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Kindred Spirits to honor Ruth Chaikin

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Kindred Spirits would like to celebrate the life of their friend Ruth Chaikin at this year's Winter Concert at Swallow Hill. The concert is called "Winter Wassail", and it is Dec. 7, at 8 pm. Ruth's family and friends are invited to join in this end of 2013 salute to her.

Kindred Spirits plays spirited and heartfelt music primarily of Renaissance and Celtic origin. Instrumentation includes silver flute, piccolo, Irish drum, violin/viola, guitar, Celtic harp and cello. Members include Marianne Gibbs, Vicki Jordan, Ana Mettler, and Mark Brissenden.

One of the most beloved traditions of the winter season is the wassail – a warm spiced drink given to carolers and other visitors. The word originated from the Anglo-Saxon “wes hal”, which means “be well”. this will be celebrated with a musical toast in the Tuft Theater at Swallow Hill on Dec. 7 with traditional and Renaissance tunes. Kindred Spirits's special guests will include Michael Stanwood on digeridoo and autoharp, and Ravay Snow on hammered dulcimer. Tickets available here.

Ruth Chaikin passed away April 29 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She had been diagnosed last summer and had surgery in October. Her health had been improving to the point where she could join in the music once again, until she slipped away in April.

Ruth was very active in the session scene in the Denver area, playing at many of the venues where musicians gather to play Irish traditional music. Her happy smile and ready wit often added to the festivities. She also played her mandolin with Orion's Bow, a Denver area performance group who specialized in Renaissance music, Irish tunes and more.

Ruth had many friends in the Celtic community and could often be found wherever the music was playing. She was active in the Irish Fellowship Club of Denver and rode on their St. Patrick's Day parade float.

According to one friend, Ruth loved animals, always petted and talked to dogs she met on the street and had a special understanding with cats. She had so much enthusiasm for medieval history, for spiritual questions, for nature and for art. She had studied Religious Studies at University of Denver and was a 1980 graduate of Heritage High School in Littleton.

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