Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas with Pro Coro & Da Camera

Greetings readers & happy holidays,

I hope you've all been enjoying the holiday season! As you probably have noticed, it's been a while since I've posted. It's not due to a lack of activity, moreso, I've just been busy with life commitments. In between finishing up my clinical practicum, incorporating thesis edits, caroling gigs, and Christmas concerts--- I haven't had much time to dedicate to blogging. I will attempt to remedy that this holiday break by composing posts from topics I have backlogged on my iPhone reminders.

I will start by detailing the Pro Coro concert which was presented jointly with the Da Camera Singers this afternoon. The Royal Canadian Artillery Band, organist, Jeremy Spurgeon, and cellist, Josephine Van Lier joined the choirs for this performance as well. Da Camera is a fantastic chamber group led by, Dr. John Brough, who also happens to be a tenor in Pro Coro as well. The concert was a mix of individual and mass choir performances with Pro Coro and Da Camera. Pro Coro performed Schütz's "Weinachtshistorie," which featured some solo work by members in the choir. In the first half of the concert the choirs jointly performed Sweelinck's, "Gaudete Omnes," and Gabrieli's "Angelus ad Pastores Ait" and "Hodie Christus Natus Est" together. It was refreshing to sing some early music with 60 voices surrounding me. I'm not used to large choir singing. I felt so powerful!

Overall, I felt like the concert had great flow and diversity. We had a lot of different standing configurations, and while it took time to block everything at our dress rehearsal, everything moved smoothly during the performance. In terms of the repertoire, we had some audience accessible favorites such as "Ding Dong Merrily on High" "Good Kind Wenceslas," Preatorious' "Lo, How a Rose e're Blooming," "12 days of Christmas" and "Jingle Bells." I think my personal favorite was Mealor's "Ubi Caritas," there were moments when my ears were ringing with the glorious dissonance filling the hall. Da Camera performed Martin's "Ave Verum," King's "There is no rose," and Stopford's "Lully Lulla." The "Lully Lulla" was absolutely gorgeous. While I felt like the piece could have been composed with two less phrase repetitions, there were moments where it was so beautiful you felt like crying inside. I'm not sure if it's due to my personality, since I tend to internalize more than externalize, but that's how I describe moving music :)

At any rate, it was a enjoyable concert and a great way for me to finish off my choral commitments for the year. I hope you all have been able to take in or be a part of some excellent music-making this Christmas season!

Until next time readers, take care!

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