Carolers of Christmas Past
We are an a capella quartet in authentic Victorian costume with an extensive repertoire of both traditional and holiday carols. Together, we have over 120 years combined singing experience.
Since 2001, our performances have included the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA, the North Carolina Governor’s Mansion, the White House in Washington, D.C, Primland Resort in Meadow of Dan, VA, and we are an annual fixture at the Dickens of a Christmas Festival in Roanoke, VA, at the Huntersville Christmas Festival in Huntersville, NC, and at the Reynolda Village Holiday Stroll in Winston-Salem, NC.
Locally, we have performed at many venues, including Graylyn Conference Center, PineBrook Country Club, Forsyth Country Club, Old Town Club, the Sawtooth Center, Reynolda Village, The Piedmont Club, the Henry F. Schaffner House, the Adam’s Mark Hotel, Dillard’s, Bermuda Run Country Club, Penn House, Carillion Assisted Living, River Landing, Arbor Acres, Ridge Care Assisted Living, and many private homes.
And now, we are proud to include that we have performed for the President of the United States and his family and friends at the National Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House Lawn.
Meet the Carolers
Quartet founder Nate Pendley is a retired Congressional Chief of Staff who holds degrees in English and law, but has been on stage non-stop since the second grade. His formal music education began in the fourth grade with a beat-up, second-hand saxophone purchased from a cash-strapped pregnant mother in rural Western Kentucky. Eight years later he was Band President with All-State Band honors on that same horn, and graduated high school as winner of the Instrumental Music Award for his jazz work on soprano saxophone in his school’s Stage Band. In college Nate sang and played his sax in a rock band, was a founding member of his collegiate pep band, President of the Drama Club, and a Disc Jockey for the college’s radio station. Since then he has written, directed, or performed in countless radio and TV commercials, church productions, and cabaret acts, one movie, and well over a hundred staged productions running the gamut from Gilbert & Sullivan to dinner theatre and murder mystery. Nate has played everything from Tigger to Count Dracula, with favorite leading roles being Lt. Commander Queeg, Prof. Harold Hill, Fagan, and Atticus Finch. Nate has been privileged to appear on stage with his wife and each of their five children; he and his oldest daughter, a professional dancer, were members of the Tony Award-winning 2013 cast and crew of North Carolina’s historic “The Lost Colony” professional theatre production in Manteo, NC. Locally, Nate is a long-time member and three-term President of the Triad Harmony Express men’s chorus of Winston-Salem, where he has written and directed eight of their annual productions. He has more than 350 public performances with his own championship barbershop quartet “Sound Counsel,” gold-medal Silver Arts State Champions. Sound Counsel’s performances have literally been from sea to shining sea, as Sound Counsel has performed from Jacksonville, NC to the prestigious Segerstrom Music Hall in Orange County, California, where the foursome was recognized as one of the top 25 seniors quartets in the world.
Soprano Jennifer Jordan received professional vocal instruction from high school through college, where she belonged to numerous select chorales, choirs, and ensembles, and participated with impressive success in a number of solo and choral competitions. Her solo and ensemble work continued after college through her membership (or on-demand activity) in numerous church and community choirs and chorales, including Piedmont Chamber Singers and Heart of the Triad Choral Society. Other artistic endeavors include half a decade as lead singer for the cover band “Uncommon Bond,” and considerable contributions to community theater in the Triad. Jennifer’s stage roles include Tuptim in “The King and I,” Nellie in “South Pacific,” Carrie in “Carousel”, and Maria in “The Sound of Music.” She presently serves as a worship leader for her church. Jennifer is also an accomplished seamstress: much of the costuming you will see on the carolers was crafted by her hand from authentic Victorian patterns.
Alto Lisa Ramsey is the quartet’s Music Director. Lisa studied voice, clarinet, and piano at the College of William and Mary, where she received degrees in Music and Education, played in symphonic and marching bands, and sang in both the Women’s Chorus and the prestigious Mixed Choir. She is nationally certified to teach K-12 band and chorus. Having played piano since the second grade, Lisa holds the National Piano Guild’s Advanced Diploma, has taught private lessons, and has played piano and clarinet in numerous pit orchestras. She has used her vocal and keyboard skills at several churches on the worship team, and as children’s choir director and VBS song leader. A member of Delta Omicron honorary music sorority, Lisa is a former member of the Symphonicron Opera Company and the “On Call” sextet in Virginia, who raised support for Youth for Christ staff. She has performed locally with the Heart of the Triad Choral Society and participated in the Sweet Adelines international competition as a member of Carolina Style women’s chorus. Lisa has arranged a number of the carolers’ songs, as well as pieces for local male and female a capella ensembles.
Dennis Ramsey (yes, he is Lisa’s husband) is an incredibly versatile male vocalist whose remarkable ear for harmony is perhaps even more impressive than his voice. He got a head start by singing harmony reflexively with his family in the tobacco fields of southside, Virginia, and teaching himself piano. In high school he picked up the French horn and All State honors in chorus, as well as selection to the Virginia Bicentennial Band and Chorus. Dennis took his first college degree in voice from William and Mary. While there he sang in the College Choir and the select ensemble known as “The Botetourt Singers,” with whom he toured Europe and sang for Prince Charles of England. Like his wife, he was also a member of the Symphonicron Opera Company and the “On Call” sextet. His theatrical experience runs from “Ruddigore” and ‘The Merry Widow” in college to “Oliver,” “Camelot,” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” here in the Triad. He has also performed locally with the Piedmont Chamber Singers and the Heart of the Triad Community Chorus. At least equal to these are the untold ways he has supported services at his and countless other churches throughout his entire life.