Chorale grants three wishes

The Central Coast Chorale will kick off its holiday season with the first of three Wishes & Candles concerts this Saturday, Dec. 8, in Lincoln City.

Under the direction of Dr. Mary Lee Scoville, the 50-voice choir decided that this year’s holiday concerts should reflect all aspects of the Christmas season, from awe to quiet reflection to joyous lightheartedness. Instead of some of the larger works of serious classical composers that have featured at previous concerts, the chorale has chosen to focus on contemporary composers, folk tunes and fun.

From the crystal clarity of the exquisite chords of “Lux Aurumque” by modern American composer Eric Whitacre to the quiet meditation of Morten Lauridsen’s “Sure on This Shining Night,” concertgoers will experience the full magnificence of the season.

“The Wassail Song” by Vaughn Williams and “Gaudete,” arranged by Brian Kay of the King’s Singers, are both based on traditional English folk melodies and connect listeners to the history of the celebration. The program also features folk tunes from other countries, “Jabula Jesu” from Africa and “Sleigh Bells” from Ukraine.

The highlight of the concert brings all these themes together in one piece, “A Musicological Journey through the Twelve Days of Christmas,” which mashes up the words to a traditional carol with a whistle-stop tour through the history of music.

The chorale’s small women’s group, Women of Note, will, as usual, step out from the group to perform several songs, including a 17th-Century lullaby arranged by contemporary composer John Rutter. The group will also perform two madrigals to keep the mood festive for this concert; “Throw Open Your Shutters,” a high-energy original piece by Amy Feldman Bernon, and “Roundezvous,” a sparkling, festive (and intentionally misspelt) madrigal by Linda Spevacek-Avery, designed to be sung in the round. Women of Note will also perform “Fruitcake” by Hagemann and Leka, a novelty song in which the ingredients for fruitcake are added one by one.

Saturday’s concert will start at 2 pm at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NE Hwy. 101. The concert will be repeated on Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Yachats Commons, 441 Hwy. 101, and again on Sunday, Dec. 16, at the Newport Performing Arts Center, 777 W Olive Street, with accompaniment by a small orchestra. All three concerts begin at 2 pm and have a suggested donation of $10 for admission.

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