The Holy Family

This painting entitled "The Holy Family" depicts St. Elizabeth, Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist and Jesus.  It is estimated that Peter Paul Rubens created the work between 1615 and 1620 with the assistance of a pupil.  Such collaborative efforts were common for the baroque master at that stage of his career.  At least three other versions of this painting are known to exist.  Mrs. Mary Emery bought this copy in 1912 and displayed it in Edgecliffe - her Cincinnati home.  It was bequeathed to Christ Church in her will in 1927.

The Holy Family has been an important focal point of 
the Boar's Head since the 1950's.
C.K. Wang, photo

In the festival's climax, God comes down to his people. They reach up to God.
C.K. Wang, photo

Rich in Good Works: Mary M. Emery of Cincinnati
We are giving thanks to Mary M. Emery(1844-1927) as parishioners of Christ Church Cathedral prepare for our annual gift to the people of Cincinnati.

In his book, Rich in Good Works: Mary M. Emery Of Cincinnati, art collector and philanthropist, author Millard F. Rogers, Jr. wrote how he was drawn into the life of Mary Emery:

"Mary Emery first attracted my attention during my tenure as director of the Cincinnati Art Museum from 1974 to 1994 when I was in daily contact with the museum building she provided, the endowment she established, and the collection of paintings by Titian, Mantegna, Hals, Murillo, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, and others she bequeathed to that institution. It was not difficult to grasp her methodology in acquiring these master pieces, but so many questions were unanswered about her life, her husband, Emery's acquisition of wealth, and her dedication to charitable acts and the dispersal of most of her estate.”

The Holy Family has been an important focal point of the Boar's Head since the 1950's.
The Boar's Head Festival at the 1835 Church, about 1952
Photo from Boar's Head archive

The Boar's Head Festival at the 1835 Church
Photo from Boar's Head archive

Christ Church was founded in 1817. In 1835, the church moved to its present location at 318 East Fourth Street. The red-brick structure of 1835 was modeled after the old Stepney church St. Dunstan's in London.[1]

The interior was completely redone in the late 1890s, as shown in the above photos. There were Tiffany glass tiles lining the chancel, Tiffany glass hanging lamps, and a sanctuary transformed with a Moorish arch. The Plum Street Temple introduced Moorish architectural design to the city of Cincinnati in 1866. Elements of the 1890s sanctuary were used to create the Ascension Chapel on the 2nd floor of the Parish House.

The Boar's Head Festival at the new Church, about 1957
Photo from Boar's Head archive

The 1835 building, deemed unsafe, was replaced in 1957 with the current building, designed in a bold modern style by David Briggs Maxwell. Although it incorporates features such as the stained glass windows from the original church erected in 1835, the building is in stark contrast to the older buildings in the cathedral complex.

The Boar's Head Festival in the 1980's, 
after church's 1983 renovation
Photo from Boar's Head archive

 In 1982 and 1983, this sanctuary was completing stripped of green tiles on the pyramidal pilasters and argyle diamond pattern (green & gold) on chancel wall and painted off-white everywhere. It was extensively remodeled again in the 1990s.[1]

1. Wikipedia contributors, "Christ Church Cathedral (Cincinnati)," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed September 20, 2014).

1940 - The First Service

The Boar's Head Festival we know today originated at Queen's College, Oxford, England in 1340. This ceremony was brought to colonial America near Troy, New York by persecuted French Huguenot Protestants who had learned this custom while exiled in England. In 1888 a descendent established this ceremony at the Hoosac Episcopal School. Here Rev. Nelson Burroughs first saw it. He brought it to Cincinnati when he was called to be the Rector of Christ Church in 1939 and gave it a church setting. He was Boar's Head festival's director from 1940 to 1948.
The Rt. Rev. Nelson Marigold Burroughs, seventh Bishop of Ohio, Rector of Christ Church, 1939-1949 

The Hoosac School still exists in Hoosick Falls, NY 
Suzann Parker Leist, photo

"I must tell you that the first celebration of the Boar's Head was really awfully funny," said Bishop Burroughs in a 1994 interview.[2]

