Since the beginning of the quarter, concert and chamber choir are hard at work on their upcoming Christmas concert which will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 5-6 in the theatre of the Arts and Allied Health building.
Both choirs began working on the songs for the concert at the beginning of the quarter.
“I like the song choices this quarter,” concert choir member Rosie Raske said. “The difficulty ranges. Some are easier to learn than others and I’ve noticed that varies by person.”
Concert choir, which comprises 40 students this year, will sing Fum, Fum, Fum, Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy, The First Noel and Angels We Have Heard on High, all composed by Mack Wilberg.
“His music works well for large choirs, and tends to be audience favorites,” music director Kenneth Owen said. “Most of what our bigger choir—the concert choir—is doing is by Mack.”
Concert choir will additionally sing Resonet in Laudibus by composer Jacobus Gallus and Heimr Arnadalr from Disney’s Frozen.
Chamber choir, which is made up of about 17 students who were selected after auditioning, will sing Christmas Time is Here from Charlie Brown, The World for Christmas, A ‘Soalin’ and Vuelie from Frozen.
“Singing Christmas music just brings you in the Christmas spirit,” chamber choir member Allyson Ryan said.
Chamber choir will also sing Angels Carol and I Wish You Christmas by British composer John Rutter.
“His music can be seen as the culmination of a centuries old choral music tradition,” Owen said. “His music tends to work better with smaller, more intimate choirs like our chamber choir.”
Chamber choir also will sing Christmas Time is Here by Lee Mendelson, popularized by the cartoon episode of A Charlie Brown Christmas.
“With the music of those two composers at the core, I also wanted to have some jazz-styled music for the chamber choir,” Owen said.
Owen said the music between Rutter and Wilberg would be beneficial for his choir students to learn.
“The music of these two composers would be music that would be useful in teaching students while providing them an experience learning and performing some of the music of today’s best composers,” Owen said.
This year, for the first time, an additional choir will also take to the stage at the concert starring children ranging from 5 to 12 years old.
Owen decided to have the children perform and he will be directing them. Owen will practice with the children 10 times before the concert. His own children were his inspiration.
“The real emphasis was wanting a choir for my own kids to sing in. I have two kids,” Owen said.
The children will be singing We’ll Dress the House, Star Carol, Winter Fantasy and Do You Want to Build a Snowman from Frozen.
“I felt doing Do You Want to Build a Snowman from the Disney movie Frozen would help the kids become engaged in the choir,” Owen said. “Once I decided to do that, I planned a number from the movie for each of the college choirs to tie it in.”
Chamber and concert choir will each sing a song with the children during the concert.
Owen hopes the children’s choir can increase, but wants to see how the concert goes to decide whether the children will continue to sing for the concerts at Pierce.
This year in concert choir, there are approximately 40 students. Last year, there were about 70. For chamber choir, there are 17.
“The choir is a little bit smaller than it has been, but the quality is great,” Owen said.
Both choirs rehearse their music every day in order to prepare for the Christmas concert. There aren’t any rehearsals because all the work is done in class.
“I’m looking forward to performing for the Pierce College because it’s the Christmas season,” chamber choir member Jessilyn Perez said. “I just love to celebrate Christmas.”
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