Chancel Choir Chatte
Come on! Join the fun and music-making!
Looking back at 2016, the choir presented fresh anthems and introits every single week - hymns, gospel, spirituals, Renaissance, contemporary, country, even a few show tunes and pop standards. And we will continue the same in this coming year.
Highlights from last year include some delicious works for Palm Sunday such as Robert Walkerʼs “Meditation,” Craig Courtneyʼs “Procession and Hymn” with our visiting brass quintet (which incidentally regaled the congregation with works by Palestrina, Giovanni Anerio, and Johann Ernst Eberlin.)
Holy Week continued with Maundy Thursday when our resident string quartet teamed up with the chancel choir and four visiting trombonists for works by Johann Hermann Schein, and the magnificent Nunc Dimittis by Giovanni Gabrieli. Other beautiful Renaissance works by Orlando di Lasso, Manuel Cardoso, and Thomas Tallis were also presented. The choir sang Anton Brucknerʼs “In monte Oliveti” and a new setting of “Ubi carritas” by Texas composer Joseph Gentry Stephens.
The solemnity of Good Friday was evoked by the choirʼs interpretation of John Stainerʼs “Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow,” “And No Bird Sang” by Chicago native Douglas Wagner, and the hopeful “Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep” by Texan, Laura Farnell.
Organist Heather Edward-Wilson and the praise band, “Illumination,” kept the congregation stomping on Easter morning and once each month throughout the year.
The last Sunday prior to our summer choir hiatus was transformed into “Baseball Sunday.” In full baseball regalia, we sang “Take me out to the Ball Game,” “The Baseball Game” from Youʼre a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and “Six Months out of Every Year” from Damn Yankees. The service was punctuated during the seventh inning stretch by having Bobbie Clarkʼs jersey (robe) hoisted to the rafters and her number retired.
The highlight of the Christmas Season was the performance of the annual Christmas Cantata. This year we presented “Candles & Carols” by Mark Hayes with a sizable 14 piece orchestra.
Looking forward into the new year, we are planning on the brass & string ensembles to join us again for Palm Sunday to present Randall Thompsonʼs “Pueri Hebraeorum,” “Hosanna” by Thomas Weelkes, and more Gabrieli (“Judica me” and “Virtute magna” from his 1597 Sacre symphoniae).
Several short lovely antiphons by Lithuanian composer Jouzas Naujalis will be sprinkled throughout the Holy Week services. Also planned are “Vere langoures” (Surely He hath Borne our Griefs) by Peruvian composer Renzo Bracesco, and “Lord, Dost Thou Wash my Feet?” by Brazilian José Nunes Garcia.
The 2017 Christmas Cantata will be (if the edition is completed in time) “The Holy Child” by the New England master and Yale University professor, Horatio Parker. We have uncovered an unpublished orchestration from 1902 by Oscar Coon which we hope to have edited and ready for our orchestra and chorus by this coming fall.
Choir Recognition Sunday will be, as always, a surprise. Expect freaky costumes, fun tunes, and a really rollicking good time.
The choir is open to all who love sing. We welcome all comers - we only request' is the ability to "carry a tune.” No other singing experience is required, and we do our best make you feel at home. We meet every Wednesday evening from 7:30 - 9:00 in the sanctuary.
Blessings to all,
Dr. Rex Enderlin, UMCLR Chancel Choir directo