From our ever ebullient conductor, Jerry:
“The Fall Concert theme is “Carol and Carol”. Our friend, the amazing Carol Swarbrick, will headline the second half – but I am getting ahead of myself.
The first half is a luscious grouping of superb traditional pieces. The Sopranos and Altos will sing the SSA version of Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols”. The SSA version is Britten’s original setting. To balance that, our Tenors and Basses will sing two superb Jackson Berkey carol settings: “Still Still Night” that uses the themes of “Silent Night” and “Still, Still, Still”; and “Il est ne le divin enfant” (He is born the Divine Child). Don’t worry – only the theme is repeated in French, while the rest of the song is in English. Then the full choir will sing “Ave Maria” by Franz Biebl, John Rutter’s wonderful setting of “Personent Hodie” and a brand new full choir rendering of a successful piece I originally wrote and recorded with Seattle Girls’ Choir called “Suscepit Israel” – which has a Middle Eastern quality, with drum, tambourine and finger cymbals. It is exciting!
The second half will feature more popular holiday songs, with Carol Swarbrick soloing and leading the festivities. The choir will sing Mel Torme’s “Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting), “Jessyse’s Carol” (This Christmastide) written for the great mezzo-soprano, Jessys Norman, by Don Frazer conductor of the American Boychoir at the time. The song was written spontaneously at a party, and Jessye recorded the song with the American Boychoir. We will also sing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “We Need A Little Christmas” from “Mame” – with Carol as Mame. Great fun!”