Singers of The Canterbury Choral Society will raise their voices in holiday harmony for “Canterbury Christmas” at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Civic Center Music Hall.
The evening's performance also is an opportunity for patrons to help those in need during the holidays as part of Canterbury's “Building Community” initiative. Patrons can contribute by bringing cans of food or other nonperishable food items to be donated to Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Patrons also are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys as gifts to be donated to Christmas Connection, an organization that serves low-income families in the community.
“Part of Canterbury's mission is to be active in the community,” said Randi Von Ellefson, artistic director of Canterbury Choral Society. “And we thought it would just be a natural at this time of year, when people are thinking of giving to others, to reach out and ask people to give food and toys.”
For “Canterbury Christmas,” the 125-member adult chorus will be joined by the Oklahoma City University Faculty Brass Quintet and the children of Canterbury Youth Choruses.
Special guest will be David Janssen, an OCU music alum now living in Boston. The choir will perform the world premiere of his Christmas Motet “The Angels and the Shepherds in the Field.”
Brass, harp and organ will complete the festive sounds of the evening.
“What we try to do is find music, some that is familiar, some that is new, and new arrangements of Christmas carols,” Von Ellefson said.
The program includes an exciting new arrangement of the sacred holiday standard Handel's “Hallelujah Chorus,” he said.
“One of the pieces that we haven't done in a long time, that many people know parts of, is the (Benjamin) Britten ‘A Ceremony of Carols,' which is for women's voices and harp,” Von Ellefson said.
During “A Candlelight Carol,” by John Rutter, “We will be doing some things during that piece that hopefully will enhance the atmosphere of the piece,” Von Ellefson said.
“There are classical pieces, but yet we also try to maintain some elements that are fun and light and joyous,” Von Ellefson said. That is evident in the audience singalong, which is often one of the highlights of the annual Christmas concert, he said.
After the performance, audience members are invited to a holiday cookie reception hosted by the volunteer singers of the choir with St. Nick in the lobby of the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker.
The show is the second concert in Canterbury's 45th anniversary season.
If you go
For tickets and more information, call 232-7464 (SING) or go online to www.canterburyokc.com.