Ten best Pennsic 45 Moments

As some have said it is tradition to post a list of top ten moments from Pennsic, I am joining in as mine cover more than one arena… then adding notes for my own tradition of setting goals and objectives each year as Pennsic is my SCA new year so to speak…

10. Circles overall were very big this year, but a few of the smaller ones held those “15 seconds that make the 20+ hours of packing, driving, setting up, tearing down and cleaning worth it” in the words of master Raudrhi from Calontir- the nights of heat lightning were especially spectacular when they matched the performance 🙂

9. I started my war light of heart with the news that Sir Turold had safely made it through receiving the gift of life from Sir Gregory and both were on the mend and headed home.  This was the truest example of chivalry that I have ever seen and this gift of life was found through our own society.  After telling their story around the Mountain’s Keep fire I requested Emer nic Aiden and the lady whose name I can’t recall do their paired versions of the Laundress of the Dead as it was the most beautiful and moving piece I had heard this war and echoed self sacrifice for love.  Beautiful both for the piece, the story, and the partnership of inspiration that brought both pieces together.

8. I was greatly inspired by my camp mate and friend Dierdre O Bardon- I have had people say they can tell when I have put in work on my art and hearing her this year I know what they mean.  Dierdre has worked hard and it shows in how her voice and harp came together as one this year- magical to behold and a few of my magic moments this year were because of her.  When we support each other we all grow and this world of ours becomes so much more, I heard the result of both practice and confidence and it is uplifting.

7. My final day seemed to hold all the conversations that helped me focus and process my goals for this coming year.  Thank you to Mistress Dervila, Master Ruaidhri An Cu, Lady Dierdre O Bardon, and Neil for your encouragement and focused critique that helped me see the way forward.

6. Teaching the “Coaching and the Art of Constructive Criticism” class again this year, twice with great response and also a couple return students.  I was told separately by 4 different gentles that this was the best class they had taken at Pennsic. 🙂

5. I also had a long class follow up discussion with a previous Pennsic mayor about organization and management of volunteers running an event of this size.  This may lead to me investing more in this transport away from the everyday, but service comes in many forms both in and out of kingdom.

4. Teaching the “Are you wearing a tablecloth? Intro to Greek Clothing” class again- twice with full tents again this year but especially rewarding was have three students return from last year properly dressed and one tied to tell me how much they enjoyed the class and bringing their follow-up questions.  I feel my preaching the ease and beauty of Greek garb is paying off!

3. Bringing “As I Roved Out” to the Atlantian royal bardic circle in all it’s bridging of vocal break glory- it is a belt it or go home piece but this performance earned a barefoot token from Cedar the Barefoot who also did an amazing performance that night.

2. Performing, albeit quietly, the Changeling by Drake Oranwood for Drake himself and getting a “bucket list, check” comment from him- I think he was okay with my reinterpretation of the piece- it spoke to me and I sing it with love for and in memory of my mother in law who met challenges in motherhood I am not sure I would have had the strength to face.

1. The last night of Pennsic- small circle of fabulous bards around my home fire to share tales and songs- and singing the Compact between Horse and Man for the first time since I finally got the words and being given a cross by Alain who as head of equestrian activities for our kingdom appreciated this song. 🙂

Goal for this year- Continue “upping my game” but this year I want to focus on my level of performance because I know I can do so much better especially if I keep fusing this hobby with my interpreter brain.  The puzzle has been how to make that measurable…

Objectives-I want accountability and feedback so feel free to challenge me to any new piece this year and let me know how to make it better!

Memorize one new song a month and prepare it for best level performance*.

Work up one story per month and prepare it for best level performance*.

*Practice best level performance- breath control, planned and practiced projection, pitch, emphasis, emotion, dynamic range- until it becomes ingrained.

Complete one piece of garb each month.

Complete one non-garb sewing or other craft project each month.

Whew, think that’s all for now, thinking cool thoughts and jumping back into the fray!


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