Longtime Revels Volunteer Julie Smith Turns 95!
Our birthday lyricist George Emlen led us in a beautiful chorus to the tune of Calon Lan
"Julie Smith is always giving, when you need her she is here. You can always count on Julie a model volunteer."
Revels has been extremely fortunate to have the friendship and support of Julie Smith for over 30 years. If you came into the Revels office earlier this year, you may have found Julie helping the staff with various projects. Having a chat with her, you would surely notice her sweet and gentle nature. But Julie has also had her lively times with Revels!
In her youth, Julie was a serious folk dancer and belonged to a hotshot square dancing group. In the 1950's, Julie began Scottish and English folk dancing and she went to Pinewoods and Early Music Weeks. She met John Langstaff somewhere along the way. When Jack put on the first Christmas Revels in Cambridge in 1971, Julie was in the audience. Julie and her family loved Revels and her son Duncan was a dancer in the 1978 Haddon Hall Christmas Revels.
After attending The Christmas Revels for many years, Julie felt like there weren’t enough older women in the cast. So, at the "older" age of 60, Julie auditioned for the show with Jack and George Emlen, Revels' former music director. Being in that show provided Julie with her favorite Revels memory. Julie's costume was a gorgeous green silk ball gown which she wore as she danced Victorian parlor dances with Ron Smedley, a lead in the show. Julie was so happy when she was allowed to borrow the gown and wear it to the Scottish Ball. After this wonderful experience, Julie was again in The Christmas Revels cast of the Celtic show in 1992, the 1998 Victorian Christmas Revels and an Irish-themed summer show at the DeCordova Museum.
In the early 1990's, Julie began volunteering in the Revels office to help with the Christmas ticket sales, back when tickets were sold out of the office. She stayed on and continued to volunteer regularly in the office as a way to keep up the connection with Revels that she had felt as a cast member.
In addition to her work with Revels, Julie volunteered at Christ Church Cambridge, where she has been a parishioner for about 50 years. She has traveled the world, met the Dalai Lama and practiced yoga regularly (and inspired her yoga teacher, Linda Martin, to volunteer with Revels too!).
Julie says that one of Revels strengths is its sense of community. She has felt such a strong sense of connection; it even feels like a family. Julie points out that everyone wants to feel like they belong. The Revels community has been, and continues to be, an important connection in her life. And Revels is the better for it. Happy Birthday, Julie!