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Madrigal Group Performs in 18th-Century Mansion
The Second Candlelight & Carols Tour
Photography by Hoag Levins

PHOTO PAGES: .. One | Two | Three | Four | Five

CAMDEN, N.J. (Dec. 10, 2001) -- Yesterday's second and final "Candlelight & Carols" tour of the Camden County Historical Society's Pomona Hall featured the Gateway Madrigal Singers from Gateway Regional High School, Woodbury Heights. In medieval costume, they performed Old English Christmas carols in various parts of the 18th-century mansion. Listen to them. [Real Player]:
Wassail | God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen | Christmas Song

Costumed docents greeted visitors in all rooms. Above, left, Sandy Levins and junior docent Tammie Lacefield set out gingerbread and cranberry bread in the kitchen. Above, right, junior docent Chris Lacefield plays the part of a scribe and assistant to Marmaduke Cooper, who owned and managed the estate in the late 1700s.

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Traditional decorations throughout the mansion were freshened and enhanced for the second tour. Here in the parlor (above, left), a cone of fresh cranberries was added as a centerpiece on the tea table. Nearby, a junior docent used a needle and thread to string more fresh cranberries for festive garlands.
Open-hearth cook Hazel Werner (above, left) leads a tour through the large 18th-century kitchen, explaining and demonstrating its utensils and techniques. Nearby, guests were treated to traditional holiday cookies, cakes and warm mulled cider (above, right).

As during the first tour, the Pomona Hall dining room table (above, left) was decorated and set as it might have been during a holiday celebration more than two centuries ago. Lit candles on mantles (above, right) and tables provided light for the afternoon and early evening event, which Camden County Historical Society Executive Director John Seitter called "the most successful we've ever had. This was truly a great celebration of history as well as the holiday. It obviously hit a nerve among people who view history as a way to reach back and touch those elements of our culture and heritage that really matter -- perhaps today more than ever. There's now no question we'll be doing this again next Christmas."
The Gateway Madrigral Singers were (left to right in the first photo on this page) Paul Summers, 15, Gretchen Wesh, 16, Lynn Frielink, Jessica Champion, 15, Austin Vallies, 17, and Dana Petrini, 17. The group is directed by Gateway Regional High School faculty member Helen Stanley.

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