FARMINGTON – Northfield, a Farmington-based early music vocal ensemble, will celebrate the holiday season in song with three concerts in November ansd December. The group will offer a mix of sacred and secular songs from Europe and America, sung in many languages. Serious considerations of the season will mingle with silly humor. The rough-hewn vigor of Colonial America will contrast with the delicate tracery of Renaissance Europe.

And, of course, there will be merrymaking.

Highlights of the program include “Allon, gay bergeres,” by French composer Guillaume Costeley, which encourages shepherds to come view the newborn baby Jesus in the manger. There will be a sweetly lyrical “Ave Maria by little known English composer Robert Parsons.

Northfield will sing some Early American hymns that present the familiar words of “Joy to the World” and “While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks by Night” to unfamiliar, lively and vigorous tunes.

Some beautiful and sensuous Italian madrigals will be sprinkled in, and a the entire “Consort of Choral Christmas Carols,” by P.D.Q. Bach, will provide giggles and guffaws.

In a more serious mood, the group of eight singers will continue their exploration of the double choir repertoire, performing “Ave regina caelorum,” a beautiful hymn of praise to the Virgin Mary, by Tomas Luis de Victoria and “O magnum mysterium,” by Giovanni Gabrieli, and splitting up into three choirs for the complex and sonorous “Lauda Jerusalem,” by Claudio Monteverdi.

The concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, at Nordica Auditorium in Farmington; at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Belgrade Union Church; at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 at Rangeley Congregational Church. Admission to the Farmington concert is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and children. Admission to the other concerts is by donation. For more information, call 778-4572.


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