"We tried to make some costumes but didn't have time to make all of them," said the bishop. "When the costume rental agency sent us presumably the Boar's Head costumes, they turned out to be outfits from the Prince of Pilsen - a drinking company!"[2]

Boar's Head festival 1940 Cast and Staff, the first service.[1]

At first, following the English custom, there were only men and boys in the cast, fifty in all.  Consequently, in the war years of 1945 and 1946 the ceremony was reduced to a homily with the traditional music.   From 1950 to 1956, while a new church was being built, the festival was held in the Masonic Temple.  When the new church opened in 1957, the Boar's Head processions were expanded to accommodate different aisles and entrances. 

Women joined the ceremony in 1973, opening up new possibilities for 14th-century historical characters and costumes.

The Boar's Head festival has evolved from a light and mellow celebration into a profoundly moving experience. Today, over 350 persons come together in the form of cast, orchestra, choir, and backstage helpers to present Christ Church Cathedral's gift to the city at Christmastide.

1. Morris, J. W. (1967). Christ Church Cincinnati 1817-1967 , Cincinnati, OH: the Episcopal Society of Christ Church
2. "The Rt. Rev. Nelson Marigold Burroughs dies at 99", Interchange March 1999, Retrieved 2014-9-20.

Miner Raymond: the Re-director

November 8, 2014
Miner Raymond, 2009
Festival Director, 1963-1967
Photo courtesy of Miner Raymond

When Christ Church rector Ben Arnold asked Miner Raymond to take over as Boar’s Head director in 1963, both the church and the festival were at turning points. The new church building had been finished a few years earlier and was a statement of recommitment to serving the urban core. And the new nave -- with its openness, aisles and space -- called for a complete rethink of how the festival worked.

Miner, who had led Procter & Gamble brand managers through thousands of intricately planned and executed TV commercials, knew just what to do: He rented a lakeside cabin where he wouldn’t be bothered and opened a pack of 3x5 index cards.

Each card represented one festival performer. He lined them up like toy soldiers and marched them up and down different aisles and in and out different doors until he had worked out an elaborate plan.

Then he took a break. He had a little sailboat with him, and launched it. A stiff breeze came up and gave him a fine, mind-clearing sail.

The breeze also gave him a surprise when he returned to the cabin. “I had left a window open,” he said, “and those cards were scattered everywhere.” So who knows? Perhaps some part of today’s choreography came not from the mind of Miner, but on the wings of the wind.

Miner’s elaborate staging using six entrances into the church nave is still employed today.

The late Gerre Hancock, a renowned organist, was playing at Christ Church in those days. He and Miner thought a more theatrical Boar’s Head called for better music – so Miner, who did a lot of P&G business in New York City, hunted up a Julliard alum named Frank Levy to orchestrate the festival’s vocal and orchestral music to work with the new choreography.

Then one day, while they were in the church working over some of the music, a great piece of luck landed in their laps. A fellow named Maurice Mandell – who had been a New York City Opera cast member – was in the church and heard the music. Being a confirmed ham as well as a fabulous singer, he belted out a couple notes. Miner and Gerre looked at each other and knew just what to do: They convinced Maurice to take the role of Boar’s Head minstrel.

For the next 35 years, Maurice set a musical and acting standard that helped raise the festival to new heights.

And that’s just what Miner had been hoping for: more drama. He even wrote a few quiet measures of organ music to enhance the mood of the festival’s final scene.

High-quality theatrical lighting was another issue on Miner’s mind, and he worried that the church’s more proper Episcopalians might object if he used dramatic lighting to turn their place of worship into a theater. But they didn’t complain a bit. In fact, the mystery and magic created by a top-drawer lighting operation is a point of pride for the church.

P&G work forced Miner to hand off the Boar’s Head directorship after just four years, but his influence is obvious even today. That was in the cards all along.

Director Bob Beiring's 35-year Rope Trick

October 14, 2014
Festival director Bob Beiring giving last minute instructions to the Beefeaters during dress rehearsal, 2006
C.K. Wang, photo
It was 1962. 

