“A Carol Christmas” 2023



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2023 Grassy Hill Emerging Artists at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival

I’m excited and honored to announce that I’ve been selected for the 2023 Grassy Hill Emerging Artist Showcase at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Goshen, CT. I will appear on Friday, July 28 somewhere between noon and 3:00 pm. (I guess I’ll find out my time slot when I get there.) Festival attendance in past years has approached as much as 15,000 throughout the long weekend. Folk artists such as Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Shawn Colvin, and Janis Ian (to name just a few) have performed at this festival.

35th Annual Falcon Ridge Folk Festival

July 28, 29, 29, 2023

Goshen Fairgrounds – Goshen, CT

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“Strange Ballet”

This song, and subsequent video, express my thoughts and feelings after a derecho swept through the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the summer of 2020. As a resident of Cedar Rapids, I experienced firsthand the loss of 65% of our tree canopy. The state of Iowa lost over $7 million trees. Watching an incredibly large crane slowly and carefully lift a branch from my neighbor’s damaged roof, it appeared to be much like a delicate ballet.

The concept is to show the tree or branch as a metaphor for a ballerina. How lovely and delicate she is in all her changing beauty throughout the year. The crane is a metaphor for the male dancer. Together they perform a pas de deux. 

Link to video:


“Strange Ballet” Lyrics

What is this strange ballet

This pas de deux of branch and crane

This odd and awful 

Cirque de Soleil


His muscles, sinew, bones of steel

Lift the lifeless, sweet Giselle

From the shattered footlights 

Where she fell


As he lifts her gently through the air

Sequin floating everywhere

From her tattered tutu   

Once so fair


She was our prima ballerina

She danced for us with every breeze

In her arms the songbirds sang

The sweetest melodies

She cooled us with her soothing shade

She warmed our hearts with autumn blaze

Her silhouette at end of day

She was our poetry, our fairest lady

Our beauty and our grace


For years and years she slowly grew       

‘Til she became our favorite view

Taking center stage 

To rave reviews   


Every season a costume change

Pink chiffon in gentle rain

Green organza

Golden lace


Suddenly we’re left to mourn

As limb from limb she was torn

By this angry dance

This frightful storm


With all the company she lies in state

On every street they silent wait

For their final, solemn  

Resting place


Hear the tolling of the bell

For our beautiful Giselle

Say a final, fond 

Fare thee well


Come next spring we’ll set the stage

For curtain calls and rose bouquets

Never to forget

This strange ballet


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“A Carol Christmas” – Something New!

It’s hard to believe how fast the summer flew by. I had a fun-filled, full schedule with the Iowa Opera House Tour. These opera houses are truly an Iowa treasure and the folks I met couldn’t have been nicer.

I have one concert left for 2022 and that is “A Carol Christmas – celebrating the songs of the season”. Preparations are well underway with many decisions to make, songs to rehearse, and promotion to be done.

The date & time: Thursday, December 15 @  7:00pm

The place: CSPS Hall, 1103 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Tickets available at: https://cspshall.org/a-carol-christmas

Email:  info@cspshall.org

Phone: (319) 364-1580

Box Office Hours: Thursday – Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00PM  

Here’s the something new: Enjoy “A Carol Christmas” in style!

Announcing a limited number of VIP tables for four. Your VIP table will include seating up close and personal, a bottle of red or white wine, and an assortment of concert goodies to enjoy. VIP tables for four are available for $180. Call or go online now to reserve your exclusive table. Use the same phone, email, and link to tickets as listed above.

Note: If you have already purchased your tickets and would like to receive seating at a VIP table, simply call the CSPS box office at 319-364-1580 to upgrade.

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Three July Concerts to Celebrate

The Talent Factory: www.iowatalentfactory.com

What Cheer Opera House: www.whatcheeroperahouse.com

Coggon Opera House www.coggonoperahouse.org

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Iowa Opera House & Misc. Tour Dates – See Concerts for more details

SAT, MAY 21 @ 7:00 PM

SAT, JUN 11 @1:00 PM

SUN, JUN 12 @ 2:00 PM
SAT, JUL 9 @ 7:00 PM

SAT, JUL 16 @ 7:00 PM

SAT, JUL 23 @ 7:00 PM
SAT, AUG 6 @ 7:00 PM

SAT, AUG 13 @ 7:00 PM

FRI, AUG 19 @ 2:00 PM
FRI, AUG 26 @ 7:00 PM
SAT, SEP 10 @ 7:00 PM

SUN, SEP 11 @ 2:00 PM

SEP 19 - 21 

SAT, OCT 8 @ 7:00PM
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This Summer! Tribute Concerts to Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Judy Collins

This spring kicks off my “2022 Iowa Opera House Tour” featuring tribute concerts to Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Judy Collins – the three legendary women of the folk music scene. Like so many singer-songwriters, I honed my skills listening to their music and learning their songs. In college, their music drifted out of my dorm room and down the halls. I’m excited to pay tribute to these women who have been such an inspiration to me and to share with you the songs we all know and love!

