“The Magical Season” was the theme for the Peninsula Singers’ Fall Concert November 18 and 19 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Sequim. The board reports that our experiment of having both Saturday’s and Sunday’s concerts as matinees was very successful, resulting in a larger turnout than usual. Featured soloists in the concert were Stacey Fradkin, soprano; Vicky Helwick, alto; Trent Pomeroy and Robin Reed, tenors; and John Silver and Joel Yelland, baritones.
Conductor Jerome Wright selected a traditional Advent program for the first half of the concert. Dietrich Buxtehude’s Advent cantata Ihr lieben Christen, freuet euch nun (Beloved Christians, Now Rejoice), featuring guest organist Sandy Rawson, was sung in the traditional German. Next was Magnificat (The Song of Mary) by Pergolesi, accompanied by a capable chamber orchestra with Mary Moon, Joy Klimecky, Deborah Morgan-Ellis and Wendy Clark-Getzin, violins; Phil Morgan-Ellis and Elizabeth Helwick, violas; Gay Knutson and John Melcher, cellos; and our superb accompanist Linda Dowdell on harpsichord. Missa Brevis de Sancti Joannis de Deo (Small Organ Mass) by Joseph Haydn accompanied by organ and strings completed the first half. The exquisite soprano solo by Stacey Fradkin was particularly moving.
After a social interval with delicious desserts, the Singers began the second half of the concert with Linda Dowdell’s setting of Tennyson’s dramatic poem Ring Out, Wild Bells! Then came several pairs of compositions: O Magnum Mysterium and Sure On This Shining Night by Morten Lauridsen; Donkey Carol and Candlelight Carol, with orchestration by British composer John Rutter; and a pairing of pieces by Frederick Silver: The Twelve Days After Christmas and the moving Chanukah tribute A Feast of Lights. The concert concluded with a rousing setting of Hark! The Herald Angels! by Mannheim Steamroller founding member—and friend of Dr. Wright—Jackson Berkey. The audience sang the last verse with the choir, and a good time was had by all. We were delighted to receive standing ovations at both concerts, and we thank our audiences for their continuing support!