course, have shared this a week ago, but life (and coordinating the completion and submission of Sing for the East) called my attention elsewhere. Still, last week at Roses included a small but meaningful milestone, as I got to watch a friend receive an award for which I had written the scroll text. Continue reading

Working at Wars of the Roses

So I’m back from our fifth Wars of the Roses, and, as often happens about events, I have a ton of things I want to say…but if I don’t write them down right when I get home (which is never a good time to write stuff down because we’re exhausted and need to unpack), the motivation to write starts to drain away.

Still. Better late than never. I had my first real working event as Baronial Bard of Concordia, and it was full of fun, connection to people I love, and wonderful moments. Some of the people who stand out in my memory: Continue reading

Bardic at Roses

Reminder: Bardic at Wars of the Roses this weekend will be held at the same time and place as last year, Saturday 8:30 pm at the Bardic area. The theme of the competition is legitimacy to rule. See you there.

In service, Drake

Laurels’ Prize Tourney: First Thoughts

I have been a performer in my blood for as far back as I can remember, to childhood. I have never really not enjoyed performing. The last several years have blessed me with opportunities to perform for loving, supportive, appreciative audiences, and more and more, alongside talented people I admire and adore. It is, really, always a thrill. (No, I’m not saying I’ve never tanked. Different kind of thrill.)

And yet, sprinkled through the joyous memories, including some extremely special ones, there are a small handful of moments that stand out, that were extraordinary. Days or nights where I felt a performance, and the audience, vibrating together in my chest, an electric excitement, when I felt something truly glorious was happening, and I was privileged to be in the eye of a storm, somehow miraculously safe and well.

Yesterday was one of those days. (Video courtesy of Baroness Arlyana van Wyck.)

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