2020 Autumn Benefit
Purcell, Pepys & the Plague
Sunday, December 6 at 4 p.m.
2020 Autumn Benefit
Purcell, Pepys & the Plague
Sunday, December 6 at 4 p.m.

Please join us on Zoom* 
for a virtual fundraiser featuring music
from 17th-century England
by Henry Purcell, John Jenkins & company
and dramatic readings from the diaries
of Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn, and others,
delivered by acclaimed actors 
Roberta Maxwell and Paul Hecht.

Tickets start at $50.

* New to Zoom? Have no fear!
We will provide technical assistance.

Scroll down to purchase benefit tickets or to make a donation.
Dear Friends,
You are cordially invited to our virtual Autumn Benefit on Sunday, December 6 at 4 p.m. After introductory remarks and the musical program, there will be a social gathering. You'll have a chance to connect with the rest of the Dryden family -- our lovely audience members, musicians, and board members -- just as you would at one of our in-person benefits. And, as you would at a regular benefit, feel free to join us with a glass of wine in hand.

The Dryden Ensemble has been hit hard by COVID-19 since we had to cancel two out of three St. John Passion performances celebrating our 25th anniversary -- our biggest production ever. Fortunately, with the funds on hand, we were able to pay full fees to the musicians. This was greatly appreciated, since they were facing many months without work. 

During these difficult and uncertain times, we have lowered the base price of a benefit ticket. In addition to purchasing a ticket, please consider a donation to our musicians' support fund so that we can continue to bring you music in person when we are able to gather again.

Warm regards,
Jane McKinley,
Artistic Director

The Players

Roberta Maxwell & Paul Hecht, actors
Kristen Dubenion Smith, mezzo-soprano
Vita Wallace, violin
Lisa Terry, viola da gamba
Daniel Swenberg, lute & theorbo
Webb Wiggins, harpsichord
Script by Jane McKinley

The Plague

In late 1664 the bubonic plague found its way to London from the Continent, in spite of measures begun in late 1663 to prevent its spread. Ships sailing from Amsterdam and Hamburg were intercepted before entering the Thames estuary and initially required to isolate for a trentine -- or thirty days. Later that period was increased to forty days -- a quarantine. 

By the summer of 1665, the plague was raging throughout London. By the time it abated in February of 1666, London had lost a quarter of its population (around 100,000 people) in just eighteen months. Those who had the means fled the city, including King Charles II and his court. Businesses were shuttered. The poor suffered most. Thanks to diarists like Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, we have eyewitness accounts of those terrifying months. The parallels with our own situation are striking.

Please respond by noon on Saturday, December 5th 
so that we can send you the necessary link to Zoom.

Order Benefit Tickets
Guests may attend as:
Friends ($50 per person)
 Donors ($100 per person)
Patrons ($250 per person), 
Benefactors ($500 per person)
Angels ($1,000 per person)
Just choose your level and click on "Add to Cart."
(You can change the number of tickets in the shopping cart.)
Autumn Benefit 2020 - December 6
To order benefit tickets by mail, please send a check payable to:
The Dryden Ensemble, P. O. Box 1288, Princeton, NJ 08542
Make sure you include your name, address, the number of tickets, and your phone number.
Ticket orders by mail need to be received by Wednesday, December 2nd.
Please consider making a donation to our Musicians' Support Fund.
Carter van Dyke, President
 Rich Dufort, Treasurer
Jane McKinley, Artistic Director
Peggy de Wolf
Charles Magee
Judith McCartin Scheide
Jack Tomlinson
The Dryden Ensemble
The Dryden Ensemble, a professional, non-profit chamber music ensemble,
specializes in music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
 played on period instruments in the stylistic conventions of the time.