Sunday, November 29, 2009

Portland Symphonic Choir's Wintersong concert coming up

Wintersong is the Portland Symphonic Choir's annual multi-cultural holiday concert with something for everyone. This year's version will offer music for choirs, brass, percussion, plus narration by Gretchen Corbett, singalongs, and guest choir Rex Putnam High School.

Here's some more information from the press release:
The highlight of the concert is Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” arranged for all four voices, with harp accompaniment. Based on Renaissance-era songs, the movements alternate between haunting, lilting, and vigorous singing with challenging tempos and harmonies. Britten sets a mood of worship and anticipation that makes you imagine crystalline Christmas nights of long ago. Gabrieli’s fabulous “Hodie Christus Natus Est” tosses peals of joyful cries between multiple choirs. The King’s Singers made “A Little Christmas Music” famous, with its warm and familiar carols such as the Wassailing song, “Little Drummer Boy,” and more. A Swahili song of praise with percussion, “Mungu ni pendo,” adds a bright bounce. In contrast, Shaw’s arrangement of Vittoria’s “O Magnum Mysterium” is achingly hushed.

Representing Hanukkah, the Choir sings an exciting new arrangement of the traditional hymn to the Rock of Ages, “Maoz Tsur.” And Epstein’s arrangement of “Ozi ve Zimrat Yah (My Strength),” is an exotically rhythmic setting of Psalm 118. To honor another ancient tradition, “A Winter Solstice Ritual” combines calm chanting with an organ accompaniment trilling sounds of nature to hearken back to primeval ceremonies of the sun.

Joining us this year with their youthful energy will be Rex Putnam High School choir, directed by John Baker. This outstanding group has placed in the top four choirs 16 years out of 22 in the OSAA State Choir Championship, and has earned three state titles. They will lift their voices in several inspiring songs of the season.
The concert takes place on December 12th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, December 13th at 2:30 pm at St. Mary’s Cathedral (NW 18th & Davis in Portland).

Tickets : $25 for open seating/ $35 for reserved seating. Students 1/2 price, accompanied children under 12 free. Contact Box Office Tickets at, call 503-205-0715 or toll free at 1-800-494-8497; or go on the Choir web site at

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