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Choir to perform concert

Tae Andrews | Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Notre Dame Celebration Choir puts on its “Christmas at the CoMo” concert tonight at 7:30 in the Main Lounge of Coleman-Morse Center.

“This show is very similar to our previous shows in format,” said alto Christine Gage, who has also sung as a tenor in past shows. The choir will perform a variety of Christmas music, including both familiar favorites and less common carols. Some of the tried-and-true tunes include “O Holy Night” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” while an example of a new song is “Do You Hear What I Hear.”

“Whenever we perform, we include a few pieces that stretch us as a choir,” Gage said. The group will perform a movement from Handel’s “Messiah” (“And the Glory of the Lord”) in addition to Gesu Bambino and the Candlelight Carol.

“These are our more technically complicated pieces,” Gage said, “though I would have to say that all pieces have their difficulties.”

The performance will feature a voluntary collection to assist a Holy Cross mission in disaster areas of Bangladesh in addition to a short presentation on the mission. International students will also speak briefly on Christmas traditions in other countries.

Of the choir ensemble’s 40 members, singers and instrumentalists alike agreed that the Handel music posed the greatest challenge from a performance standpoint. “The most difficult piece in our repertoire for the concert would probably be ‘And The Glory Of The Lord’ from Handel’s ‘Messiah,'” Celebration Choir president Chris Perkins said. Perkins is one of six tenors in the group.

The choir members will perform songs that challenge their limits as singers and performers. “The most difficult piece for us has been an excerpt from Handel’s ‘Messiah,'” cellist Brian Camus said. “This is the first time we have ever sang anything from this piece, so not only is it new but it is also quite challenging.”

The choir added extra rehearsals due to the limited time between its last Stepan Mass performance and the “Christmas at the CoMo” concert.

“[The Handel piece] has a bunch of odd rhythms and entrances that took us awhile to get down,” soprano Carolyn Shivers said. Shivers also said the Choir was able to select more difficult compositions to perform because it had more people than it has had in the past. “It’s nice to have enough altos and sopranos to sing the divisi,” she said. The divisi parts feature two or more notes written for each vocal part.

Even with the new music, the choir expects a show similar to years past. “The concert will be fairly reminiscent of past Christmas concerts,” Perkins said. “We’ll have plenty of traditional carols along with several newer pieces which should provide our audience with a wonderful way to usher in the Christmas season.”