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  • Solveig Holmquist

2022 Fall Term Call to Singers

Isn't this wonderful? We're starting a fall term for the first time in forever! Begin preparing now, humming and matching pitch with random sounds around you. In other words, get warmed up!

I believe that this may be the first term when I've declared that the music will be fun! Of course we always have fun in rehearsal, but this term's music is full of actual fun. Oh, there'll be some high drama and some danger, but mostly these works are infectiously engaging.

I think many of you may have performed Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, either with FCO or at another time or place. It's quite well known and often performed. On the other hand, his cantata Saint Nicolas is rarely heard in this country. We presented it many years ago, and I've always loved it, so this seemed a good time to bring it to the public again.

The title role will be sung by our favorite tenor soloist, Les Green, and he will actually be the only outside soloist this time, with the exception of three little boy sopranos who will need to be found. (Do you know of any with high, clear voices? What young boy wouldn't like to come singing across the stage, having been brought back from the dead?)

Spoiler alert: the cantata describes and re-enacts many of the legends surrounding Saint Nicolas, none of which involve stockings and a chimney. There's a storm at sea, which our tenors and basses will really get into, and many other interesting scenes. Saint Nicolas is accompanied by a piano duet, strings, a pipe organ, and tons of percussion instruments.

In contrast, A Ceremony of Carols is accompanied by only a harp! It has rollicking rhythms and gorgeous harmonies. And, as a departure from works we've performed in the recent past, both of these works are in English. That's one of the reasons I said this term's music will be fun, since you can relax about the texts. Well, OK, A Ceremony of Carols is in Middle English, but there's an easy pronunciation guide. It's a mystical set of carols, and you can check it out on YouTube.

I've wanted to perform Christmas music for a fall term for a long time, and this inviting, infectious music just called to me this year. Please come to sing! It'll give you a whole week's worth of hummable melodies after every Tuesday night. And we're certainly ready for fun again, aren't we?

Register online by September 11.

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