Friday, December 12, 2008

Community Celebrates the Holidays with the Humboldt Symphony and 3 Choral Groups

Celebrating with music is a delightful holiday tradition, and this year some 150 musicians and singers from HSU, local grade schools and high schools and from the community will come together to perform a lavish Christmas cantata as the highlight of the Humboldt Symphony concert on Friday, December 12 and Sunday, December 14.

The Symphony orchestra, the Humboldt Chorale, HSU University Singers and a children’s choir will combine to perform “Une Cantale De Noel” by Swiss composer Arthur Honegger. This work “describes the Christmas story, from the Old Testament, when the Israelites were cast out into the wilderness, through other events to the angel announcing the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem,” said Symphony conductor Paul Cummings. “The children’s choir will sing the part of the angels celebrating the birth.”

Then the cantata becomes a potpourri of Christmas carols, arranged in an unusual way. “You’ll hear fragments of carols from different countries and in different languages,” Cummings said. “There’s Latin, French and German, sometimes sung simultaneously. The combination is unique and effective.”

This work also features a solo by baritone Bill Ryder.

The singers and orchestra perform another work in the Christmas theme: “Magnificat” by Italian composer Francesco Durante.

The first half of the concert features the Humboldt Symphony Orchestra performing the “Idomeneo Overture” by Mozart, a work by Russian composer Alexander Borodin called “In the Steppes of Central Asia,” and the festive “Hoedown” from the ballet “Rodeo” by Aaron Copland.

“All of these works are five to ten minutes in length,” Cummings said, “except the Christmas chorale, which is 25 minutes, and involves 150 people of all ages. The HSU vision statement says that the University wants to be a regional hub for the arts. It’s a performance like this one that fulfills that vision. It’s an opportunity to bring all these facets of the community together, in celebration.”

The combined concert is performed on Friday, December 12 and Sunday, December 14 at 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7 general, $3 students/seniors, from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Free to HSU students with ID.

Media: Arcata Eye, Humboldt State Now.

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