East coast bred, Yale educated, bachelor Bob Beiring had just been tapped by his Procter & Gamble bosses at Port Ivory (Staten Island) to head westward to Cincinnati for an industrial engineering job at Ivorydale.

He crammed his worldly possessions--an Evinrude 35 outboard motor, a stereo wrapped in blankets, his pole lamp and clothes--into a tiny U-Haul trailer and pointed his Chevy convertible toward new adventures. 

As he crossed the state line into Ohio, the U-Haul snapped from its tow bar, flew across the road, down an embankment and rested in a heap at the bottom. Bob managed to salvage his Evinrude 35 and his stereo, but, alas, not his pole lamp.

Bob rolled into town and wasted no time: He moved into the old L.B. Harrison Club and reported for work.

The next year Bob was in the Army, under a “critical skills” program. The following year, he returned to P & G to work in a new field called data processing and to finally call Cincinnati home.

It was at the 100th anniversary of Yale’s oldest alumni club later in the year that Bob heard a familiar refrain from a priest: “I have a job for you.”

The Rev. Paul Buckwalter, a fellow Yale man, had recently been hired by Christ Church and quickly determined that Bob was single, relatively new to town, Episcopalian, and had no excuse not to help with the church’s 100-strong Boy’s Club.

Being a gymnast at Yale and a kid at heart, it was a perfect match.

About the same time, parishioner Miner Raymond had assumed the directorship of Christ Church’s Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival, then in its 22nd year. Miner, whose day job was supervisor of television production for P&G (think commercials for soap operas), and Gerre Hancock, music director, wanted to change the Boar’s Head from a stand-and-sing affair to a more theatrical production.

“I knew nothing of the Boar’s Head to draw me there,” Bob says these days, “but the rest is history.”

Bob joined the cast as a wait, a medieval watchman whose job description included providing entertainment for the castle. Calling on his skills as a gymnast and his love of theater, he began “planting seeds to spice up the roles.”

Over the next few years, he was able to convince the festival directors that he could slide down a rope hung from the organ loft and that he could walk on the back of the church pews.

The year his bloomers split when they got caught on the gallery’s railing sealed the rope descent as a big hit.

Bob kept adding antics to the wait’s job description. He recruited teenagers and adults to walk with him along the backs of the pews, kissing audience members and tickling them with long feathers.

As the 1960s rolled along, the Boar’s Head became more authentic in costuming and props. Theatrical lighting was added, and females were given more important backstage tasks such as prompting and cueing entrances.

In 1973, Bob’s young daughter Lisa asked to be in the Boar’s Head cast. “I didn’t want to tell her that she couldn’t be in it because she was a girl,” Bob said. But, for more than 600 years in England, the festival had been a male-only pageant.

So Bob went to the church hierarchy. As an inducement, he was able to tell them that his wife had promised to make costumes for all female cast members if women were allowed in the cast.

The answer came back “yes”, and holly bearers, ladies of the manor and their attendants and, over time, women in almost every Boar’s Head role joined the cast.

Bob’s interest in growing the festival into a bigger, more theatrical and inclusive performance didn’t go unnoticed. In 1979, he was asked to chair the Boar’s Head. He accepted, and in one stroke of the pen, he was promoted from a wait to the boss.

His timing couldn’t have been worse.

On Dec. 3, 1979, at the concert of the British rock band The Who, festival seating contributed to a stampede and panic that killed 11 people and injured 27 others. The city council quickly ruled that festival seating be banned at all public events. 

Boar’s Head practice had been to let the first 400 people standing in line for each performance go into the sanctuary. Often the line of hopeful audience members circled the church, creating “crushing crowds”, according to Bob. He knew that would have to change.

Bob enlisted the help of a fellow P & G employee and member of the congregation, Suzann Parker Leist, to come up with a plan to convert from festival seating to a ticketed venue. By performance day 1980, a ticketed seating system that she designed was in place. She still keeps a sharp eye on Boar’s Head audience logistics.

