In a rare program for Christmas, the Island Consort Chamber Choir, directed by Bruce Farquharson, presents A Ceremony of Carols, a glorious melange of Christmas choral music from Baroque to contemporary.
A Ceremony of Carols will be performed at St. Mark’s Anglican Church (138 Hoylake Rd., Qualicum Beach) on Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.
Admission is $20 for adults, $5 for students; and under children aged 12 are free. Tickets are at the door.
The program begins with the call to celebrate; Sweelinck’s joyful Hodie, Christus Natus Est followed by Hassler’s Dixit Maria.
This leads to John Rutter’s arrangement of the very old Irish Wexford Carol, that dates back to the 12th century, and then All My Heart Again Rejoices, a 2012 composition in eight parts by American composer, Douglas Helvering. Next, is Jauchzet Frohlocket from J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio followed by Tomas Luis Victoria’s venerable O Magnum Mysterium.
The first half ends with three familiar pieces: The First Noel, Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming and Candlelight Carol.
Organ and piano accompanists are John and Margaret Nelson.
Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols is a work in 11 movements based on early music (plainchant) and set to a collection of poems in middle English. Written in 1942, the work is accompanied by a single harp which will be played by Victoria harpist Josh Layne.
The concert ends with a traditional English carol, Past 3 A Clock and two popular Christmas songs; Let it Snow and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
For more information on Island Consort Chamber Choir and the performance, visit www.islandconsort.ca.
— Submitted by Bruce Farquharson