LEWISTON — Christmas music with an emphasis on American composers and arrangers will be presented in “A Heritage Christmas,” the annual holiday concert by the Maine Music Society Chorale.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at The Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center, 46 Cedar St.

John Corrie, artistic director, said the program of principally homegrown numbers will range from traditional spirituals to timeless American tunes of the season.

Under Corrie’s direction, and with piano accompanist Bridget Convey, the 70-voice Maine Music Society Chorale opens the program with “A Simple Gloria” and “The Blasts of Chill December.”

These numbers are followed by “A Christmas Triptych” by Colby College professor Peter Re. This piece opens with “Now Is the Time of Christmas,” followed by “Lullay, lullow” featuring soloist Barbara Leonard, and ends with “Good Day, Sir Christmas.”

Next on the program is “Lullee, lullai, lullo, lullabye” written by Mack Wilberg, director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; “Lux Aurumque,” written by Eric Whitacre, Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor; and
“Ave Maria,” composed by Morten Lauridsen, often called the most frequently performed American choral composer in modern history.

Among other numbers are “Winter Wonderland” and three spirituals, “Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow,” “Mary Had a Baby” with soloist Helene St. Hilaire, and “Oh, What a Wonderful Child” with soloist Cynthia McGuire.

Following intermission, the Chorale performs another composition by Lauridsen, “O Magnum Mysterium.”

Also on the program is “Children, Go Where I Send Thee,” a traditional Appalachian song with soloist Karen Lipovsky. Other numbers are “Huron Carol,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “White Christmas,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,“ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

Other soloists are David Christie and Joyce Smith.

The concert concludes with Christmas carols sung by the audience.

The Maine Music Society Chorale was founded as the Androscoggin Chorale in 1972. Its Christmas concerts have been favorites of the holiday season in the central Maine area.

Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students. Children younger than 12 are free. For tickets, call L/A Arts at 207-782-7228 or visit www.mainemusicsociey.org.


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