Vespers Ushers in Holiday Season December 4
Melhorn (right) leads a Vespers rehearsal in 2004.
(photo by Fred LeBlanc)
students will participate in Mount Holyoke’s
annual Christmas Vespers Sunday, December 4, at 4 and 7:30 pm in
Abbey Chapel. This year marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the
concert in its present format, designed by Hammond-Douglass Professor
of Music Catharine Melhorn, who retires as the College’s
choral director at the end of the academic year.
will be the Mount Holyoke Glee Club and Chamber Singers, led
the Chorale, conducted by Mark Bartley; Vocal Jazz,
directed by Mark Gionfriddo; and the English Handbell Choir,
led by student Maureen Deming ‘06. College organist Larry Schipull
and a brass quintet are also featured.
to familiar congregational carols and the much-beloved candlelight
Gregorian chant processional,
the concert will include
seasonal choral works from around the world, from a medieval
fauxbordon to Caribbean-style folk music accompanied by conga
drums and claves.
There will be several opportunities for the audience to join
with the choirs in singing both familiar and lesser-known carols.
Club’s set includes the Womanly Song of God, an exciting
new work by contemporary American composer Libby Larsen in which
the choir becomes a drumming group, spinning sung rhythmic patterns
into a buoyant, vibrant celebration of birth, renewal, and life.
Glee Club’s final selection “La Media Noche,” sung
in Spanish, showcases three student flutists.
perform Felicity Williams’s “The Animals’ Carol,” Vocal
Jazz will premiere Gionfriddo’s up-tempo arrangement of "God
Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," and the Handbell Choir will offer “Do
You Hear What I Hear.” Amherst native, mezzo-soprano soloist
E. Michelle Brooks ‘06, will sing Moses Hogan’s arrangement
of “Give Me Jesus.”
12-voice Chamber Singers will juxtapose two settings of an old-English
text, “I Sing
of a Maiden.” The first
setting is a sunny, pleasant work by Marion Bauer, an important
composer and music historian who died in South Hadley in 1955.
The second is a rather dissonant, spacious, introverted serial
work by Peter Schickele, very unlike his better-known tongue-in-cheek
PDQ Bach compositions.
will combine with the handbells to conclude the concert with
Westfield composer Clifton J. Noble’s
arrangement of the English “Sussex Carol.”
There is no
admission charge for this concert, but seating in Abbey Chapel
is limited. Doors
open 35 minutes prior to each performance.
For more information, call the music department at x2306 or Catharine
Melhorn at x2018.
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