The Davis Chorale has a busy schedule of seasonal music in store for December.
At 5 p.m. Sunday, the choir will present a vespers performance at Davis Community Church, 412 C St., composed of Christmas choral music and carol singing by the audience. Highlights of the hourlong program will be the Christmas Story, a short oratorio by Heinrich Schütz, Jan Pieter Sweelinck’s glorious “Hodie Christus Natus Est” and Herbert Howells’ “A Spotless Rose.”
The Davis Children’s Chorale, directed by Janie Howard-Knudsen, will join the adult singers in “Rejoice, Rejoice This Happy Morn” by John Ferguson, and sing by itself two choruses from Bach’s Cantata #142.
Sunday’s vespers performance will be conducted by Rachel Kessler, director emeritus of the Davis Chorale, stepping in while the chorale’s artistic director, Alison Skinner, is on maternity leave through the rest of the year. Admission is free, but a free-will donation will be accepted with gratitude.
The chorale will repeat large portions of the vesper when it presents a free noon concert in the Capitol Rotunda in Sacramento on Monday, Dec. 17.
On Sunday, Dec. 23, at 4 p.m. all Handel enthusiasts are invited to a “Messiah” sing-along at Davis Community Church. With Kessler coordinating, the community volunteer choristers will be supported by members of the Davis Chorale, invited guest conductors, soloists and instrumentalists. Community members will sing all the choruses and chorales. Those who so desire may join the soloists in their arias.
Among the guest conductors will be D. Kern Holoman, conductor emeritus of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and a distinguished professor in the UCD music department; Jan Lanterman of the Napa Chorale; and Angelo Moreno, Davis High School Orchestra director, who also will be the first violin.
Participants in the “Messiah” sing-along are encouraged to bring their own scores. A limited number of scores will be available at the door to borrow or to purchase. Admission is free, but free-will donations will be gladly accepted.
On Sunday, Jan. 6, at 4 p.m., Kessler will conduct a fully staged and costumed performance of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Carlo Menotti in the Brunelle Performance Hall at Davis High School, 315 W. 14th St. Singing the role of the Mother is Janie Howard-Knudsen, with Ben Cross as the boy Amahl. Members of the Davis Chorale and the Children’s Chorale will be singing as shepherds.
Admission to the opera is $20 for adults and $10 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Watermelon Music, 207 E St. in downtown Davis, or at the door on the day of the performance.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055.