Carroll Choirs present 'A Contemporary Christmas' on Dec. 11

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Department of Fine Arts at Carroll College will present a free concert of choral music for Christmas on Sunday, December 11, 2016.  The concert will be at 4:00 P.M. in the Cathedral of St. Helena, and is given by the Carroll College Choir, Chamber Choir, and Women’s Choir.

The theme of the concert is "A Contemporary Christmas," as most of the choral selections on the program were composed very recently.  The concert will feature a few traditional choral works by composers Gregorio Allegri and Thomas Morley, but most of the selections are more modern. For example, “Quem Pastores Laudavere” is a 2016 arrangement by Susan LaBarr of a 14th Century carol which tells of the shepherds singing praises at Christ’s birth.  Swiss composer Ivo Antognini’s "Beati Omnes" is a gorgeous setting of "Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways." North Dakota native Jocelyn Hagen wrote her setting of Psalm 121 in 2005, and its glorious moments are spectacular.

The Chamber Choir will present a setting of the ancient hymn Ave Maris Stella, which was written in 2009 by Swedish composer Fredrik Sixten.  The work alternates between presentations of celestial space and more folk-like or nautical dance music. (Hail, star of the sea)  Rounding out the Chamber Choir’s section of the program will be Kirby Shaw’s jazz-influenced rendition of "Carol of the Bells."

The Carroll College Women’s choir will sing two Marian selections on the concert program. The first is a setting of the Ave Maria, written by Venezuelan composer Cesar Carrillo in 1999. The piece begins in a mystical and reverent mood, but turns into a song of praise after the mention of Jesus.  The other selection is a Salve Regina setting by Spanish composer Josu Elberdin. This work features delightful melodic writing and eight-part harmonies in some sections.

Admission to the concert is free, but a freewill offering will be taken to benefit the music fund at the Cathedral of St. Helena. The Carroll College Choirs are directed by Dr. Robert Psurny Jr., Professor of Music at Carroll.  For more information on this concert, contact Dr. Psurny at 447-4807.