Arts and Entertainment

Twelfth Night concert closes the holiday season in Langley

Tingstad and Rumbel will play at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts for their 25th anniversary Twlefth Night concert on Saturday. - Photo courtesy of Eric Tingstad
Tingstad and Rumbel will play at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts for their 25th anniversary Twlefth Night concert on Saturday.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Eric Tingstad

If not for a simple question from one musician to another — “Will you join me?” — such music may never have graced the world.

It was back in March 1985 that Eric Tingstad asked Nancy Rumbel to assist him in the recording of a holiday album. “The Gift” became a best-selling album and launched a partnership that has lasted

25 years.

The duo has since become Grammy Award winners and one of the most popular instrumental duos of their genre.

Even so, they have never forgotten their roots in Langley and every year bring back their gifts to close out the holiday season.

Tingstad and Rumbel return to Langley to celebrate their silver anniversary with the annual “Twelfth Night” concert at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8 and the duo will accompanied by Garey Shelton on bass.

“Tingstad and Rumbel having been delighting audiences across the country with their holiday shows for 25 years, which happened to have started in Langley,” said fan and friend Nancy Waddell.

“These are performances that people come back to year after year because they create a much-needed calm amid the storm of the holiday season,” she said.

Others enthusiastically agree, as visitors to the pair’s website can soon discover. One woman from Coupeville posted her excitement after last year’s performance: “Twelfth Night in Langley was another wonderful conclusion to the holiday season. This time around, ‘San Antonio Rose’ gave me the biggest smile and all the music on ‘Leap of Faith’ is excellent, by the way ... Many thanks for a great show! We’ll be there next year for number 25!”

Tingstad and Rumbel have produced 19 albums and have performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Tingstad is a composer who plays finger-style guitar, and Rumbel plays oboe, English horn and the double ocarina.

Their album “American Acoustic” was honored as Acoustic Instrumental Album of the Year in 1998 and “Acoustic Garden” received the Grammy for Best New Age Album at the 45th Grammy Awards in 2003.

The concert this Saturday will draw on their albums “Comfort & Joy,” with holiday arrangements featuring finger-style guitar, oboe, English horn and ocarina; and “Leap of Faith,” which includes a mix of original and covered tunes including Tex-Mex stylings, Caribbean rhythms and songs from the American songbook.

There are always a few surprises at a Tingstad and Rumbel concert, Waddell said, and lots of laughs from Tingstad’s stories.

Also, a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit the Langley United Methodist Church’s music program.

Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the door; call the WICA box office at 221-8268 or go to for more information.

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