From the Artistic Director
We, the ninety-two singers, faculty and staff of Children’s Chorus of Maryland, are thrilled to welcome you to our 40th annual Holiday Concert and to share with you the result of the singers’ care, diligence and dedication during this first semester of our ruby anniversary year! In addition, we send collective heartfelt wishes to all for joyous holidays with family; whether you are beginning your observation and celebration of Hanukkah tonight or will observe and celebrate Christmas in two weeks or will be gathering with family for Kwanzaa at the end of the month. The sense of wonder that accompanies this long-awaited season can somehow be felt in comparable intensity in both the quiet, reflective moments of private tranquility as well as in the grander magnificence of a triumphant spectacle. It is this dichotomy that led to the creation of this concert’s theme, Splendor and Peace. Some of our music quietly tells delicate sacred stories, and some revels in festive traditions. Some selections are modern settings, some are from past centuries. Winter Nights and the Mi’kmaq Honour Song are different from all as both are intended to create soundscapes rather than supply a narrative, offering a chance for the listener to experience the effect more than follow the story-somehow both serene and majestic. As part of the grandness of our 40th, the older choirs are making a foray into longer choral works this year. As planned, the concert choir will share the first movement of Galuppi’s three-movement work, Dixit Dominus, a setting of Psalm 110 composed in the 16th century with you today. Please look forward to a performance of the entire three movement work in May as part of the grand 40th Anniversary Spring Concert celebration! The touring choir will travel to Oregon to work with renowned English choral scholar and composer Bob Chilcott at the Pacific International Choral Festival next summer. With this in mind, we have also added a very different sounding multi-movement work, Mr. Chilcott’s, Peace Mass, composed in the late 20th century, to our 2015-16 repertoire. Our selections typically do not exceed four to five minutes in length. These two works, each in their entirety, are nearly 12 minutes each. Even adult choirs do not regularly sing major works from memory. Please know it was intended from the beginning that our singers not be asked to memorize these lengthy compositions, especially since they are very long texts and are in Latin. I am very proud of our singers for their work on both of these substantial and significant choral works. CCM’s pedagogical program is very dedicated to the philosophy of Zoltan Kodály. Kodály’s approach to music education grew out of the availability and approachability of the authentic folk music of his culture and the idea that everyone could sing together using the songs that came directly from the traditions of a culture. On this occasion, we take a bit of license with his precept; I chose a composed folk song by living American maritime folksinger and folklorist Gordon Bok, who has called himself “a keeper and caretaker of songs and stories”. On his website, Gordonbok.com/bio, he wrote: Splendor & Peace: Holiday Concert 2015
Published on Feb 23, 2016
Susan Bialek, artistic director & conductor Patricia McKewen Amato, piano Gordon Center for Performing Arts 3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue, Owings...