2005-12-08 / News

Island chorus sings holiday selections this weekend

Voices coming together in song to celebrate the holiday season will be a highlight of this weekend’s activities.

The 57-member Jamestown Community Chorus will perform two concerts of traditional and notso traditional music in a concert called “Holiday Festival of Song.”

Directed by islander B.J. Whitehouse, the chorus is comprised of members from Jamestown, North Kingstown, Narragansett, as well as Middletown and Portsmouth, and they have increased in number by about 12 members since their spring concert series.

Among the 17 selections in this weekend’s performance is a piece called “Prayer for Peace,” composed by island resident Bill Karl.

Karl said he was inspired to create the piece, written in Latin, with an English translation in the program, by the current wars and the constant suffering of people around the world as a result of war.

“We just can’t get away from it,” Karl said about violent conflict.

He called this piece “pensive and haunting,” and he noted that it is the third choral composition he has written for the community chorus.

Chorus spokeswoman Marion Gomez said that there are some new and different pieces in this year’s program, including the lively old-English drinking song:

Glocestershire Wassail,” arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams, which happily toasts farm animals and loyal cows and horses.

Other selections include Haydn’s “Awake the Harp,” Lauridsen’s “Magnum Mysterium,” and Martin’s “The Awakening.”

Several choral selections have a childlike wonder to them, according to Gomez. One such song is

Walking in the Air” from the popular animated film “The Snowman” by Howard Blake, who has had immense success with music for children. Two other lighthearted pieces are “Bidi Bom” and “Some Children See Him,” which describes the way that children of different cultures envision the savior, Gomez said.

She said that the performance will end with a sing-along and refreshments.

Concerts will be on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m. in Central Baptist Church, 99 Narragansett Ave.

Tickets cost $10 for general admission, $6 for seniors and children. They are available at Baker’s Pharmacy, Jamestown Hardware, the Secret Garden, from chorus members, and at the door.

To reserve tickets call 4231574. For more information, visit www.jamestownri.com/chorus.

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