Judy Collins Christmas

December 21, 2000

Judy Collins Christmas

By KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

see also: About First Christian Choir

Judy Collins Christmas, featuring choral accompaniment by choir members from First Christian Church in Hagerstown under the direction of Eric Bowman

Saturday, Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m.

The Maryland Theatre

21 S. Potomac St.


Tickets cost $34.50 or $41.50, plus $3 service charge.

For information, call 301-790-2000.

The eyes are blue. The voice is clear.

Judy Collins is coming to The Maryland Theatre Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7:30 p.m. The concert is the last of a 22-city "All on a Wintry Night" tour, named for her album, a holiday collection released by Wildflower Records, Collins' own label.


She took her company's name from her 1967 recording, "Wildflowers," the album which included the first songs she wrote, and the hit, "Both Sides Now," by Joni Mitchell.

Collins has written many of the songs on her more than 30 albums, which have garnered numerous top 10 hits, Grammy nominations, and gold and platinum status. For Collins, the song-writing process sometimes starts with a lyric, but usually, she sits down at the piano and starts to "noodle."

Collins studied piano as a child, and by the time she was 10, orchestral conductor Antonia Brica was her mentor. Years later, Collins produced and co-directed "Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman," an Academy-Award nominated documentary.

At 13, Collins made her public debut with Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos.

"I studied madly to be a pianist. High hopes, but wrong tree," Collins said.

"I'm sure glad folk music came along when it did," she said.

"I can always remember myself singing," Collins wrote in her 1998 memoir, "Singing Lessons."

Collins started playing guitar at 16, and soon was playing and singing in Colorado folk clubs. She headed East, playing in Chicago and New York's Greenwich Village. She signed a recording contract in 1961.

How does Judy Collins choose the songs she sings?

"They kind of choose me, I think. I think that's the secret," she said. Her recordings include songs by an eclectic array of composers - from Kurt Weill and Bertholt Brecht, to Bob Dylan and the Beatles.

Collins said she admires many songwriters whose work she doesn't sing.

She likes the work of Jimmy Webb and said Leonard Cohen probably is her favorite. "His songs suit me so well," she said.

She is seriously considering recording an album of songs by Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who penned her hit, "Send in the Clowns."

"Even the songs I write choose me," Collins believes. In 1995, she became a UNICEF Special Representative for the Arts. She wrote "Song for Sarajevo" in response to the war in Yugoslavia. She wrote "Beyond the Sky," a song commissioned through the NASA Art Program to honor Eileen Collins, the first American woman commander of a Space Shuttle. The song is included on "Judy Collins Live at Wolf Trap," a recording celebrating her 20th performance at the Vienna, Va., center for the performing arts.

A longtime supporter of public broadcasting, Collins began the recording in 1999 as a radio program, a fund-raiser for Public Radio International. Collins videorecorded her 21st consecutive summer concert at Wolf Trap for broadcast on public television. Collins said she is thrilled with the response to her Wolf Trap program, which was broadcast on public television stations. "It's very exciting."

The program will air again in March.

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