The ensuing 34 years have seen a steady infusion of performance improvements. After all, Bob grew up on Radio City Music Hall in the 1950s. He knew what the big-time looked like. A Boar’s Head Rockettes dance group wouldn’t have won universal approval, but first-class theatrical lighting and opera-quality singers like former New York City Opera baritone Maurice Mandell took performances to a very high level. 

Bob Beiring with Chief Minstrel Maurice Mandell, about 1989
Photo credit: Michael Wilson

Today, Bob relies on 300 cast members to show up and make the annual “Miracle on Fourth Street” happen, and he does it without rehearsal. The dress rehearsal is conducted in front of an almost-full house.

Standing ovation from a full house, 2010
C.K. Wang, photo
Three more packed performances enchant hundreds more guests – many of whom have never before set foot in Christ Church Cathedral. 

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to calculate that Bob and all the people who rally around him have touched 84,000 hearts in the last 35 years.

That’s some track record.

Orchestra and Chorus

November 26, 2014
The Orchestra & Choir in the balcony, Stephan Casurella, Conducting
C.K. Wang, photo

A 30-piece orchestra accompanies The Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival. These professional musicians are from throughout the greater Cincinnati area and beyond. Many have participated in the Boar’s Head Orchestra for years – some more than 30.

The Boar’s Head Choir is a 50-person ensemble. With minimal rehearsal time, this group comes together each year to sing the festive carols with gusto. A number of the choristers are former choir members; singing in these performances is also a reunion celebration.

There are parts of the Boar's Head Festival that Music Director Stephan Casurella has never seen. From his position in the balcony, his eyes are mainly directed towards the orchestra, choir, and the monitor for organist Shiloh Roby who’s seated at the organ console behind the evergreens on the stage.

There is a lot of running up and down stairs to the balcony. The trumpeter who introduces the performance outside the nave then runs up to the balcony to play his part in the Boar's Head Carol. Until he gets there, another trumpeter covers his part for him.

All the soloists who are also kings, shepherds, and waits sing in the choir, as well as taking part in the processions around the nave. So up and down they go, crawling over other choristers and all the lighting equipment in the balcony.

There’s even some fancy footwork at the end, a quiet and solemn moment for the audience as the sprite leaves the darkened church with his candle. Simultaneously, chorister David Thompson, who also plays King Wenceslas, starts a CD recording of chimes to be played over the loudspeaker. Another chorister runs down to the lower level under the chapel and initiates the mechanism that causes the bells in the cathedral tower to play. The result is a sense that the bells in the tower can be heard in the nave. (They can't.)

Through it all, Shiloh Roby’s playing is the musical thread that stitches the performance together.

Shiloh is a master at improvisation. Not only does he perform his own ideas of the regal music appropriate for the procession, he weaves in familiar tunes, appreciated by the musically sophisticated listener. This year listen for "What a Small Party This Is " and "Putting on the Ritz". Another year "Hail, Britannia" was woven into his playing.

Behind Boar's Head forest set is Organist Shiloh Roby's solo spot
C.K. Wang, photo

Last Christmas Shiloh was given a stuffed squirrel for his dog. Instead he brought it in to keep him company in his solo spot behind the evergreens – where his only visual connection with the festival is a small TV monitor connected to a camera that is focused on Stephan, who cues Shiloh at key points during the performance. Stephan’s attire is a white shirt and bright tie rather than something more formal. Otherwise Shiloh can't see him through the monitor.

When the quartet of waits are singing in the front, out of earshot, Stephan lip reads to know when to bring in the chorus. And at the very end when everyone sings “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”, Stephan has to let Shiloh know if he needs to slow the tempo of the last verse so the procession will get out on time.

Stephan says "The whole experience brings serious musicians together in a festive way that celebrates the ending of the holiday season."

To Light Boar’s Head: 86,000 Watts, a Loyal Crew – and Trevor

October 24, 2014

Trevor Shibley’s theatrical lighting friends like to tease him that the only way to get out of Boar’s Head is to move south.

