Conceived and Directed by Guy Mendilow
Narration by Regie Gibson & Guy Mendilow
Special Guest: Courtney Swain
Featuring: the Boston City Singers or a collaboration with your local youth choir

We live our lives in stories.  And there are some stories that seem to continue playing out, even though setting and actors change. The winter holidays are a time to share the joy, cheer and celebration of being together. They also offer up a unique opportunity to look at the stories we tell about ourselves and our lives. Heart of the Holidays offers up an unusual holiday program. You won't find holiday music here. Instead, we invite you to immerse yourself in the essence of the season through a trove of tales of sparking light just when it’s darkest all around, of realizing abundance at the height of scarcity, and of how we triumph in hard times ­– as individuals and as a society, long ago and now. And, because the best stories are those in which we also see ourselves, we ask a time-worn question: How do these stories of long-ago-and-far-away continue to play out in our own day-to-day? What role will we play in the tale?  Deep down, this is, after all, the heart of the holidays.

*Because one of the ways we know to be light is to come together, and because singing is such a strong way to come together, Heart of the Holidays includes segments in which audiences are invited to add their voices in a collection of deeply moving rounds from around the world.

Music of hope and affirmation, sophisticated in its delivery but easily accessible to listeners anywhere.
— Chicago Tribune
An international tour de force.
— Bethlehem Morning Call
...lovingly crafted. The program starts off quite dark in its premise but the overarching hope displayed as it progresses and the end result was quite emotional and musically moving. The Guy Mendilow Ensemble is very tight musically and the “surround sound” of the choir facing the audience during the audience round sing was terrific. Guy Mendilow’s experience as a master educator is clearly evident as he worked with the various community partners to achieve a thrilling performance that brought tears to the audience.
— Robin Baker, Senior Manager of Community Engagement Celebrity Series of Boston

Sit Down, Children.
Narration by Regie Gibson
Music: Trad, Arr. Kimani Lumsden and Guy Mendilow
Performed by Boston City Singers Tour Choir, Regie Gibson, Guy Mendilow Ensemble & special guest Courtney Swain

From the show Heart of the Holidays: Tales of Light by Guy Mendilow Ensemble with Narration by Regie Gibson, Ft. Boston City Singers Tour Choir and special guest Courtney Swain


Guy Mendilow Ensemble

"An international tour de force” (Bethlehem Morning Call) from the Middle East, South and North America, the Guy Mendilow Ensemble transports audiences to the long-ago-and-far-away...to hold a mirror for our own here-and-now.  The world-class ensemble combines evocative storytelling with emotionally captivating music in shows that “explode with artistry, refinement, and excitement” (Hebrew Union College), conjuring voices lost to war and upheaval, whisking audiences to distant times and picturesque places and, ultimately, stirring highly resonant, deeply moving connections to contemporary struggles and dilemmas.

The National Endowment for the Arts recognized the Guy Mendilow Ensemble for the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

The Guy Mendilow Ensemble tours four shows: The Forgotten KingdomHeart of the Holidays — A Global Celebration in SongThree Sides to Every Story; and Around the World in Song family concerts. Distinguished educators, the ensemble specializes in community engagement including tailor-made residencies, choral/string collaborations and a breadth of interactive workshops. The Ensemble is an artist-in-residence with Celebrity Series of Boston's Arts for All since 2014.  

Alongside touring with the Guy Mendilow Ensemble, members are on the faculty of music schools like the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in India and tour/record with the likes of Bobby McFerrin, Yo Yo Ma, Snarky Puppy, the Assad Brothers, Christian McBride, the Video Game Orchestra, Amanda Palmer and Simon Shaheen. Formed in 2004, the Ensemble is based in Boston, MA and New York, NY, USA.


Additional Productions