These occasional reports are usualy written after collecting audience reaction and comments. Though we are sure the audiences at both Trinity St Marks in Kitsilano and at Gloria Dei Lutheran in North Vancouver really enjoyed their respective concerts (the applause received and the response to the carefully planned encore says as much and more!) a choir member writes:
"There is always a nice logic to the concerts put together by David Millard. One of the engaging aspects to singing in the choir is the way we often rehearse the music. We receive the pieces for preparation one by one. As the season's repertoire appears we all wonder how it hangs together - what is the theme? - what carries the arc of music-making to its conclusion? On this occasion we received a complete package of music on day one and a very clearly stated rational for the concert's organisation."View the concert programme
"The Twelve Days calendar was such a splendid hook, because it allowed a selection of music from all periods, both Sacred and Secular, and at times just a little Profane. The opening Parry 'Welcome Yule' was a splendid overture to this schema since the Saints mentioned in the text forshadowed appearances on their own days exampled later in the programme. Besides, the piece is a wonderful rollicking thing to sing and I hope our enthusiasm (and accuracy!) made the audience sit up and take notice."
"The second experience that sticks in memory was the double choir piece 'Ellegerunt Apostoli' by Mikolaj Zielenski. From the perspective of Choir II the sound was pretty rich and the antiphonal effects seemed to work very well. A piece by the same composer was up for the Holy Innocents, 'Vox in Rama'. This sadly beautiful motet is notable for its affecting setting of the words ploratus et ululatus while recounting the story of the slaughter of the first-born. These are onomatopoeic of themselves, and easily outdo the alliterative English equivalent weeping and wailing. Before this work we had performed the Appalachian Folk Song 'Lullay Thou Tiny Little Child' which David had arranged for us. The words echo those of the Coventry Carol, but the setting allowed the third verse (unlike the medieval model) "Herod in his raging" to be hurled out with some quite appropriate viciousness. David pointed out to the audience that it is likely that the song's collector John Jacob Niles actually wrote the piece himself, with the folk song aspect perhaps being more of a marketing ploy!"
"December 31 brought us St. Sylvester, and we celebrated him with 'Sir Christèmas' by William Matthias, featuring repeated shouts of Noel, Noel. This was followed by 'Bring us in Good Ale' arranged by Vivaldi irregular Earle Peach, wherein the choir bad mouths any, and all, edible substances and as a result demands vast quantities of beer. This item was nominated for January 1 and the Feast of the Circumsision, though who wants to be three sheets to the wind on that day, I am not sure"
"The concert ran out with 'Welladay' the lament for the passing of the Festive Season helped along by solo contributions from Mary Leigh-Warden, Leanne Page, and Elliott Dainow. It was also nice to hear from Daphne Donaldson, Pat Christopherson, Steve Froese, and Peter Munns in 'Adeste Fideles' (for the Second Sunday of the Nativity), and various of those, with the addition of David Millard, in 'Deus Tuorum Militum' by Claudio Monteverdi. The mellifluous recorders of Karen and Mike Millard, together with the raspy (but unavoidably good-natured) contributions of David Overgaard's bassoon added much to the proceedings"
"While on the topic of instumentalists, mention has to be made of the Vivaldi accompanist and occasional bass, Barry Yamanouchi. He shone wherever required on keyboard (in various guises, including the happily chuffy sound of sixteenth century pipe organ) and in the encore with distinguished feats of pianism. Acceding to the audiences entreaties the choir gave a whole-other concert wherein the group delivered themselves of a pent up urge to start carrying on about Partridges & Peartrees, so assiduously avoided by David Millard in the main part of the Programme. We sang the ridiculously gung-ho version written by Craig Courtney for the Columbus Symphony Chorus in 1990 entitled a Musicological Journey through the Twelve Days of Christmas. The French Hens coming in to Vivaldi's Gloria, the Milkmaids gallumphing through the Ride of the Valkyries and the Drummers passing by (and out) to the strains of the John Philip Sousa's 'Stars & Stripes Forever' were not the least of the vocal fun had by all. It was an excellent exclamation point to end the Twelve Days musical excursion - I think the audience had a lot of fun too!"
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