One went to Kings Productions, another to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, and a third jokes he sees Tampa in his future. But Trevor has more friends—lots of them--and every December he calls. And every December, they come to help Trevor create the magical light for the Boar’s Head Festival at Christ Church Cathedral.

It all started in the fifth grade at Rosedale Elementary School in Middletown, where a stage-struck Trevor decided, “I’m not an actor, and I’m not a singer – so I did lighting.” 

Right out of high school, the Kings Island entertainment department snapped him up – and a career was launched. He loved the variety there – lighting shows one week and helping transport dolphins the next -- but ultimately he moved to videographer work for the Animal Planet cable channel and then to theatrical lighting for Carnival cruise lines. 

Seeking a more stable life, he moved back here eight years ago and went to work for Vincent Lighting Systems in Erlanger– in his present day job, overseeing major lighting installations.

Through all the job changes, he has managed to be in town the week of Boar’s Head.

While working at Kings Island in 1988, Trevor met Stefan Skirtz, a Christ Church parishioner who was the Boar’s Head lighting director. Stefan asked a few of his co-workers, including Trevor, to lend a hand at the festival. Trevor loved the production and its challenges and was hooked.

In early December 1993, Trevor received a FedEx delivery: a small envelope containing a lighting diagram, notes and a key. Stefan was moving on. 

With that delivery, Trevor became the Boar’s Head lighting guru and has kept it up for more than 20 years – even the occasional years when he has made director Bob Beiring extremely nervous about conflicts with his day-job assignments.

Trevor and the friends he’s worked with over the years show up about a week before Boar’s Head with scores of rented 575-watt theatrical lights to supplement the church’s and provide the more than 150 points of light that are necessary to give the festival its visual magic. 

For every light, a cable – even in the crawl space above the nave
Photo courtesy of Trevor Shibley

They work into the wee hours of the night because they have day jobs. In a few days they run more than a thousand feet of cable and mount lights on the nave walls, in discreet spots on the chancel floor, in the balcony and on the ceiling in places where ordinary lighting normally resides. 

There are many kinds of lights:
         Lights equipped with blue gels that let people read their programs in the dark and others with red gels that enhance the Beefeaters’ uniforms.
         Four “specials” -- lights that enhance the Rubens portrait.
         Color mixes that – for instance – combine reds and blues to wash the back wall in purple light.
        Spotlights that follow performers and other lights that illuminate specific areas of the nave.
         Lights for the kings’ presentation of gifts. Lights for the waits and lights that let the audience see faces as performers enter from the narthex.
         There are cool–colored lights for serious scenes and warm ones for cheerful scenes. 

Lane Williams focuses the candle splashes
Photo courtesy of Trevor Shibley

The lighting crew’s hard work comes together in
 a moment of stage magic
Photo courtesy of Trevor Shibley

         Some lights have shutters that narrow their beams to one particular place and others have cut-out filters called Gobos that throw candle and tree images on the wall.
         There’s even a light that makes the rose in the rose window seem to spin around. 

Plans, the follow spot (with Joe McLean), the light board, 
singers and musicians fit tightly together
Photo courtesy of Trevor Shibley 

All of this is controlled by a big, rented light board. Someday, Trevor hopes to program that board for each scene in the Boar’s Head script. But for now, he and his right-hand assistant run it manually. They sometimes are cued by a certain performer’s gesture or a certain sustained note ordered up by music director Stephan Casurella. People in the audience don’t see this intimate relationship between acting, music and light – but that intersection is where Trevor lives during a performance.

Trevor in his element, with the “best seat in the house”
Photo courtesy of Trevor Shibley

“I have the best seat in the house,” he says, with the orchestra and singers behind him and the complex performance laid out in front of him.

And then, after four performances, the magic is over and tons of gear must be carried out of the church by midnight. After all, director Beiring has only paid for a one-week rental of the lights and light board.

A few days later Trevor returns to refocus and repoint the church’s basic lighting -- and then it’s back to the day job for 51 weeks before Boar’s Head starts up all over again.

