In keeping with its reputation for eclectic programming, Meritáge will present numerous contrasting moments ranging from the grand choral fanfare of Z. Randall Stroope’s Gloria in excelsis (from the Christmas cantata Hodie) to the simple folksong-inspired beauty of the John Jacob Niles arrangement of I Wonder As I Wander. Jan Sandstrom’s double-choir arrangement of Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming will incorporate shimmering chord clusters aligned with the traditional hymn, creating a haunting, ethereal effect. In a similar vein, Javier Busto sets his Ave Maris Stella for soprano soloist and chorus with traditional chord structures that periodically dissolve into unusual vocal colors, adding fascinating new textures to the musical palate. Both of these pieces also provide that special opportunity to revel in the classic acoustics of pure a cappella beauty—magical moments that can only happen with unaccompanied vocal singing. Certain songs are so closely equated with the holiday season that they almost demand representation. So it is with Franz Gruber’s beloved Silent Night. Michael McGlynn’s arrangement of that seasonal favorite, however, is a truly new and startlingly beautiful rendering of the Christmas classic. Featuring soprano, alto, and tenor soloists enwrapped in a six-part choral accompaniment, this arrangement leaves the listener with an almost palpable sense of musical awe. It is a remarkable reimagining of a classic carol. The choir will also take this opportunity to acknowledge the recent passing of one of our most respected composers, Stephen Paulus, by presenting one of his well-known Christmas pieces, Hallelu!, a simple, picturesque little piece describing Mary with her child in the Bethlehem stable—proof that simple is often better. A concert highlight will be the annual appearance of the Starlight Carolers and, as in years past, all will be encouraged to join the carolers for several holiday favorites. The Starlight Carolers, founded in 1994, is now in its twenty-firstst season and currently includes forty singers on its roster. Arguably one of the finest caroling ensembles in the region, the Starlight Carolers performs at numerous holiday events each year and has become a primary fundraising arm of the Friends of Choral Music, the nonprofit organization which supports all Meritáge concert activities throughout the year. The annual holiday concert with Dr. Sheridan Ball, the Meritáge Vocal Arts Ensemble, and the Starlight Carolers has become a family tradition for many Orange County and Long Beach residents.
2014/12/07 - 2014/12/07
Additional time info:
Patrons are encouraged to arrive at least thirty minutes prior to concert time for preferred seating. General admission tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance.