The Susquehanna Valley Chorale (SVC) will usher in the Christmas season with A Candlelight Christmas on Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 11 at 3 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Sunbury.
The performance will feature the singing of popular carols, Randol Bass’s Gloria and Dan Forrest’s Festival First Nowell, among many others. The SVC will be joined by the Zion Handbell Choir, Commonwealth Brass Ensemble, harpist Elizabeth Asmus, flutist Amy Kenny and organist David Cover.
The program includes melodies that are more than 600 years old as well as several works that are younger than the youngest members of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale.
SVC Conductor and Music Director Bill Payn says, “The SVC continues a tradition begun almost a century ago by the Dean of Kings College in Cambridge. Eric Milner- White took the message and the music of the Christmas season, and created a time of reflection and hope at a time deeply in need of both, following the end of the first World War”
He continues, “The traditional carols and music of the season which we will present this year follows that message of hope and celebration for all people of goodwill.”
The performance will include the following pieces:
- Once in Royal David’s City – The text, by Cecil Frances Alexander, was published in a hymnal for children in 1848. It was set to music a year later by the English organist Henry John Gauntlett.
- Festival First Nowell – An arrangement by composer Dan Forrest [b. 1978].
- Greensleeves – The original title of the tune What Child is This, was well-known in Shakespeare’s time.
- Sing We Now of Christmas – The arranger, Fred Prentice, was a choral director at the University of Alabama.
- Ding Dong! Merrily on High – An English Christmas song based on a 16th c. French song.
- Sweet Songs of Christmas – Composed in 1994 by Chris Dedrick [1947-2010].
- Still, Still, Still – First published in a collection of folk songs in 1865.
- Gabriel’s Message – Originally transcribed by Charles Bordes [1863-1909] and later translated into English.
- Mariae Wiegenlied (Mary’s lullaby) – Originally a 14th c. Latin carol
- Gloria – Written in 1990 by Randol Alan Bass
- Wassail Carol – Composed by William Mathias [1934-1992] in 1969 from an anonymous 16th c. text
The sponsors for the performance are Dede and Bob Gronlund and Patricia McDowell. Co-sponsors include Coldwell Banker Penn One Real Estate – Martha and Alan Barrick, and Lois & William VandenHeuvel. Underwriters include Amy and Brooks Gronlund, C. Brian Crane and the law office of Derr, Pursel, Luschas, and Naparsteck, LLP, and Jean-Paul and Bernadine Richard.
Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults and $8 for students. Youth under the age of 12 are free. A Season Subscription costs $70 and consists of four “freestyle” tickets that can be used at any SVC concert in any combination.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.svcmusic.org or by calling 570-547-0455.