NOVEMBER 12, 2014

Rejoice and Sing!

Celebrating the holidays in song December 6 – 7
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MESA/PARADISE VALLEY/SCOTTSDALE – The second concert in the Chorale's 21st Season - Sing On! celebrates the holidays with voices, brass, flute, piano, organ, and percussion.  Joining with the Sonoran Brass Quintet, the Chorale presents a very special concert, Rejoice and Sing! From the 17th century motet, Gaudete Omnes (Rejoice, everyone!), to the contemporary All My Heart This Night Rejoices by Stroope, this festive holiday music radiates joy and cheer.

Performances of Rejoice and Sing! will take place Saturday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 15 E. First Avenue, Mesa and Sunday, December 7 at 3 p.m. at Valley Presbyterian Church, 6947 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley.  Tickets are $18 for adults/$15 for seniors, students and groups of 10 or more.  Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 480-305-4538.

The concert begins and ends with a cantata.  The first, by the English composer Cecilia McDowall, is comprised of five well-known Christmas carols, woven together as Christus Natus Est (Christ is born).  As noted by Gramophone, "Cecilia McDowall is another of the new generation of highly communicative musicians who favors writing which, without being in any way facile, is brightly cogent, freshly witty and expressive in its own right."The concert's last piece is Daniel Pinkham's Christmas Cantata (Sinfonia Sacra) for chorus, brass, and organ. 
One aspect of his extraordinary talents was his choice and setting of texts.  He had extensive literary knowledge and he took great care in setting texts to music.  Richard Dyer, former music critic for the Boston Globe, remarked that Dan's pieces said what they wanted and stopped. There was no excess in his music.

Between the cantatas are songs familiar and new.  Hear a Dale Warland arrangement of Ding, Dong Merrily on High and Roger Wagner's Alleluia.   Enjoy David Willcocks' lovely Birthday Carol and savor the rich harmonies of Stephen Paulus' A Savior From on High.  And, as always, you are invited to join the Chorale in the much anticipated, annual carol sing-along.  Be sure to bring your friends and family to share in the fun.  Begin your holidays with a joyful heart, filled with the music of the season! 

Sonoran Desert Chorale was founded in 1994 and is led by Music Director Jeff Harris.  Since its inception, the group has become a highly regarded and sophisticated choral organization, presenting musical compositions from cultures around the globe as well as important pieces from the European and American music traditions.  Concerts frequently include guest performances and collaborations with distinguished artists and organizations in the community such as the Phoenix Children's Chorus, The Southwest Brass, Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band and the Four Seasons Symphony.  The Chorale has engaged in five European concert tours, with performances throughout Europe, including Venice, Rome, Florence, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Budapest, Ljubljana, Bayeux, Rouen, Chartres, and Strasbourg.   The Chorale was invited to perform with Broadway superstar Michael Crawford for the inaugural concert of the $150 million Mesa Arts Center.  The Chorale was selected to appear at the Western Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Salt Lake City, Utah.