Behind the Glamorous Costumes: Sharp Needles and Strategies

Novemeber 26, 2014
Betsy Harris explains the care of costumes to cast members    
©2014 Constance Sanders

When Betsy Harris was recruited to be the costume director for the Christ Church Boar’s Head Festival, she was a new cathedral member, and not many people knew her. She was also pretty short, so she feared that nobody would find her in a sea of taller cast members.

So she did what any daughter of a Broadway dancer by night would do: She put a felt reindeer antler fascinator on her head when working the crowded undercroft on performance weekends. “So people who needed something could see me!”

She hasn’t gotten any taller, but 12 years later, everybody knows who she is -- and where she sets up in the undercroft with enough supplies to start a tailor shop. 

What most people don’t know, though, is how she has transformed the care of hundreds of individual garments -- from ballet slippers to satin hats -- that costume almost 200 cast members.

Because many of the costumes she inherited were wearing out, her first priority was conservation: better storage and hanging, repairs before storage rather than just before next year’s performances, strategic additions to hems, seams and necklines to not only dress up garments but make them stronger.

Though she’d rather preserve than replace, she was able to pick up a few treasures when the Middletown opera closed down a few years ago and a local church disbanded its Boar’s Head play. Donations from parishioners and friends make their way into the treasure chests, and angel donors help when the only solution is to have something new made. She keeps a close eye on costumes that are approaching the end of their lives and plans to establish a more formal costume donor program for people who would like to help her keep the Boar’s Head cast looking fabulous.

Costume volunteer Susan West (right) making final adjustments
for cast member Karen Taylor, 2014
Shirley Wang, photo

Betsy Harris (left) with Susan West, another very talented seamstress.
 Susan made these aprons for the Costume team, 2014
Shirley Wang, photo

She is assisted by a half-dozen volunteers good with needle and thread. That’s a blessing because top-notch seamstresses are hard to find these days, she says.

Betsy comes to the job with two important sets of skills: those learned in her training in fashion design and illustration, and those learned in running a business with her husband, Chuck. She’s as good with spreadsheets as she is with fine fabrics.

And then there’s the unglamorous work of cleaning. “Part of the job,” she says, “is that you have to be willing to do laundry and ironing.” And do it very carefully. What she’s too modest to say is that personal commitment is a huge part of the job, too. She’s a devoted reader, and it’s telling when it slips out that she has no time for books in December and January.

But then, Betsy and crew read a story in every tunic, sash and cloak they care for – and because they do, the Boar’s Head story heard by thousands every year is that much more powerful.

Remembering Maurice Mandell - Mr. Boar's Head

October 6, 2014

Maurice Mandell, Chief Minstrel 1979-2004 
photo from Boar's Head archive

Maurice Mandell with Boar's Head Director Bob Beiring, about 1989
Photo credit: Michael Wilson

Maurice's operatic voice carried that tune for 35 years in the Boar's Head Festival from 1969 until his retirement in 2004. "In my mind, Maurice was known as "Mr. Boar's Head", and I can never think of anyone else when I hear the Boar's Head Carol.", said Boar's Head Festival director Bob Beiring.

A short clip of the chief minstrel, Maurice Mandell, leads the Boar's Head procession during the 2001 Festival.

Maurice's training was here in Cincinnati at the original Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he studied operatic voice and also met his long-time wife, Louise, also a trained singer. Maurice's opera career took him to NYC, where he performed at both the Met and NYC Opera. He came back to Cincinnati to start his actual career in Financial Planning in 1968. Gerre Hancock, our Music Director in 1969, needed a new Chief Minstrel with a "voice", and hired Maurice. The rest is history, as Maurice and Louise liked Christ Church so much, they joined our ranks, and then he became a "volunteer singer" in the Festival as a CCC member, and best known of our Boar's Head's Chief Minstrels.

A Pixel-Stitcher Celebrates The Glamour of Boar’s Head

November 23, 2014
Beefeater Uniforms
©2014 Barry Carlin

When Barry Carlin first came to Christ Church Cathedral three years ago, one of the first things he saw was a display of Roy Steiner’s pastel sketches of the Boar’s Head Festival. He liked them, and he wanted to know more.

