Choral Society Presents Annual Concert
The Moore County Choral Society is in final preparations for its 2008 holiday concert "'Tis The Season." The concert will be presented at 2 and 7 p .m. in Owens Auditorium at Sandhills Community College Sunday, Dec. 7.
The pinnacle of the concert, which will be directed by Anne Dorsey, will be a Christmas cantata written by American composer Z. Randall Stroope titled "Hodie."
"Hodie," which is Latin for "today," is a joyous oeuvre in three movements about the birth of Jesus Christ. The first movement is a sparkling rendition of "Christus Natus est, Hodie!" ("Christ is born today!"). The second movement opens with a chant, which slowly builds to a climactic choral announcement, "Salvator Apparuit" ("the Savior appears"). A choral fanfare commences the final movement, which progresses to a spirited rhythmic setting of "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" before the resounding theme from J.S. Bach's "Wachet Auf" ("Sleepers Wake") is introduced, culminating in a spectacular finale.
Scored for brass and percussion, "Hodie" will include accompaniment by percussionists Wayne Osborne and Kyle McLean, and a brass ensemble that includes Chris Dunn, Rob Hill, Sierra Bunnell, Kim Clark, Chris Shaw, Michael Callicutt, and Davis Clark. Michael Howe will accompany on organ. All of these musicians are local and have played with the choral society many times.
The Moore County Choral Society Ensemble will be featured on the program. The ensemble will offer two selections with a "bell" theme. "The Bells" is a setting of a poem by Edgar Allan Poe composed by Frank Ahrold. "Ding-a Ding-a Ding" by Greg Gilpin is a "sound experience" of voices as bells. Darlene Skinner accompanies the ensemble.
Another highlight of the program is a set of three early American carol arrangements by Mack Wilberg. These include "Awake, Arise and Hail the Morn" from the Sacred Harp (1870), "The Blessings of Mary," a traditional song of North Carolina, and "Sunny Bank," a traditional variant from Virginia. This set of carols is accompanied by brass and organ.
A perennial favorite of the Moore County Choral Society, "A Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas," will end the program. A tongue-in-cheek look at what is arguably the most annoying of all Christmas songs, this lighthearted work places each "day of Christmas" in a different period of music history. The verses run the gamut from chanting by monks in ancient times, to Vivaldi, to Wagner, and finally, John Phillip Sousa. Also accompanying the singers will be MariJo Brown on piano.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. They are available in Southern Pines at the Campbell House and The Country Bookshop; in Pinehurst at Kirk Tours; and in Seven Lakes at the Coffee Scene. They are also available at the door or by calling 315-8336.
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