Christmas around the World: December 9

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Come travel with us on our Christmas Around the World whirlwind concert tour, Sunday, December 9, 2018 @ 3:00 pm at Grace Lutheran Church, 1107 Main St West, Hamilton

Experience a sample of Christmas music from the far-flung corners of the world conducted by Maestro Stéphane Povin, and tour-guided by members of the consort. Sing along with us in a selection of well-known carols.

The tour begins in North America with Jesous Ahatonhi, more popularly known as the Huron Carol, the traditional African-American sing-along Go, Tell It on the Mountain, and the haunting The Appalachian Carol (I Wonder as I Wander). French Canada contributes to Quebec’s popular, lyrical Dans le silence de la nuit to our travels. We then head for warmer climates, playing The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy, accompanied by Latin percussion on a conga and claves. We stop briefly in South America for Sancta Maria before heading over the Pacific to Hawaii, where we sway to Mele Kalikimaka. For this last tune, we welcome Elizabeth Bareka and Pat Saunders who accompany us on ukulele. We continue our westward tour, with the Japanese inspired Asahi Wa Noborite (Morning Sun is Rising), dip south for the Australian The Three Drovers, and continue westward to Africa to listen to the sonorous melody of Nigeria’s Betelehemu. Next, we cross the Strait of Gibraltar to hear two Spanish carols, Dadme Albricias Hijos d’Eva (Give me rewards for my news, sons of Eve!), and E la Don Don Verges Maria. We sample some of Italy’s marvelous contribution to the Christmas repertoire by playing excerpts from Arcangelo Corelli’s Christmas Concerto No. 8. Finally, before a short break, we come to rest in France with excerpts from Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit pour Noël.

After intermission we travel on to Northern Europe with a beloved German carol, Die Hirten auf dem Felde (The Shepherds in the Field). You may recognize the melody as “As Lately We Watched”. Again, sing along as we play Franz Grüber’s well-loved Silent Night. Sweelinck’s Hodie Christus Natus Est (Today Christ is born), a favourite for choirs, is a 5-part joyful, celebratory contrapuntal piece. Across the channel to England, we play several familiar carols, ending with the sing-along God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. For the first time, we veer eastward to sample a medley of Scandinavian carols, arranged by Rosewood member Robert Rivers. Our final musical offering, the Ukranian Carol of the Bells, sets just the right mood of celebration and reflectiveness for the Christmas season.

For our final stop, please chat and wassail with the musicians in Grace Hall.

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