Artists in Action: Choral concert includes songs both new and old
by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star
Dec 02, 2012 | 3354 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Toni Christopher, chairman of the decoration committee, and Donna Bankson are at work for Knox. Photo: Submitted photo
Toni Christopher, chairman of the decoration committee, and Donna Bankson are at work for Knox. Photo: Submitted photo
Today’s Winter Concert by the Calhoun County Civic Chorale will be at the Church of St. Michael and All Angels at 3 p.m. It should be a treat as welcome as opening Christmas card greetings from new and old friends while enjoying a cup of wassail.

In “A Celebration of Carols” by the 35-member choir, you’ll recognize some familiar songs and become acquainted with a few new ones. All will lead thoughts toward good will and merry holidays.

The performance is directed by Patricia Corbin. The accompanist is Meg Griffin.

Familiar favorites include arrangements of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” and “The Little Drummer Boy.” More contemporary pieces are “Blow, Blow, Thy Winter Wind” by John Rutter (the text is a poem by Shakespeare); John Gardner’s “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day;” and the afternoon’s major work, “A Ceremony of Carols” by Benjamin Britten. This English composer tells the news of Christmas through solos, chorus songs and harp in a wide variety of sounds.

The guest harpist for the concert is Katherine Newman, who is principal harpist with the Huntsville Symphony. Besides performing in the Southeast as a recitalist and orchestral harpist, she also plays regularly with the Alabama Symphony and frequently performs for orchestras in the Washington, D.C., area.

Sue Ann Reinische, who plays a smaller harp, will play two duets by Britten with Newman.

This concert spotlights leading English composers. Lord Britten (1913-1976) is famous for his combination of words and music in songs. He penned “A Ceremony of Carols” on a long sea voyage from America to England.

Those who sing in church choirs are likely familiar with Rutter, a living composer, whose choral music is frequently performed and widely recorded. One of his notable works is the anthem “This is the Day,” written for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April 2011.

John Gardner’s “Dancing Day” is an adaptation of a traditional carol heard at Christmas Eve services in Kings College near London.

Everyone is invited. A food drive will be held at the concert by the new JSU Student Chapter of the American Choral Directors’ Association to benefit the food ministry of St. Michael’s. Audience members are asked to bring canned foods, peanut butter, cereal, dry pasta or other non-perishable food items. Donation baskets will be in the lobby.

Knox mailbox decorations

First impressions count in Christmas home decorations, too. To achieve a festive, impressive front entrance to announce the holidays, add an outdoor arrangement to your mailbox or lamppost, designed by Knox Concert volunteers. Table and mantel arrangements are also available. The arrangements use fresh greenery, berries, pinecones, magnolia leaves and large red velvet bows. For more information call Toni Christopher at 256-835-9782.

CAST Kidz perform

Entertainment is on the The CAST Kidz’ agenda, and they have accepted some holiday engagements. They will be performing at NHC Place on Friday, Ladiga Manor on Dec. 14 and Autumn Cove on Dec. 21. The theme of their Anniston Christmas parade float on Dec. 10 is “A Storybook Christmas.”
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