Before very long, he and Roy were serving together in the Boar’s Head cast, and Barry was recalling the words of a well-known photo teacher who wrote that to do art well, you have to fall in love with your subject. Barry was in love with everything about Boar’s Head – but especially the costumes.

Since retiring from his electrical engineering career, Barry had been focusing on photography. He wanted to photograph those costumes – and he wanted to do it in an exacting way that requires skills and a level of patience that many an excellent photo pro would find challenging.

His technique is called focus stacking. Here’s how it works: 

If a camera is recording, for instance, a Beefeater’s hat, it will focus on one part of the hat, and other parts will be slightly out of focus. So the patient photographer shoots the hat as many as two dozen times, focusing each time on a different part of the hat.

Once the images are in the photographer’s computer, each focal area is cut out from each image – like pieces of a jig saw puzzle – and then patiently, patiently, the photographer stitches them together almost at the level of individual pixels. 

Because Barry has had a good bit of practice at focus stacking, he can complete one photo in about a week. Somebody just getting started in the technique would need a lot more time.

The result is astonishing. When properly reproduced, focus-stacked images leap off their two-dimensional surface. In Barry’s view, Boar’s Head’s wonderful costumes deserve no less.

Many church staffers and members have helped Barry with this project. He’s still getting used to Episcopalian language and traditions, but he’s already enchanted by the helpful spirit he’s encountered everywhere.

The project has led to a full-scale, 75th anniversary Boar’s Head art exhibit that will include 10 of Barry’s painstakingly produced photos, old banners and other artifacts that have been 
rescued from closet corners and cleaned up, a new banner by Susan West, enlarged giclee prints of what Roy Steiner believes are his best pastel sketches, and some of Constance Sanders’ best still life photographs of Boar's Head props.

The exhibit will hang from Dec. 5 to Jan. 5 – but that won’t be the last of it. Barry has more ideas, and so do others who have contributed to this exhibit. Just as the Boar’s Head Festival has gotten better every year, so will the annual Boar’s Head art exhibit.

You can count on it. When artists fall in love with a subject, they never quit.

The Festival – as Artist Roy Steiner Sees It

Editor’s note: Roy Steiner is a parishioner at Christ Church Cathedral and a Boar’s Head cast member. Some of his favorite festival sketches – enlarged as giclee prints – is part of the  Boar’s Head Art Exhibit .

November 6, 2014
A pair of Beefeaters
©2007 Roy Steiner

©2007 Roy Steiner

My artistic inclination is sketching. I like the immediacy -- the urgency and simplicity of a quick rendering. Sketches somehow always leave the viewer wanting a little more – a little mystery.

I have made some 70 sketches over the 10 years that I’ve been in the Boar’s Head Festival. The vast majority of my sketches capture people unaware, in typical moments before, during and after the show. This has been intentional on my part. Such moments have always struck me as the most natural -- and more interesting than a pose.

I work with dry pastel. Early on, I mixed fine markers with pastel accents before going strictly to pastel. Everything always starts with a simple pencil rendering -- which I like the most.

©2012 Roy Steiner

A sketch titled “Orphan” might be my personal favorite. It’s nothing more than pencil with a bit of white pastel for accent. Sometimes less is more.

I've enjoyed every moment of this festival and have tried to document it in the way that I've seen and experienced it. It’s quite gratifying that others have enjoyed the sketches as well.

It has been my great pleasure to leave this visual diary for all to enjoy.

Roy Steiner
Plum Pudding Company

Music and Photography: Different Perspectives on Boar's Head

Editor’s note: Constance Sanders is a parishioner at Christ Church Cathedral and a Boar’s Head cast member. She frequently contributes photographs of parish activities for cathedral publications. Some of her best still life photographs of Boar's Head props is part of the Boar’s Head Art Exhibit .

November 24, 2014
Mummer Wait Constance Sanders
 about 1987
With only two exceptions, I have been involved in every Boar’s Head presentation since 1982. As a member of the choir, I always have sung in the balcony. For several years I served as a mummer wait, greeting people and jumping around the pews, and currently I am one of the quartet of singing waits that comes down the aisle singing “Sons of Eve,” followed by the ‘Wassail Song.” Both costumed roles have been great fun.

