Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Eve at CCA

What a busy season!

Between singing a beautiful Lessons and Carols service on December 4, welcoming our new rector, Fr. Daniel Richards, and gearing up for the big Christmas Eve services, it has been a busy time indeed!

While our featured music on Christmas Eve will be excerpts from Rheinberger's Star of Bethlehem (and, by the way, Rheinberger's aria "Mary", sung by our own Cara Loveless-Faulkner, is a new all-time favorite of mine), I wanted to give our readers a peek into the variety of music that our choir sings.

There are the usual suspects, of course, as there should be: "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Joy to the World", and "Silent Night". Our choir particularly loves to sing David Willcocks' arrangement of "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly". Rheinberger's music is not as well-known as it should be, and I hope you'll find both "Mary" and "Shepherds at the Manger" to be music that in its combination of celebration and mystery is worthy of the holy night.

But this year's carol sing includes a work that is quite different than our typical repertoire: Sherburne by Daniel Read, an early American hymn that is still sometimes sung by those who carry on the tradition of shape-note singing. If you listen to a recording (try this one), you'll find that it doesn't conform to many of the European conventions that so permeate our musical tradition, and in our service adds a distinct flavor -- a new spice to freshen a beloved family recipe.

A reminder that the Family Service (with pageant) begins with a carol sing at 4:30 and the Festival Eucharist (with sermon and incense) begins with a carol sing at 7:30. Hope to see you there!

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