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Arizona Repertory Singers “Carols of Triumphant Joy”
December 7, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - January 2, 2019 @ 4:00 pm MST
The Arizona Repertory Singers will present a sophisticated selection of classic and dynamic new choral music for their winter concert, “Carols of Triumphant Joy.”
Director Elliot Jones said he has chosen music with depth and beauty to create a moving experience for audiences. Most of the concert will feature the unaccompanied voices of the 46-member ensemble, with other pieces accompanied by organ.
“This concert will have a high goose bump factor,” he said. “I like to do music with real depth. That’s the kind of music I seek out. And I take pride in ARS doing truly new, brilliant, beautiful music.”
One such piece is Thomas Juneau’s “Et In Terra Pax,” or “And On Earth Peace.” Composed in 2016, Juneau describes his piece as “a choral meditation on the dream of peace on Earth, coupled with the realities which constantly threaten such a dream.”
“It’s so dramatic and brilliant,” Jones said. “He takes a familiar text and adds to it, giving it a whole new sense of depth and the music really reflects that.”
Other new music will include David Bednall’s jubilant carol, “Noe Noe” which couples a fifteenth-century Latin text with energetic and rhythmic organ music. Bednall, 39, wrote the piece in 2016. Many consider him to be one of the leading choral composers of his generation.
The centerpiece of the concert will be a piece for voices and organ, Jonathan Dove’s thrilling “Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars.” The piece, originally commissioned by the Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1995, combines poetic images with bright and star-like organ music and soaring soprano melodies.
The concert will also include early music such as anthems by William Byrd composed in the 1500s, and seasonal audience favorites like “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” and “What Sweeter Music” by John Rutter, a beautiful modern choral and organ piece.
For the performance of the famous “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” Jones selected to combine the original composition from the 1600s with a 20th century arrangement by Hugo Distler for the final two verses. “His music is just so unique. You can hear the melody in his verses, but the way he surrounds it with harmony is his own unique voice and beautifully tranquil,” Jones said.
The concert’s title, “Carols of Triumphant Joy” comes from “Father of Heaven,” an aria by Handel that ARS director Jones has transformed into a full choral piece with organ accompaniment.
This season, ARS welcomes new assistant conductor, Jooyeon Hwang, and collaborative musician, organist Kevin Seal. Both are doctoral candidates in choral conducting at the University of Arizona.
IF YOU GO: “Carols of Triumphant Joy” Concerts
7:30 p.m. Friday, December 7
Christ the King Episcopal Church
2800 W. Ina Road
3 p.m. Sunday, December 9
Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
2331 E. Adams Street
7:30 p.m. Friday, December 14
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
3738 N. Old Sabino Canyon Road
4 p.m. Sunday, December 16
Christ Church United Methodist
655 N. Craycroft Road
Tickets are $18 in advance at www.arsingers.org and $20 at the door. Students are admitted free with student I.D. For group ticket discounts, for groups of 10 or more, email [email protected]
The Arizona Repertory Singers is an auditioned ensemble of singers from greater Tucson. Since 1984 this choir has developed an extensive repertory and prides itself on presenting high quality performances of the standard repertoire and new music.