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Symphonic Chorus adding to holiday concert

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With a bevy of singers ranging from 9 to 70, the New Mexico Symphonic Chorus will add something out of the ordinary to holiday concerts on Sunday, Dec. 8.

” ‘Tis the Season” will open with Monteverdi’s Magnificat II at Immanuel Presbyterian Church. Written in 1610, the piece includes organ, cello and bass. The performance will include the New Mexico Symphonic Youth Chorus as well as the adult choir.

“It has that wonderful early Baroque/Renaissance sound,” music director Roger Melone said. “We’re going to have the chorus lined up single file along the sides of the church because I think that’s part of the music. The early Baroque is much more decorative in almost a bizarre way.”

From there, the program moves to an original piece by chorus pianist Daniel Cummings called “Christmas Lullaby” for chorus and piano.

“It is very rewarding,” Melone said. “It’s based on a poem by John Addington Symonds.”

Symonds was an English poet and literary critic. A cultural historian, he was known for his work on the Renaissance.

The concert’s first half will end with Jason Robert Brown’s Chanukah Suite for Chorus and Piano.

“Most of the arrangements for orchestra and chorus for Chanukah melodies are pretty trite,” Melone said. “This is a knock out. Jason Robert Brown is a Broadway arranger. Audiences tend to love this piece.”

John Rutter’s Gloria for chorus, brass, percussion and organ will bring the two choirs together for a dramatic second half.

Nearly 140 singers will tackle the piece with 12 players.

“The Rutter has the most beautiful middle section,” Melone said. “I think it’s going to be a fun program. It’s not your typical Christmas concert of ‘Silent Night.’ ”

_WebHeadline”>EXCERPT: ” ‘Tis the Season” will open with Monteverdi’s Magnificat II at Immanuel Presbyterian Church. Written in 1610, the piece includes organ, cello and bass. The performance will include the New Mexico Symphonic Youth Chorus as well as the adult choir.

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