The Brockport College-Community Chorus and the Brockport High School Choir will appear together in this year’s “Sounds of the Season” Holiday Concert on Sunday, December 3, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.
To accommodate the audiences who would typically attend their separate performances, this concert will be held at the Brockport High School Auditorium, 40 Allen Street, Brockport. There will be a $5 suggested donation.
Brian Clickner, music director of the College’s chorus, is “very excited to be a part of this event.” “It is the first time our two groups have sung in a joint concert since the 1980s, easily,” recalled Elizabeth Banner, the music director for the high school’s chorus and other smaller musical ensembles. She added, “Especially at the holiday season, when togetherness is key, it’s wonderful to take part in something that not only unites our two organizations, but the College and the Brockport communities themselves.”
A highlight of the concert will be the combined chorus’ performance of Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols,” accompanied by harpist Barbara Dechario. More of a cantata than a ceremony, the work was inspired, in part, by Gregorian chants. Originally separate songs, they were gathered into a cycle with the addition of a processional and recessional. When the songs are presented collectively, they tell the story of Christmas.
In keeping with the theme of the two choruses joining together, the concert will be bookended with two songs that reflect on the desire of all people to live in peace and harmony. The Hebrew hymn “Hiney Ma Tov” is taken from Psalm 133 in the Old Testament, which revels in the joy of sitting down with one’s brethren in unity. Similarly, the beloved Christmas carol “Silent Night” was written in 1818 in Oberndorf, Austria, when that region had been divided up following the Napoleonic wars. It has long been thought of as a message of hope, most poignantly during the Christmas Truce of 1914, when soldiers from Germany, France and Britain found themselves all singing this song on a Christmas Eve during World War I.
Though most familiar as an instrumental piece, the High School Choir will sing “Carol of the Bells,” which, it turns out, began as a Ukrainian folk tune that had nothing to do with Christmas at all.