Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year

Our 2016 Christmas Concert was an amazing success, with our first-ever standing room only audience! How good it was to see extra chairs being added to the back of the church. The Bill Bell cantata, The Other Wise Man, was much loved by our singers and the audience too! Phillip Marcizewski's A Child is Born was a joy to learn and to sing! Thanks to these two local composers for their wonderful music!

Another highlight was a song dedicated to the memory of Dr. Charles Hirt and his USC Chamber Singers. Each year at the Christmas Convocation they would close the program with an English Street Cry song, Won't You Buy my Sweet Blooming Lavender, arranged by Max Krone, one time head of the USC School of Music and founder of Idyllwild Arts. The chorale found an arrangement of the song in print! It features a soloist backed up by the chorale. Soprano soloist, Penny Quinn came down the aisle of the church carrying a basket of lavender, dressed in a Dickens-like cape. As she sang she handed out lavender sprigs to the audience.

The carol sing-along was enhanced when chorale members filled the aisles to sing with the audience. The final Silent Night was an amazing experience with chorale and audience singing, and orchestra playing. The room was totally filled with beautiful sound!

But now, we move on to rehearsals for the Spring Concert, scheduled for May 21! The major work will be the Mozart Requiem. Several of us have sung this before and love it. Rehearsals will begin on Tuesday, January 24, 7:00 pm at San Manuel Gathering Hall at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center,
127 N. San Gorgonio Ave., Banning. We invite new singers to join us and learn this wonderful work.

We will also be learning lighter music, like the Fly-Away Medly by Mark Hayes and patriotic music to celebrate Armed Forces Day.