Experience the magic of Cantabile Choirs’ exquisite candlelight concerts, conceived and directed by Dr. Mark Sirett, and be enchanted by the angelic voices of over 250 choristers in favorite holiday and winter songs, plus carols old and new. Recognized for their creative programming, the Cantabile Christmas concerts are a delight in both sound and sight.
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A broad array of carols from around the globe will be featured, including examples from France, Germany, Spain, Appalachia, Nigeria, England and Scotland plus new works for Christmas including Gaudete Omnes (Praise all) by the young Polish composer Marek Racyzinski.
Christmas is a time for children and Cantabile’s youngest singers provide irresistible proof of that! Our Children’s Choir will offer delightful carol arrangements along with one of their favorite works of the season, Do You Want to Build a Snowman from the movie, Frozen. The Junior Choir, directed by Alana Sargeant, will add extra sparkle at the matinee performance in charming works including Beautiful December. Matinee audience members will even be treated to a visit by a special friend from the North Pole!
The Cantabile Young Men’s Chorus and Young Women’s Choir exude excitement and energy in Connie Kaldor’s Island Santa and the spiritual Come and See the King which always brings down the house. The clear, radiant voices of the young ladies will shine through Personent Hodie and a toe-tapping Québécois number, Voilà, Le Père Noël. In contrast is the charming lilt of an Appalachian carol, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem with special guest Devon Runions on the banjo.
Cantabile’s Women’s Choir will be heard in a breathtaking and energetic setting of Gaudete with stellar ‘junk yard’ percussion accompaniment provided by Les Casson. In perfect contrast is the warm and loving Cradle Hymn by young Norwegian composer Kim Andre Arneson.
Last, but certainly not least, the Men’s Choir sing the exuberant Nigerian carol, Bethlehemu and a favorite carol from the 16th century, What Child is This, arranged by well-known Canadian arranger, Jonathan Quick.
Perhaps most thrilling for audience and singers alike are when the choirs come together and the hall rings out with the sounds of over 250 voices, spread throughout the sanctuary and surrounding the audience. This season those moments will happen during songs from Frozen, Sussex Carol, and John Rutter’s grand and elaborate arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas.
And of course there are the wonderful moments when audience and choristers create a choir of over 1000 and lift their voices together with the thundering organ in favorite carols. If you have never attended a Cantabile Christmas, be aware that there is a wonderfully nostalgic surprise at the end of the performance.
Joining the choir for these performances are Michel Szczesniak and Clare Gordon, piano; Barbara Hallam-Price, organ; Bill Egnatoff, flute; Andrea Putman, oboe; Gisèle Dalbec-Szczesniak, violin; Les Casson, percussion and Paul Clifford, bass.