A note from OLS Board Member and Yulegrass fiddler Lauren Rioux:


Hello Friends!

One of my favorite December traditions has been producing Yulegrass, a gathering of stellar musicians performing songs from the season. The shows began at One Longfellow Square six years ago, and the OLS audiences have embraced me with more love and appreciation than I could imagine.


While Yulegrass is hibernating this winter, I still wanted to send good tidings by giving you the gift of music to keep your hearts warm and cozy. I’ve recorded a track you can download from this page, for the month of December. It’s free and it’s for you! I hope you’ll consider donating the dollars you might have spent on the track to our fantastic venue instead. This way we can gather together as we have in the past and support what we all value: the love, music, and community that bind us together and lift us up. Simply fill out the donation form below—for any amount—and you’ll be taken to a page with the download link.

Happy Winter. I look forward to seeing you some time soon at One Longfellow Square.

About the music:

I recorded two of my personal faves that have been performed at Yulegrass in years past. The first is Linda Hirschhorn’s song adaption of the poem “Defiance” by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish called “I Have a Million Nightingales”, performed in a 4 part round with Claire Scott, Sam Whiting and Sten Isak. Then we bust into an old time fiddle tune I learned from the playing of Tommy Jarrell: “Breaking Up Christmas”. Over a half century ago, people in the mountains of Southwest Virginia and Northwest North Carolina celebrated Christmas with house parties that included old-time string music, song and dance over a period of two weeks during the holiday season. “Breakin’ Up Christmas” is both a name for the 12 days of partying, dancing and music-making after the holiday, and a song sung during that period. In our version you’ll hear Amanda Kowalski on the bass and adding in some flat-footing, while Sten calls out the lyrics.

Although you can download the track for free, I strongly encourage you to make a tax deductible donation to OLS of any amount before you hit the download button. It’s support from folks like you that allow the venue to bring in quality acts at affordable rates and give up and coming artists a place to get their footing.