Sarah Rennie –
With the holidays just around the corner, the Madrigal Choir and the Avalon Singers will both be presenting Christmas Concerts in the Valley, with performances scheduled in three locations throughout the Valley.
The members of the Madrigal Choir have been busily rehearsing a celebration of Mozart for their two Christmas concerts in Ormstown and Hemmingford under the direction of Nancylyn Campbell. The Choir will be singing several Christmas favourites set to the music of Mozart, as well as a selection of traditional and more contemporary Christmas melodies, in a celebration of the holiday spirit with the Valley community.
Concerts will take place at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Hemmingford on December 7, and at the St. Malachie Catholic Church in Ormstown on December 8. Both concerts will start at 8 pm. Tickets are $15, and free for children under the age of 12. Refreshments will follow the concert. As per tradition, the Madrigal Choir will also be collecting non-perishable food items as well as donations to be given to local food banks.
Baroque and Classical period Christmas
The Avalon singers, under the direction of Pamela Selkirk, will be celebrating Christmas with an evening of festive music from the Baroque and Classical periods on December 22.
The concert will open with the Mass to Saint Nicholas composed by Joseph Haydn in 1772, most likely to be performed on the Feast of Saint Nicholas, the name day of his patron, Prince Nicolaus Esterhazy. Haydn was one of the most prominent and prolific composers of the Classical period and this short mass, written when he was still a relatively young man, is both stirring and joyful.
The choir will also perform George Frideric Handel’s Anthem on the Peace, first performed at a benefit concert for the Foundling Hospital in London in 1749. Those familiar with the Messiah will recognize the first movement of this piece, the serene and lovely ‘How Beautiful are the Feet.’ To complete the concert, the Avalon Singers will perform a few shorter works by Johann Sebastian Bach, including the well-loved cantata, ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring.’
For this concert, the choir will be accompanied by Scott Bradford – well-known to Avalon audiences – on the organ, as well as by trumpet. The concert will take place at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Huntingdon, starting at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $20 and can be bought in advance from choir members or at the door.
Those looking to ring in the Christmas season will not want to miss either the Madrigal Choir or The Avalon Singers and these evenings of exceptional music.