Davis Chorale to present ‘Christmas in the Americas’

By From page A9 | December 05, 2013

The Davis Chorale, under the direction of Alison Skinner, will present a concert titled “Christmas in the Americas” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in the Brunelle Performance Hall at Davis High School, 315 W. 14th St. The audience will be treated to celebratory selection of Spanish and English Christmas songs from North and South America — some well-known, others less familiar.

“Navidad Nuestra” (“Our Nativity”) by Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez (1921-2010) is an assembly of six poems set to music with a Hispanic American flavor, depicting biblical imagery including the annunciation, the pilgrimage, the nativity, the shepherds, the three kings and the flight into Egypt. “It’s a dramatic and beautiful work,” Skinner said.

Also on the program will be a set of 10 songs, arranged in 1992 by San Francisco-based composer Conrad Susa under the title “Carols and Lullabies — Christmas in the Southwest.” They give each a taste of regional styles of Hispanic music, with the singer joined by harp, guitar and marimba.

There will be a set of three carols from Canada, including the “Huron Carol,” composed in 1642 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary who lived among the Huron tribe. Brébeuf wrote the lyrics in the native language of the Huron/Wendat people; the melody is based on a traditional French folk song, “Une Jeune Pucelle” (“A Young Maid”). The other Canadian carols are “The Three Kings” and “The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy.”

And there will be a set of American carols, including “Judea — A Virgin Unspotted” by early American composer William Billings (1746-1800), “I Wonder As I Wander” and “Go Where I Send Thee.”

Piano accompaniment will be provided by Ellen Deffner.

Tickets — priority $20; general $15; student $10 — may be purchased at Watermelon Music, 207 E St. in downtown Davis, or at the door. For more information, visit davischorale.org.

Jeff Hudson

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