Highland News Leader

Highland Community Chorus will perform two Christmas concerts

The Highland Community Chorus will present its Christmas concert, “Night of Wonder,” on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10 and 11.

Saturday’s performance will be at 7:30 p.m. at St. Dominic Church, 493 N. 2nd St. in Breese. Sunday’s concert will be held at 3 p.m. at St. Paul Catholic Church, 1412 9th St. in Highland.

“The heavens opened and angels’ voices were heard; sky joined earth in the celebration of that first Christmas night.” That’s the idea behind HCC’s fourth annual Christmas concert.

The centerpiece of the Christmas concert will be a world premiere performance of “The Nativity of Our Lord,” by composer Paul Carey, who joined the chorus in November for a workshop to prepare his piece.

“The chorus is preparing a premiere of Carey’s Christmas piece, ‘The Nativity of Our Lord,’ a short suite for a cappella SATB chorus (with divisi),” Luanne Murphy, director of the Chorus said of the song. “Mr. Carey has selected six verses in Latin that describe the joy and wonder of the Christmas story. Modern harmonies hark back to the organum of the Medieval era with many open fourths and fifths, often in two tonalities at the same time, creating rich, complex sonorities.”

Carey studied composition with Alfred Blatter and Ben Johnston at the University of Illinois. His graduate studies were at Yale University. His compositions have been performed by choirs worldwide and conventions across America. His “Rise Up, Emma Lazarus” was the winner of The New York Treble Singers 2003 composition competition. “Esta Tarde, Mi Bien” (This Evening, My Love) was the winner of the Cambridge Madrigal Singers Competition in 2004. In 2009, Carey was appointed lead choral teacher and conductor of the famed North Carolina Governor’s School, held each summer in Raleigh, N.C., for 800 of the state’s finest students in 10 different disciplines. In 2009 and again in 2011, he was a featured guest composer/conductor of choirs in South Korea and Hong Kong. Carey’s music is published by Oxford University Press, Walton, Roger Dean, Santa Barbara, Colla Voce, and Kjos. His music is also available directly at paulcarey.net.

The concert will also feature a guest soloist, Amy E. W. Prince, a beautiful soprano, who just finished singing “Four Last Songs,” by Richard Strauss, for soprano and orchestra in Canada.

Tickets for the concert are now available online at highlandcommunitychorus.org. Season tickets are also available for purchase online.

If supporters would like to donate to the growth of the chorus, they may see the “Contributions and Support” page on the website and download the donor form. At all the suggested giving levels, season tickets are given as a thank-you gift. Season ticket holders also enjoy preferential seating.