I admit it, I love holiday music. Not cheesy, pop star renditions, but taking traditional secular and religious songs and carols, and creating musical beauty by evoking feeling and giving meaning to the season. This is due to my song inspired background starting with church choir singing to barbershop harmonies which moved to talent show performances and years of chamber chorus, large choirs, musicals, and difficult choral arrangements. For this music, my heart runs deep.
In that spirit, I'd like to share with you all some holiday music performances throughout Vermont this season that I recommend from favorites of my past.
Vermont Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Series - What makes a holiday pops concert so enjoyable is the distinctive use of instruments that evoke the sounds of the holidays. It's kind of like relating certain scents to a memory. Performances are December 7, 8, & 9 in Barre, Burlington, and Rutland. Check out www.vso.org for performance details.
The Vermont Mozart Festival - Sure to deliver unique, professional performances during their various seasons throughout the year, the J.S. Bach Christmas Oratorio brings about a beautiful Advent and Christmas musical celebration. Performances are in Stowe and Burlington December 13 and 14 and details are at www.vtmozart.org.
Counterpoint Presents Christmastide - Vermont's professional 12-voice vocal ensemble sings music from the West Indies and Africa to Francis Poulenc's "Four Christmas Motets" and Morton Lauridsen's haunting "O Magnum Mysterium." The group is touring over the state of Vermont now through mid-December. More information is at Counterpoint's website at www.counterpointchorus.com.
Bella Voce - Vermont's women's chamber chorus, Bella Voce, performs Mary Had a Baby - A Suite of Christmas Spirituals, a new Christmas Cantata by Robert DeCormier. Performances are in Stowe and Burlington December 8 and 9. More info is at www.bellavocevt.org.
Lessons and Carols - Lessons and Carols are one of my most favorite holiday music memories. While at Marist College I sang with the chamber choir and performed in the candlelight Lessons and Carols concert every year in the college chapel. It always brought a feeling of magic to me and I greatly look forward to attending one at Middlebury College this season, my first since 1997! The Middlebury College Chamber Singers perform two concerts on December 9 at 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm at the Mead Memorial Chapel on campus. Another Lessons and Carols for those in Southern Vermont is at The Old First Church in Bennington on December 16 at 7:30 pm.
Blanche Moyse Chorale - Also in Southern Vermont, the Blanche Moyse Chorale performs their holiday concert on December 9 at 3:00 pm at the All Souls Church in West Brattleboro. The chorale is the auditioned chorus of the Brattleboro Music Center.
Northsong Winter Music Concert - The Northsong Chamber Choir brings holiday cheer to the Northeast Kingdom with their community oriented concerts on December 8 at 7:30 pm at the Barton United Church and again on December 9 at 4:00 pm at the Newport United Church.
Monteverdi Music School Dessert Reception & Gala Concert - This is another one I will be attending. Christmas music and desserts? Count me in! This concert will be December 14 at 8:00 pm at the T.W. Wood Gallery & Art Center in Montpelier.
Anyone have any others to share?