Thursday, November 17, 2011

CONCORA Performs “Christmas Through the Ages” … Across Connecticut!

The Christmas concert given by CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), Connecticut's premier professional choir, has become a beloved tradition for many music-lovers in the Greater Hartford area. Each year’s concert has a different theme; our 2010 program offered “Christmas in the Americas,” while the 2009 concert offered music to celebrate “Christmas in New England.”

This year’s program, “Christmas Through the Ages,” will delight you with an array of sacred and secular music from many cultures and eras, in an attractive potpourri of holiday favorites and new works.

And of course, as happens at every CONCORA Christmas concert, the audience – that’s you! – is invited to sing along with CONCORA in beautiful arrangements of Christmas carols. Oh, it’s beautiful!

This year, in addition to performing the program on December 11 at 4:00 p.m. at beautiful, welcoming Center Church in Hartford, CONCORA will take its Christmas program to new audiences at each end of Connecticut. We’ll perform at the charming Hampton Congregational Church, on Friday, December 16 at 8:00 p.m., and at Infinity Hall in Norfolk on Thursday, December 22 at 8:00 p.m.. Details are at the end of this post, just before the program listing.

I'm preparing the program notes for these concerts, a delightful task that allows me to explore the history, texts, and variety of the program. I'll share snippets of the notes here over the next few weeks.

You can read all my posts about CONCORA's "Christmas Through the Ages" here:

I'm also so lucky to be one of about two dozen CONCORA singers assigned to perform in this program. We have our first rehearsal tomorrow night, so I'll be busy today preparing my scores and getting all the music into my ear and voice, ready to begin making music.

I do hope that you can be part of these special holiday celebrations! More information may be had by contacting the CONCORA office at 860.293.0567 (online at or

“Christmas Through the Ages”

Sunday, December11, 2011, 4:00 p.m.
Center Church, 60 Gold Street, Hartford, Connecticut
Snow date: Monday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, December 16, 8:00 p.m.
Hampton Congregational Church, 163 Main Street, Hampton, Connecticut
Presented by the Hampton Recreation Commission
$10 admission, accompanied children free; reservations recommended

Thursday, December 22, 8:00 p.m.
Infinity Music Hall & Bistro, Route 44, Norfolk, Connecticut
Information, Tickets, and Directions: or 866-666-6306


A Choral Prologue from the 18th century
Johann Sebastian Bach “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light” (from Christmas Oratorio)

A Choral Procession
“Masters in This Hall” Traditional French carol, arr. Mack Wilberg

From the 19th century
“A Tender Shoot” Otto Goldschmidt (1829-1907)
“In Dulci Jubilo” Robert Lucas Pearsall (1795-1856)

From the 20th century
“Alleluia! A New Work Is Come on Hand” (1953) Peter Wishart
“Hymne à la Vierge” (1967) Pierre Villette
“Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming” (1995) Michael Praetorius, arr. Jan Sandström

From the 21st century
“There Is No Rose” (2007) Colin Britt
“Sleep, Little Baby, Sleep” (2010) Robert Cohen
“Glory to the Christ Child” (2005) Alan Bullard

Your Turn! – An Audience Sing-Along
“See Amid the Winter Snow” John Goss, arr. David Willcocks
“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” Traditional, arr. David Willcocks
“The Twelve Days of Christmas” Traditional, arr. John Rutter


Solo for Organ: a setting of the German chorale "Wie schoen leuchtet der Morgenstern" by American composer Mark Sedio, performed by Jason Charneski

Music from the Gallery
“Oculi Omnium” Hieronymous Praetorius (1560-1629)
“While by My Sheep” (echo carol) 17th century German carol, arr. Hugo
“In the Bleak Midwinter” (1911) Harold Darke
“Ave Maria” (2006)John Rutter
“Sir Christemas” (from Ave Rex) (1970)William Mathias

For Fun!
The Pie Carols (2010) Words and Music: Daniel Gawthrop
Pumpkin Pie • Cherry Pie • Apple Pie • Lemon Meringue Pie • Pecan Pie • Rhubarb

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