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San Francisco Lyric Chorus Fall 2012 Concerts: The Joy of Christmas

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  • Helene Whitson
    The San Francisco Lyric Chorus, under the direction of Music Director Robert Gurney, presents: The Joy of Christmas: A Celebration For Chorus And Harp
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 13, 2012
      San Francisco Lyric Chorus Fall 2012 Concerts:  The Joy of Christmas The San Francisco Lyric Chorus, under the direction of Music Director Robert Gurney, presents:
      The Joy of Christmas:  A Celebration For Chorus And Harp

      Benjamin Britten:  A Ceremony of Carols
      Benjamin Britten:  A Hymn To The Virgin
      Kirke Mechem:  Seven Joys of Christmas
      Kirke Mechem:  Gloria from Three Motets
      Bob Chilcott:  God So Loved the World
      Bob Chilcott:  The Shepherd’s Carol
      Marjorie Hess:  The Oxen
      Robert H. Young:  There Is No Rose
      Peter Wishart:  Alleluya, A New Work Is Come On Hand
      Boris Ord:  Adam Lay Ybounden
      Meredith Clark, harp
      Saturday, December 1, 2012
      St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
      1111 O’Farrell Street, near Franklin
      San Francisco
      Sunday, December 2, 2012
      5:00 pm
      First Unitarian Universalist Church
      1187 Franklin Street at Geary
      San Francisco
      General $20; in advance & for seniors, $18  
      Free admission for students 5-18 with ID.
      Please, no children under five.
      For ticket purchase and further information, visit our website: www.sflc.org
      Contact:  (415) 721-4077; info@...
      For our Fall 2012 trimester, The Joy of Christmas: A Celebration For Chorus And Harp, we present a wonderful variety of music—music familiar, music new, music of joy, music of contemplation—that expresses the specialness of this time of year.
      Benjamin Britten’s (1913-1976) A Ceremony of Carols for harp and chorus is a Christmas classic.  He composed this holiday masterpiece on a ship in 1942, as he was returning to England from the United States.  Modeled after the English ceremony of nine lessons and carols, Britten uses the nine carols without the lessons to show the various moods surrounding the celebration of this most joyous holiday. Britten’s A Hymn To The Virgin is a gentle a cappella work for double chorus with a wonderful antiphonal sense of comment and answer.
      San Francisco composer Kirke Mechem (1925- ) composed his Seven Joys of Christmas for harp and chorus in 1964.  He sets seven carols from different countries, each describing a different aspect of holiday joy.  The Seven Joys of Christmas is often performed as a companion piece to the Britten.  Mechem’s energetic Gloria (one of three motets) is a setting of an anonymous 15th century text.
      English composer Bob Chilcott (1955- ) was a boy chorister in the famed King’s College Choir at Cambridge University, as well as a 12-year member of the King’s Singers.  In 1997, he began composing in earnest.  God So Loved The World and The Shepherd’s Carol, two of his most familiar compositions, express the joy of the season with soaring lyricism.
      Minnesota composer Marjorie Ann Hess (a.k.a. Maura Bosch) (1958- ) sets Thomas Hardy’s tender Christmas poem, The Oxen, as a quiet, reflective composition for harp and chorus.
      Texas composer and professor Robert H. Young (1923-2011) was born in Santa Cruz, California.  During his 30 years at Baylor University as a music faculty member, he founded and conducted the Baylor University Chamber Singers, as well as composing numerous choral compositions.  There Is No Rose is one of his most beloved compositions.
      English composer Peter Wishart (1921-1984) was a student of Nadia Boulanger, later becoming a professor of music at various English universities.  His exuberant Alleluya, A New Work Is Come On Hand, a setting of a 15th century text, abounds with cascading passages of joy.
      Boris Ord (1897-1961), another English composer, uses the same text as Britten’s Deo Gracias in A Ceremony of Carols to create his beautiful Adam Lay Ybounden, a familiar work often used in the Nine Lessons and Carols of Christmas.

      Helene Whitson
      President, San Francisco Lyric Chorus
      Co-Author, San Francisco Bay Area Chorus Directory
      Founder, San Francisco Bay Area Choral Archive
      1824 Arch Street
      Berkeley, California  94709
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