Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Members of the St. Charles Singers (photo courtesy of The St. Charles Singers).
Choirmaster Jefferey Hunt and The St. Charles Singers will unwrap a colorful new array of more than 20 songs at its 33rd annual “Candlelight Carols” Christmas concerts in early December in St. Charles and Chicago. The popular Christmas concerts have been a tradition for the choir since its founding in 1984.
“While the title of our Christmas concert stays the same year after year, the program is never the same twice,” says Hunt. “There will always be holiday favorites, along with musical discoveries for listeners and songs offering stimulating challenges for our mixed-voice ensemble of accomplished choristers.”
Among the many works new to the chamber choir’s repertoire will be a set of songs by Scandinavian composers, including Gunnar Eriksson’s Norwegian Lullaby; Ola Gjeilo’s Ubi Caritas with piano improvisation; and Anders Orhwall’s Brudmarsch fran Jamtland for choir, flute and double bass and Fabodpsalm fran Dalarna for choir and flute.
The 31-voice ensemble will perform a group of songs honoring the late, great, English choral composer David Willcocks. These include John Rutter’s "Rejoice and Sing" and Bob Chillcott’s "There is No Rose," both new to the St. Charles Singers, among others.
Women’s voices alone also will be heard in Patrick Hadley’s "I Sing of a Maiden," while men will take the spotlight for Franz Biebl’s Ave Maria, a carol popularized by the all-male choir, Chanticleer.
In addition, the choir will sing motets by Johannes Brahms (Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, Op. 29. No.1) and Sergei Rachmaninov (Bogoroditse Devo).
Also on the program are Robert Shaw and Alice Parker’s arrangement of “Hacia Belen va un borrico,” Rutter’s “Donkey Carol” and the choir’s traditional closing carol, a surround-sound rendition of Willcocks’s arrangement of “Silent Night,” with the singers encircling the sanctuary.
Single tickets for the “Candlelight Carols” concert are $35 adult general admission, $30 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for students.
Tickets and general information about the St. Charles Singers are available at www.stcharlessingers.com or by calling (630) 513-5272.