The Mercyhurst University Mary D’Angelo Department of Music presents “Sing We Now of Christmas,” a concert under the direction of Thomas Brooks.
This concert consists of the Mercyhurst University Concert Choir and Chamber Singers.
Paul Caram, a freshman Music Education major, is accompanist for the concert.
Brooks chose the songs on the program because he believes as a university ensemble, the students should perform serious classical music.
The underlying structure of the program is composed of three segments.
The first part of the program, which is performed by the Concert Choir, features songs that are very famous and have been extensively performed over the years.
The first is a very popular piece titled “Christmas Cantata” by Daniel Pinkham, which is meant to be performed with a brass band accompaniment.
It is composed of three movements: “Quem vidistis, pastores?,” “O magnum mysterium” and “Gloria in excelsis.”
The second song is “Nativity Carol,” by John Rutter.
The well-known “Ave Maria,” by Javier Busto, completes the first part of the program and begins the second segment of the overall program.
Brooks chose the songs for the middle segment because they are shorter carols and are more reminiscent of the traditional carols and hymns sung for Christmas; however, they are still considered serious classical music.
All of the songs in this segment are performed by the Chamber Singers.
These selections include “Sans Day Carol” by John Rutter, “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” and “Sussex Carol” arranged by David Willcocks and “In the Bleak Mid-Winter” by Harold Darke.
The Concert Choir will return to the stage to perform “I Saw Three Ships,” arranged by John Rutter; “Sing We Now of Christmas,” arranged by Fred Prentice; “African Noel,” arranged by Andre Thomas; and “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” arranged by Harry Simeone.
To balance the concert, Brooks had to determine the feasibility of performing each work.
This is the second year that the Concert Choir and Mercyhurst Civic Orchestra will have a joint concert at a later date.
“People should attend this concert in North East because it is a great tradition that the choir has held for many years,” said senior Music Education major Stephanie Dowling, one of the singers in the concert. “It is a beautiful chapel to perform in and just overall a lovely, Christmas-spirited town.”
The Christmas Concert will take place Dec. 5 at Mercyhurst North East in St. Mary’s Chapel at 7 p.m.
The performance is free and open to the public.