Kirkland Choral Society is presenting Joyful Tidings, a musical celebration of the holiday season in the form of two concerts.
The first concert will be at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 and the second concert will be at 3 p.m. on Dec. 3. Both performances will be at the Bastyr Chapel, 14500 Juanita Dr. N.E. in Kenmore.
Bastyr Chapel has been the Kirkland Choral Society’s Eastside home since 2001, which is widely acclaimed for its acoustics and beautiful setting, according to a press release, and is a “perfect venue to experience the magic of holiday music and of the season.”
The concert will open with the second and third cantatas of Bach’s “Weihnachts Oratorium” (Christmas Oratorio). The work, first performed in 1734, has six cantatas, which were designed to be performed in church services over the six feast days of Christmas, rather than in one concert, the release states. KCS is presenting it in stages at holiday concerts over several years, so audiences can become acquainted with the piece.
Each of the cantatas focuses on a different part of the Christmas story. Cantata 1, focusing on the birth of Christ, was performed at last year’s holiday concert. Cantatas 2 and 3 focus on the annunciation to the shepherds and the adoration of the shepherds. The three remaining cantatas describe the circumcision and naming, the journey of the Magi and the adoration of the Magi. KCS plans to perform these remaining cantatas in future years, according to the release.
For the performance of this year’s cantatas, KCS will be joined by their partner orchestra, Philharmonia Northwest, and singers, John Marzano and Jonathan Silvia.
According to the release, Marzano is a young singer making a name for himself. As an award-winning tenor, he already is booked to perform with the Seattle Opera among other regional and national appearances. Silvia, bass, has performed many times with the Seattle Opera and other opera and choral groups, both regionally and nationally. He is the founder of Singerreise, a video and blog series about the life of a working opera singer, the release states.
The concert will also include a selection of individual holiday songs, starting with “Joy to the World,” arranged by Michael Culloton. This will be followed by “Jubilate Deo,” a piece using the traditional Latin text from Psalm 100, best known as “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”
Next in the program is “The Joyful Piper,” by Nicholas McKaig, a piece that lets each part have a turn at telling the story and at being the piper, the release states. The text is taken from Blake’s “Songs of Innocence.” “The Wheel that Moves the Sun and Stars,” by Eric William Barnum, uses a poem from Dante’s “Paradiso.” With the piano as the wheel, the choir tells the story of the creation of the world, according to the release.
Jason Robert Brown’s “Chanukkah Suite” merges “traditional Hebrew songs with exuberant music with a Broadway flair,” the release states. Carol Barnett’s “Gloria” (from “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass”) is an energetic choral celebration. According to the release, it is replete with fiddles and bluegrass ornamentation.
The concert concludes with “Joy” by Hans Bridger Heruth, a composition based on Sara Teasdale’s poem of the same name, according to the release. This dynamic piece has a piano duet and features intricate harmonies and tone clusters. Joy is an uplifting presentation that ends the concert appropriately on a note of strength and happiness. As a final act, the choir and audience will join together to bring a musical close to the festivities.