top of page
resized birchwood_icons.png

Jan Steen’s Peasants Merrymaking Outside an Inn (previously titled Fair at Warmond). 

Image courtesy of The Leiden Collection, New York.

Playford and Hilton's musical collections in Conversation: Glimpses of Times Past, Recovering Roots for New Beginnings

This album weaves together arrangements of tunes from two seminal compilations of music: John Playford's Dancing Master and John Hilton's Catch That Catch Can, demonstrating how these melodies live and move, if not in the same room, at least in the same house. While many know that Playford published The Dancing Master in 1651, perhaps it is not as common knowledge that Playford also re-published Catch That Catch Can one year after John Hilton first published his collection.


In bringing these dances and rounds into conversation with one another, we might just catch (no pun intended) further insight into these remarkable music collections themselves.


A brief note about the hurdy gurdy: while I have previously arranged some of John Hilton's tunes for hurdy gurdy, I have not yet written any hurdy gurdy arrangements of Playford melodies. This album not only provides listeners with ample opportunity to enjoy the sounds of the hurdy gurdy: it also offers what I hope to be a compelling case for including the instrument as a welcome and more established member of Playford's instrument ensemble.

About the title of the album:

As we continue finding our footing in the aftermath of COVID, we are all starting afresh in some ways. A fresh start, however, does not mean we leave the past behind us: we can still learn from it, and it can still offer us comfort, wisdom, and beauty as we forge forward.

Some of you may have caught the reference to Thomas Hardy's Under the Greenwood Tree in the title of this album. While Playford and Hilton lived many years before, perhaps Hardy heard snatches of these melodies as he mulled over his next novel, perhaps he even found them inspiring: much of his writing vividly evokes the places, colors, and beauty of times past. Music especially has a unique way of recalling memories, honouring traditions.


In some mythologies, the birch tree is symbolic of growth and new beginnings. This project invites listeners to remember that while our adventures may be new, we are not without a past, a history, and roots. We can embrace the new place in which we are planted, just like the birch tree, while also remembering and celebrating the forest from which we came.


Simon's Beard


 16th and 17th Century Rounds from England

1. Come, Sing Away Boys

2. Come Follow, Follow Me

3. Come Heard Me

4. Turn Amarillis

5. A Northern Catch

6. Come Follow, Follow

7. Under This Stone

8. Under This Stone, instrumental

9. Hey Ho to the Greenwood

10. Love, Sweet Love, instrumental

11. Let Simon's Beard Alone

12. When Winter's Approach

13. Now Peace be with Old Simeon

14. Here Pleasures Are Few

15. Jenkin the Jester


Arranged and performed by Mary Vanhoozer on violin, hurdy gurdy, voice, and percussion

Dances de Noël

Dances de Noel.jpg

 Christmas Carols from Europe

1. Angelus ad Virginem

2. I Saw Three Ships

3. Il est Né le Divin Enfant

4. Patapan

5. Noël Nouvelet

6. The Holly and the Ivy

7. The Truth Sent from Above

8. Angels We have Heard on High


Arranged and performed by Mary Vanhoozer on violin, hurdy gurdy, hammered dulcimer, cello, and percussion

Good Tidings to You

Good Tidings_FINAL cover.jpg

Christmas Classics with a Celtic Twist

1. O Come, O Come Emmanuel

2. Christmastide

3. The First Noel

4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

5. In the Bleak Midwinter

6. O Christmas Tree

7. What Child is This

8. We Three Kings

9. Silent Night

10. Joy to the World


Arranged and performed by Mary Vanhoozer on piano and violin 

Visible and Invisible 

Visible and Invisible_album cover 1.jpeg


Original music by Mary Vanhoozer


1. Highbury Social

2. All Things New

3. Golden Haze

4. Snow on Snow

5. Loch Maree

6. The Pheasant and the Fox

7. Ode to Autumn

8. Wedding Scottish

9. Squirrel's Whirl

10. Strawberry Picking

11. Greyfriars Bobby

12. King's Festal Hall

13. Visible and Invisible

14. Zephyrus

Performed and arranged by Mary Vanhoozer on violin, hurdy gurdy, hammered dulcimer, cello, and percussion

Jubilate_Mary Vanhoozer_cover (1).jpg

Original Music and Lyrics by

Mary Vanhoozer


1. Joyful Noise

2. The Seahorse

3. Mama in the Mornin'

4. A Missing Piece

5. The Troubadours

6. Glowing Embers

7. The Whiskered Owl

8. Turkish Delight

9. Brisk Morning

10. Harvest Moon

11. The Sandman's Sailboat

12. Jubilate Deo

13. Goodnight Moon

14. Water Nymphs/The Merry Wood

Performed and arranged by Mary Vanhoozer on violin, hurdy gurdy, hammered dulcimer, cello, piano, vocals and percussion

Bard and Ceilidh

3_renamed Bard and Ceilidh Cover.jpg

Original Music by Mary Vanhoozer

Lyrics based on classic poetry



1. Riverside Ceilidh

2. Fairie Caper

3. Excelsior *^

4. Mother of Mine ^

5. Lullabying the Sun

6. Whose Woods are These

7. Little One, Sleep ^

8. Daisy Chains

* Laudon Schuett, lute

^ Robert Nicholson, cello

From Leipzig to LA 

sleeve_cover_082118 (1).jpg

  Pianist Mary Vanhoozer plays the complete keyboard partitas of J. S. Bach and Partita Picosa by Josh Rodriguez


CD 1

Partita No. 1, BWV 825 

Partita Picosa 

Partita No. 2, BWV 826


CD 2

Partita No. 3, BWV 827

Partita No. 4, BWV 828


CD 3

Partita No. 5, BWV 829

Partita No. 6, BWV 830

Songs of Day and Night 


Original Music by

Mary Vanhoozer



1. Uphill*

2. Bed in Summer*

3. I Shall not Live in Vain*

4. I Shot an Arrow*

5. Dona Nobis Pacem

6. Who has Seen the Wind?*

7. Shepherd's Song

8. The Tide Rises*

9. When Icicles Hang by the Wall*

10. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod*

*Lyrics based on classic poetry

bottom of page