African songs accompanied by percussion begin and end the Santa Fe Desert Chorale’s “Carols and Lullabies” program, the cornerstone of the ensemble’s Winter Festival 2013. Performed in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, “Carols and Lullabies” also features works from throughout Europe and the United States.
European carols and lullabies are represented by “In Dulci Jubilo,” “O Makalosa Stjarna,” “El Desembre Congelat,” arranged by the Santa Fe Desert Chorale’s music director Joshua Habermann, “Child of Mary Softly Sleeping,” by Malcolm Archer, “Masters in this Hall,” “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Deck the Halls.”
Composer Morten Lauridsen represents the U.S. “We’re singing ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ by Morten Lauridsen, which is a work we’ve done for the past five years,” Habermann said. “It’s a wonderful and popular Christmas setting. Audiences love it because it’s spiritually moving.”
The ensemble will sing the “Slava Vishnikh Bogu” movement from Rachmaninoff’s “All-Night Vigil” (also known as “Vespers”). This a capella choral composition was written and premiered in 1915. It consists of settings of texts taken from the Russian Orthodox all-night vigil ceremony.
“Carols and Lullabies” is one of several programs offered by the Santa Fe Desert Chorale this holiday season. “The Big Holiday Sing” features the chorale singing five works, the University of New Mexico Concert Choir, conducted by Bradley Ellingboe, singing three works and the University of New Mexico Children’s Choir, conducted by Regina Carlow, singing four pieces. Each ensemble also performs its own sing-along number and joins the other groups in the presentation of “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need, Noe! Noe!” and “Night of Silence.” The concert ends with more than 100 singers surrounding the audience in song.
“What I like about ‘The Big Holiday Sing’ is that audience members get to see how people of all ages, from children to professional adults, participate in choral music,” Habermann said.
“The Lighter Side of Christmas” is a program that involves only a half dozen members of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale in a cabaret-like setting. Taking place at Santa Fe’s LewAllen Galleries, this intimate performance has a “rat pack” theme. Music performed by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. will resonate through the gallery. The program includes “Silver Bells,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “The Best Things in Life are Free” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
The performance is preceded by a silent auction raising funds for the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. Concert-goers can bid on artwork, jewelry and other items.