For up-to-date concert information, click https://www.carolmontag.com/concerts/.

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“A Carol Christmas” Update

“A Carol Christmas” is fast approaching and I’m excited to see you in just a few short weeks at this year’s concert. Musicians Cameron Sullenberger, Matt Butler, Jeremiah de la Pena, and I have been rehearsing and planning a great show for you! We’ve compiled a nice variety of Christmas Carols and songs to help you celebrate the season and enjoy a couple of hours of stress-free entertainment. Before you head out the door in your splendid regalia be sure not to forget to bring the following:


  • Your smiling face.
  • A happy heart.
  • A face mask.

The Covid-19 protocol for CSPS Hall performances is as follows: Audience members are asked to kindly wear masks during the performance to help protect one another. (Except when eating or drinking.) We may not be able to see your smile, but will surely be able to see your smiling eyes!

There are three concerts to choose from:

  • Thu, Dec. 16 at 7:30 pm
  • Fri, Dec. 17 at 7:30 pm
  • Sat, Dec. 18 at 7:30 pm

Tickets are $27 in advance and $34 at the door. There are three ways to purchase tickets:

I will be doing several interviews at Cedar Rapids area radio stations in the coming weeks to help promote the Christmas concert. Below are the dates and times if you’d like to tune in.

Friday, Dec. 3 at 8:30 am:
 1450 AM with Eric Walker

Monday, Dec. 6 at 2:00 pm:
 – 88.3 FM with Dennis Green

Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 8:17 am:
 – 600 AM with Doug Wagner

I will also be performing select songs from “A Carol Christmas” at several Cedar Rapids, IA area churches.

Sunday, Nov. 28 at 10:00 am
The Unity Center
3791 Blairs Ferry Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Sunday, Dec. 5 at 9:45 am
Noelridge Christian Church

7111 C Ave NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Sunday, Dec. 12 at 8:00 & 10:30 am
King of Kings Lutheran Church

3275 N Center Point Rd
Cedar Rapids, IA 52411

CDs are available to purchase at: https://carolmontag.bandcamp.com/

Happy Thanksgiving!

I can’t close without wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re able to spend time with friends and family, eat lots of yummy food, count your blessings, and take a nice, long nap! Gobble, Gobble!


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“A Carol Christmas” is back!

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A Performing Artist’s Perspective on the Pandemic

Who Ate the Icing?

Photo by Deva Williamson

As we moved on from the initial announcement that we were now living with a worldwide pandemic, we began to realize that live performance was not coming back anytime soon. No more live theater, opera, ballet, festivals, shows, coffeehouse performances, and the list goes on across all art sectors, for the time being – however long that is. No one knows. We’ve all seen the announcements: “We regret to inform you that this year’s festival (concert series, shows, etc.) has been canceled.”

I have many friends in the performing arts community, and needless to say, they have all been hugely impacted. Not to mention the performing arts/music industry as a whole, with lighting technicians, stagehands, and road crews going without pay. As the year progressed, there was a heightened awareness of how vital live performance is to the continuation of creative activities by the artist. And how vital it is to audiences.

I recently asked fellow musicians how they were feeling about the sudden lack of performances. “Are you feeling more creative? Are you spending your extra time practicing, learning new music? Are you writing new material?” More often than not the answer was, “No, not really.” Although I am sure many artists find themselves creating more than ever during this lockdown period, those in the performing arts are experiencing a more acute sense of mild depression and feeling a bit lost and confused. They do not, for the most part, enjoy standing before their phone or other devices to perform to their living room wall. No doubt we need human interaction for energy and inspiration.

I think we’ve all come to realize, as never before, how truly enjoyable it is to go to a live event. To plan for it, to anticipate it, and to actually go about the activity of attending it. To see faces react just like you, to laugh or cry or sit in awe together. There’s some sort of marvelous connection or bond in that. To run into that person that you haven’t seen in ages. It’s all part of the good-for-you, natural medicine of life. Without live performance, it’s as if someone scraped all the icing off this beautiful cake and ate the best part for themselves. We work to provide for ourselves and our families, we buy groceries, cook meals, clean our homes and maintain them. That is the cake. Live events are the icing. It’s what makes the cake taste really good.

So who ate the icing? COVID ate the icing.

But, we haven’t forgotten the recipe. We still know how. For now, we’ll eat our cake without the icing.

Wait and see. Time will tell. Performing artists will find a way out of their slumpity funk. Start gearing up. More icing for everyone is on its way!

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