 Mummer Wait Constance Sanders, 2005

Singing Wait
Constance Sanders, 2014

From left, Singing Waits Michael Dauterman, Dawn Bruestle,
Constance Sanders, Eric Duell, 2010
C.K. Wang, photo

From left, Singing Waits Ezekiel McCall, Constance Sanders,
Eric Duell, Dawn Bruestle, 2014
Christopher Koon, photo

I have been involved with photography almost as long as I have been with music. I’ve frequently brought my camera to capture the colorful pageant, the “set,” and the behind-the scenes activities. So I have really appreciated this opportunity to photograph some of the props in a more controlled environment.

I first became attracted to still life photography when a fellow musician/photographer started posting his still life images on a camera club bulletin board; he was influenced by the painting style of the old masters. I approached the images in the Boar’s Head props using this style, and naturally, I included some musical subjects.

Still Life with Bells, ©Constance Sanders 2014
Of my six prints in the art exhibit, two, including the one with the bells (pictured above), were captured in what is called a table-top tent—a cube of about 16 inches, with translucent sides and interchangeable backdrops. Lights are positioned outside, on one or both of the sides, to create the desired lighting effect.

Still Life with Mandolin, ©Constance Sanders 2014

The image with the mandolin (pictured above) and three others were made using a technique called light painting. I chose this method because I was not getting the desired background effect for these subjects. I used a small flashlight to “paint” over the subject for a long exposure time in near or total darkness. For these four images, exposure ranged between four and fifteen seconds.

This image with the mandolin is my favorite of the set. I knew immediately that it should be on canvas and in a frame that suited it, and I was happy with the results.

Constance Sanders
Singing Wait

The Beefeaters Heritage

August 23, 2014

"The guards at the Tower of London are called Yeoman Warders. Their nickname is Beefeater. The name Beefeaters is often thought to come from the French word - 'buffetier'. (Buffetiers were guards in the palace of French kings. They protected the king's food.) However, the name Beefeater is more likely to have originated from the time when the Yeomen Warders at the Tower were paid part of their salary with chunks of beef. This took place right up until the 1800s." [1].

On the Road with the Chief Beefeater at the Tower of London

The Beefeaters in the Boar's Head Festival, like their counterparts in the Tower of London, add a festive flair over the performance in their beautiful red uniforms and regimental marching. If you enjoy "pomp and circumstance" with our English roots, come to see the Boar's Head Festival.

Like the real Beefeaters, our performers hold rank as some of the "senior" tenures in the performance, with Phil Hagner holding the title of most senior with 66 years in the 75 year old pageant at Christ Church Cathedral (his secret is that he started as a child sprite).

Beefeaters in the 2006 Festival. Phil Hagner, left front, is the most senior performer. Standing next to Phil is his brother-in-law Ron Lyons.
C.K. Wang, photo

Our Beefeaters red flannel uniforms are an exact replica of the Yeoman Warders (the official name).

©2014 Barry Carlin
The State dress uniforms date from 1552 and are worn on state occasions. The uniform consists of a knee-length scarlet tunic, scarlet knee-breeches and stockings, and a round brimmed hat called a Tudor bonnet. Queen Elizabeth I introduced the distinctive white neck ruff.  The uniforms of Yeoman Warders include the thistle, rose and shamrock, emblems of Scotland, England and Ireland.  The Initials ER on their uniforms stand for Elizabeth Regina (Regina is latin for queen).  The initials refer to Elizabeth the Second, who is the present Queen." [1]

Beefeaters in the 1960s - George Schneider, Alan Schatz, 
Greene Gabbard and Theodore Wiche
Photo from Boar's Head archive

Photo from Boar's Head archive

Beefeater George Schneider with Page Mark Pritchard, 1962
Photo from Boar's Head archive

1."The History of the Yeoman Warders and the Yeoman of the Guards.", Project Britain, Retrieved 2014-9-22.