Children’s Choir concert on tap this weekend
The sound of 150 children’s voices and pipe organ will be heard 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, when the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir presents its annual Christmas concerts at Eastern Mennonite University’s Lehman Auditorium in Harrisonburg. The Preparatory Choir, ages 8-11, the Treble Choir, ages 10-15, and the Concert Choir, ages 11-17, will present holiday and winter selections of many styles and periods.
John W. Fast, long-time friend and organist of the SVCC, will be featured instrumentalist this year, presenting several works for solo pipe organ. Mr. Fast was the original accompanist for the SVCC for eight years and has continued to play the organ for holiday concerts. He and director Julia White will dialog during the concert about the pipe organ as an educational component of the concerts. Fast will also accompany the combined choirs.
The Preparatory Choir, directed by Joy Anderson, will present Purcell’s “Come Celebrate This Happy, Holy Day” with Carol Warner, flutist, and “Christmas Comin'” by local arranger and composer, Celah Pence. The combined Treble and Preparatory Choirs, under the direction of Julia White. will present “Hine Ma Tov” and “The Angel Gabriel,” featuring child soloists Leah Wenger/Alton Hipps and Lizzie Doughty.
The Treble Choir alone will present the jazz number, “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and a Spanish carol, “Arruru.” Andrew Richardson, professional percussionist, will accompany the choirs. The two younger choirs appeared by invitation at the Virginia Music Educators Association state conference Nov. 21 at the Homestead.
The Concert Choir will open their set with the well-loved processional, “Cuncti Simus,” a medieval Spanish Christmas with soloists Ben Elliot and Natalie Doughty, violinist Rebecca Bauer, flutist Carol Warner and Andrew Richardson, percussion.
New carols to the SVCC include John Rutter’s “Carol of the Children,” “Come Colours Rise,” a song dedicated to Desmond Tutu, and “Sunny Bank,” with the text of “I Saw Three Ships.” Favorite SVCC selections will include Bach’s “Wir eilen, mit schwachen doch emsigen Schritten,” “Carol of The Bells” and “On this Day, Earth Shall Ring” with combined choirs and pipe organ.
Children ages 2-8 will be invited to ring bells at the front of the auditorium during the sing-along section of the concert featuring familiar Christmas songs. Jingle bells are provided, and parents are welcome to accompany small children to the front of the auditorium.
Tickets for the concerts are reserved and can be obtained by calling the EMU Box Office at 540-432-4582 between 10:30-2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Online ticket sales: www.emu.edu/boxoffice.
The SVCC’s Concert Choir will present additional Christmas concerts on Saturday, Dec. 13 in Luray, Va. Tickets can be obtained at www.performingartsluray.org.
For more information about the SVCC, contact www.emu.edu/svcc or Judy Leaman, choir manager, at 540-432-4650.
– Story by Jim Bishop